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How to import bookmarks from a text file to a browser

Browsers have their own built-in tools for importing and exporting bookmarks. Often, you can import bookmarks directly from a browser without needing to export them first. The browsers tend to play nice with each other but if you happen to have a long list of links in a simple text file, you’ll find no browser can read it.

Here’s a ridiculously simple but slightly time-consuming way to import bookmarks from a text file to a browser.

Import bookmarks from a text file

Browsers cannot import bookmarks from a text file but, they can import them from an HTML file and we’re going to create one from the text file we have on hand. It is a very simple process and you don’t need anything other than Chrome and an extension called Export Tabs.

This is going to be tedious but it works. Open the text file and open every single link in it in Chrome. Install the Export Tabs extension from the Chrome Web Store. Once the links are all open, click the extension’s icon and select ‘Download HTML’.

Save the HTML file and it will have each link, with its title formatted and ready to be imported in any browser that supports importing from HTML.

Open the browser you want to import the links as bookmarks to. Go to its bookmarks manager. In Firefox e.g., you have to tap Ctrl+Shift+B to open it. Click the Import button, and select the HTML file import option.

Select the HTML file that the Export Tabs extension created and they will all be imported. The title for each link will accompany each ‘bookmark’ but the favicons will not follow until you open each link in the browser you imported them to. This is because the HTML file that was created didn’t include them.

This method isn’t ideal since you’re not really importing directly from the text file but it works and requires the least amount of effort. Opening the links is most of the grunt work that you’ll be doing.

If you have a lot of links in a single text file, and opening them all at once will bring your system or Chrome to a standstill, you can open them in batches and create a separate HTML file for each batch. Each HTML file will have to be imported but the import will add the links on top of the previous ones, and will not remove the ones that have already been added.

As you can imagine, the bookmarks will be sorted to the default folder that the browser sets.

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