It’s your last chance to save your Internet Explorer bookmarks
The browser dies. Your settings live on.
The day has come. Tomorrow, on Valentine’s Day, Microsoft is officially putting the legendary Internet Explorer out of commission. If you still have bookmarks stored on this doomed program, you’ll need to move them to Edge or another browser before it’s too late.
Microsoft stopped supporting Internet Explorer last year after deciding to focus all efforts on IE’s successor, Microsoft Edge. Now the company is finishing the job. The final nail in the browser’s coffin is an update that will redirect all PC Internet Explorer icons to Edge. The shortcuts will stay put, at least for a few months, but after that, it’s goodbye forever.
How to export your bookmarks from Internet Explorer
Getting your Internet Explorer bookmarks ready for a newer, shinier browser is easy: the program has a built-in wizard that will walk you through the export process. The result is a single HTML file you can import to Edge, Google Chrome, Firefox, or whatever software you want to use to surf the web. Even if you don’t know which browser you’ll use next, you should at least export your bookmarks before they vanish into the ether.
On Internet Explorer, open your favorites list by clicking the star icon in the top right corner of the screen. You can also use the shortcut Alt+C. In the emerging menu, click the down arrow next to the Add to Favorites button, and then choose Import and export to summon the wizard.
[Related: RIP Internet Explorer, and thanks for all the memes]
In the next window, select the checkbox next to Export to a file and click Next. The wizard will ask you what you want to export. If you’re only saving the websites you’ve bookmarked, check the box next to Favorites. If you also want to export your RSS feeds, click the box next to Feeds; if you’d like to export privacy settings, preferences, and other options related to frequently visited websites, check the box next to Cookies. Hit Next when you’re ready.
In the next window, you’ll have to choose what bookmarks folder you’re exporting. If you’ve organized your collection of websites in specific locations, you can select them all here, but if you only have random links saved to your bookmarks bar, select Favorites Bar. With your selections made, click Next. Now you’ll have to choose where you want to save the HTML file once it’s ready. Internet Explorer will show you the latest location you used, which may be the downloads folder on your PC. If that’s OK with you, proceed to the next step. But if you want to export the file elsewhere, click Browse and use the file explorer to find a new location. Hit Save to go back to the wizard, and once you’re there, click Export and Finish.
How to import your Internet Explorer data into another browser
Once you’ve saved what you wanted to keep from your Internet Explorer days, it’s time to find a new home for it on another browser. If you want to stay true to Microsoft, you may want to stick to Edge, but you should be able to import the HTML file to other browsers like Chrome.
How to move Internet Explorer bookmarks to Edge
As IE’s heir-apparent, Edge will certainly give you the most seamless experience when importing your bookmarks, feeds, and/or cookies. To start, find the HTML file containing your exported Internet Explorer data. If you’re transferring information from an older machine, you’ll need to move it to your new computer—you can use your email, a cloud service, or a flash drive for this.
To import the file to Microsoft Edge, open the browser, click the three-dot menu in the top right corner of your screen, and go to Settings. In the General tab, click Import or export, and in the following step choose Import from a file. Use the emerging file explorer window to locate the HTML file you exported from Internet Explorer and click Open. Edge will create a new folder in the Favorites section called Imported from the bookmark. It’ll be the last item on the list, and you can rename it to something else if you want to.
[Related: 10 reasons to try Microsoft Edge now that Internet Explorer is dead]
How to move Internet Explorer bookmarks to Chrome
Since Edge was built on the same underlying code as Chrome, you’ll be able to easily move your information there as well—but only your bookmarks. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to transfer your Internet Explorer feeds or cookies to Chrome.
The import process for Google’s browser is similar. Click the three-dot menu in the top right corner of your screen, go to Bookmarks, and then Import bookmarks and settings. Chrome will open a new tab and display a new window where you can choose the program you’re importing your information from. From the dropdown menu, select Bookmarks HTML file and then click Choose file. Use File Explorer (PC) or Finder (Mac) to locate the correct file and import it. When it’s done, you’ll see your bookmarks as a new folder titled Imported at the end of your bookmarks bar. To edit its name and contents, open the Bookmarks manager: go to the three-dot menu, and click the Bookmarks option to find it.