I answered a question in a computer help mailing list this week about Internet Explorer Favorites.
The computer user had just upgraded to a new Windows 7 computer and he wanted to move his Favorites to the new computer.
One way that he could do this would be to use the Export and Import functions in IE’s Menu Bar > File > Import and Export… First, he could "Export to a file", copy the file to a flash drive, move the flash drive to the other computer, and then "Import from a file."
That’s an easy way to do it. However, it’s all done in kind of a blackbox mode – the user doesn’t have control and isn’t really sure that the import is going to work. What if IE changed its import/export functions between versions? (and other niggling doubts…)
There’s another way that’s unique to Internet Explorer that gives you a better way to do it — plus, you can keep your Favorites on your flash drive and be able to use them from ANY computer. Of course, it’s also a great way to make a backup of your Favorites, again to be able to use on any computer.
The Internet Explorer Favorites are nothing but Windows shortcuts to URL’s that are stored in a specific folder. In that folder, they’re recognized by Internet Explorer as Favorites. In any other folder, they’re recognized as shortcuts to a URL.
If you double-click on the shortcut, your default web browser will open and display that URL. For most people, the default web browser is still Internet Explorer, although Firefox, Chrome and Opera have large followings.
So, where are these Favorite shortcuts found?
In Windows XP, they’re stored in
C:\Documents and Settings\[yourUserID]\Favorites
In Windows 7, they’re stored in
To copy them from one computer to another computer, insert your flash drive in the XP computer. Copy the XP Favorites folder to your flash drive. Safely eject hardware.
Then, insert your flash drive in the Win7 computer. Copy the CONTENTS of the XP Favorites folder into the folder
C:\Users\[yourUserID]\Favorites. Safely eject hardware. You’re done.