How to Manage Internet Explorer Favorites the Easy Way

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I have a lot of favorites (bookmarks) and I like to organize them in folders. I also like to prune out the dead links from time to time or rearrange Favorites. Internet Explorer (IE) comes with a function called “Organize Favorites” but it is pretty primitive and I find it a pain to use. So I use a better way.

IE stores Favorites as individual files in a folder called “Favorites”. A much easier way to do editing is to open this folder directly and do editing functions there. Since IE Favorites are just files, they can be moved, renamed, and deleted in the same way as any group of files. Also, new subfolders can be created for new categories. Here is how to  access the Favorites folder.

Windows XP

Favorites are buried in the folder C:\Documents and Settings\{current user}\Favorites, so accessing them can be tedious.  Here is a quicker way to open the Favorites folder:

1.    Open the Start menu
2.    Click “Run”
3.    In the Run box, enter “favorites” (without quotes)
4.    Click “OK”

Windows Vista/7

The Favorites folder can be opened this way:

1.    Open the Start menu
2.    Click your user account name
3.    The folder “Favorites” will be among the various folders that are listed

You can also open the Favorites folder directly this way:

1. Open the Start menu
2. Enter “shell:favorites” (without quotes and with no spaces) in the box labeled "Start search" (Vista) or "Search programs and files" (Windows 7)
3. Click “shell:favorites” at the top of the menu

Windows 8/8.1

  1. Open the Run box with the keyboard shortcut: Winkey+R
  2. Enter “shell:favorites” (without quotes and with no spaces)
  3. Click "OK"

Other browsers store favorites or bookmarks in a different way so this tip applies only to Internet Explorer.

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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