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How to save browser link URLs to disk

(I realize this is far from being a new thing, but I also know that some people don’t know how to do this, so I’m going to explain this for today’s lucky 10,000.)

I have a lot of very useful bookmarks, as I’m sure many of you readers do as well. I also tend to use more than one web browser. It’s a huge pain to constantly export/import bookmarks across browsers, back up favorites before re-installing an OS, etc. What if you could just have your favorites saved to disk, and use them however and whenever you wanted? That would be great.

Firefox and Chrome both have features where you can sync your bookmarks to their cloud services, but that only works with that one browser.

So, actually, you can save them to disk. And I’m not talking about saving the page to disk (via file > save). No. Not that. That saves the whole page and all of the content to your disk. No. I’m talking about saving just the link. Not in a text file, but in a simple file you can double-click to open in your web browser.

Sounds awesome, right? It is.

So here’s how you do it. In your favorite web browser, just locate the page favicon (that’s what that little icon next to the web address is called. It’s a favicon.) and drag it to your desktop, or other such folder. Screenshots below for Internet Explorer and Chrome:

Now you can save those files anywhere you want, even such places such as Dropbox, OneCloud, etc. Even a USB stick.

OneDrive users: If your link does something unexpected when you double-click on it (like trying to print), make sure it’s an Offline file. Right-click your link and select Make available offline. You can select multiple files and do this to many at once, or even an entire folder.

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