Retrieving Bookmarks from Enhanced Bookmarks (iGoogle Gadget)

By Jake Edwards | Thursday, May 7th, 2009 | Permalink | 146 Comments

Recently, the Enhanced Bookmarks gadget has been un-usable due to un-expected changes made by Google to its Gadget API. This has rendered Enhanced Bookmarks useless and users are unable to retrieve the bookmarks they had stored.

There are two possible ways to retrieve your bookmarks. For some, both methods may work while sometimes only one of the methods will work. The steps below outlines one possible method for you to retrieve these bookmarks. A simpler method has also been created, which can be found below. Let others know through comments on this post if either helped you obtain your bookmarks.

  1. Many thanks. Method 2 works fine, so I’ve recovered the links of my gadgets with more than 15 bookmarks. The smaller ones reap eared today, though with some functionalities disabled. I hope Joshua manages to redo his great Enhanced Bookmark Gadget, which I’ve enjoyed using for 8 months or so.

    Comment by Antonio — May 12, 2009 @ 4:35 am

  2. I had a hard time getting the JSON to work, but I did get it
    for my other two Enhanced Bookmark Gadgets I used the link provided by Wolfgang, I recovered my links quickly

    I had been very lost without my bookmarks, thanks for your help.

    Comment by Fakebelieve — May 12, 2009 @ 5:33 am

  3. Neither method works (using IE8 w/XP). Any other suggestions?

    Comment by dbray — May 12, 2009 @ 8:50 am

  4. Tried method 1 but it didn’t work – still got the same “URL too big” error message. A few of the values (off the top of my head I can’t remember which) simply weren’t there to replace, so maybe the method didn’t shorten the URL enough?

    But method 2 worked a treat!

    Cheers. Those bookmarks were very important to me for my work 🙂

    Comment by Mike — May 12, 2009 @ 11:38 am

  5. Oh man… I am SO relived that there was a recovery procedure (and a simple one at that!). I was devastated when my bookmarks disappeared. I hope that the next build come soon, and that Google doesn’t pull the rug out from under you (and us!) again. Keep up the good work!

    Adam Black

    Comment by Adam — May 13, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  6. Method 2 Worked brilliantly. Thanks!

    Comment by Mark H — May 13, 2009 @ 6:04 am

  7. Thanks so much for taking the time to explain method 2 – inspired – and worked perfectly.

    Comment by Andrew — May 13, 2009 @ 6:45 pm

  8. Just a thank you for saving the bookmarks

    I was complety lost without my pages of bookmarks

    Comment by keyboardcowboy — May 13, 2009 @ 8:44 pm

  9. Fantastic! Just fantastic!

    Comment by CoMicFont — May 13, 2009 @ 8:45 pm

  10. Fantastic! Absolutely fantastic!

    Comment by CoMicFont — May 13, 2009 @ 8:47 pm

  11. Thanks Wolfgang! Option 2 worked great for me. Very elegant solution.

    Comment by dvcox — May 13, 2009 @ 10:00 pm

  12. Method two worked for me. I’m on a MacBook Pro.

    Comment by bjckeefe — May 14, 2009 @ 1:26 pm

  13. method 1 did not work for me :o(

    Comment by kerrie — May 14, 2009 @ 1:37 pm

  14. is usable for me, although not perfect.

    My usual homepage doesn’t work at all.

    Comment by Jon — May 14, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  15. Method 2 worked like a champ! I was lost without ’em and am happy to have them back!!! :-)>

    Comment by Brendan — May 15, 2009 @ 12:30 am

  16. I deleted the Enhanced Bookmak gadget before finding this site. Now what do I do?

    Comment by Robert — May 16, 2009 @ 3:32 am

  17. Thanks. Method 2 worked great but only with firefox. IE 8 didn’t let me go through

    Comment by Raul Sigal — May 16, 2009 @ 9:20 am

  18. First method didn’t work because the ‘long’ url was hidden, second method worked a treat.
    Many thanks I was begining to wonder if I would ever see them again. Why did I not back them up?

    Comment by Mike — May 16, 2009 @ 11:48 pm

  19. Method #1 worked well with FF 3 – fired up notepad++ and cleaned up the characters, then pasted into Json which I use all the time for Fiddler as well… Thanks so much.

    Comment by Cameron S. — May 18, 2009 @ 2:09 am

  20. Method #2 worked perfectly. Simply amazing. THANK YOU!!

    Comment by SoyLatteLove — May 18, 2009 @ 11:47 pm

  21. I’ve now switched to a gadget

    Comment by Jon — May 18, 2009 @ 11:49 pm

  22. Method #2 in Firefox works like a magic trick. Thank you SO MUCH!!!!

    Comment by WebMom — May 20, 2009 @ 5:30 am

  23. Wolfgang’s suggestion worked great and was very easy. Thanks and looking forward to the bookmark gadget’s return.

    Comment by Maria — May 22, 2009 @ 12:28 am

  24. Thankyou so much! (method 2)

    Comment by Edd — May 22, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  25. Thanks!

    Google clearly doesn’t want users bookmarking things – they want us searching for things!!!!

    Comment by Ray — May 23, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  26. I used the first method and it worked for me. I had read the warnings about not editing your bookmarks in whatever way you could find, so all was there still.
    I copied the long piece of data not to Json viewer, but to Editplus.
    There, I first replaced the %2C part to %2C /n (new line). That sorted out a lot of the mess. Then, I replaced the similar values step by step according to the list given above. I now have a nice clear list of my bookmarks. Luckily I only had about 15 of them. 🙂

    Thanks very much!

    (ps. too bad the captcha thing below is black on black! I cannot read the words as I enter them!)

    Comment by Heidi — May 24, 2009 @ 6:58 pm

  27. Hi,
    Whoever you are, you saved my life with Method 2. Infinite thanks
    I had 6 sections of bookmarks in the enhanced bookmark gadget, all of them had more than 20 links and most of them are related to my PhD research.
    Unfortunately, we, users, have a tendency to take all these new gadgets for granted, until they break up. Then we start complaining…we kind of forget what is Free and Open source about.
    Thx guys. Your instructions were very helpful and friendly

    Comment by Wifak — May 27, 2009 @ 3:47 am

  28. Woo Hoo, thank you so much!
    I needed all those for uni, you are a god, cheers!

    Comment by michaela — May 27, 2009 @ 5:31 pm

  29. Method 2 worked. My husband is eternally grateful. Thanks!

    Comment by gwendolen — June 3, 2009 @ 11:43 pm

  30. Worked perfectly !! Thank you so much !!!!

    Comment by Fred — June 7, 2009 @ 2:57 am

  31. Method 2 worked GREAT.. I am so relieved… that’s what I get for not backing up before, though. Thank you!

    Comment by Nicole — June 10, 2009 @ 1:50 am

  32. I really miss this gadget. Actually, I still can use it. By clicking “open in new tab” my bookmarks are still available and it’s not such a big deal to not be able to open in the same tab….

    Comment by lin — June 13, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

  33. Method 2 worked for me 2. TNX a lot !
    bad thing it crashed though.

    Comment by hrcho — June 15, 2009 @ 3:40 am

  34. Method two worked fine – happily I did’t deleted the gadget
    Thanks a lot for publishing it

    Mac / firefox

    Comment by piotr — June 15, 2009 @ 11:26 pm

  35. Hi all!
    Eventually, I found that if you open igoogle with this link, all the bookmarks work fine:

    It changes a bit the interface of igoogle and uses a different version of gmail, but it does the work perfectly.
    You have to opne the bookmarks on a new window with the far right button, otherwise the link will open inside the bookmark module.

    Comment by Antonio — June 16, 2009 @ 5:13 pm

  36. Hi.

    Thnx for those solutions,

    Luckily today the gadget start working again. I deleted on part of about 12 parts with bookmarks so just lost a few.

    Comment by Tim — June 17, 2009 @ 3:50 am

  37. I can see the bookmarks and the gadget works fine when opening it in another tab or window.Thwnks, anyway

    Comment by Mariela — June 19, 2009 @ 3:38 am

  38. Be careful with some tips here how to still see the bookmarks (e.g. opening another tab etc.)

    Google made very clear that they do not allow gadgets which are programmed in a way like “enhanced bookmarks” was done. So even it might work today, you may loose them tomorrow.

    In any way, you should make a backup with one of the two ways described here.


    (For a technical description from Google, see this link:

    Comment by Wolfgang — June 19, 2009 @ 8:22 pm

  39. Los marcadores han reaparecido automáticamente y funcionan bien.

    Gracias por la información.

    Comment by Jose — June 29, 2009 @ 9:13 pm

  40. I tried method 1 and it worked but unfortunately didn’t last, Anybody can tell me where or what went wrong? would really appreciate gettin my bookmarks back and while we are on the subject of patches and things like that there, would really like my calendar back as well. google is screwing up big time. tried the chrome browser, hate it for the most part so not goiging there again either.



    Comment by Cody — August 18, 2009 @ 2:08 pm

  41. “Enhanced Bookmarks 2.0
    – No limit to number of bookmarks stored”

    I can only 11 bookmarks add to my igoogle:((( I like it and i have more than 11 bookmarks…. What shalll I do?

    Comment by Peter — August 21, 2009 @ 2:25 pm

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