How to restore corrupted Bookmarks.BAK file

After reinstalling Win10 I forgot that I didnt backup Brave’s bookmarks so I used a recovery program to see if I could recover the Bookmarks files. I was successful, but now the file come across looking like binary and I cannot use them. I tried to view the assumed JSON file in various utilities and editors found on this forum, but did not work.

Here is what it looks like:

I even tried an HEX editor, but nothing.

Before I give up does anyone have any ideas for me to try?

One or both might be worth some study . . .

Perl one-liner, converts a .sqlite file to DOS (Windows OS readable)

Requires Perl - need UNIX / Linux / Mac OS or Windows OS w Perl aboard:

perl -p -e 's/(:?\r\n?|\n)/\r\n/g' current_file > new_file

Binary to ASCII converter

Requires Perl - need UNIX / Linux / Mac OS or Windows OS w Perl aboard:


I don’t think you’ll succeed in restoring the files. You might give Brave Sync a try if you’re using Brave on other devices on which you have the desired bookmarks.

Thank you for the suggestions - I checked them both out and I can convert the file to binary, but it is still gibberish in text/ASCII.


I was hopeful, but " Error! The file is invalid. Try again!"
Thank you for the ideas! I am willing to try them.

2 ideas

  1. Sometimes such a file, has just a few characters at the start and/or bottom, that are garbage/unnecessary. Working with a duplicate “Bookmarks.BAK” file, try removing any blank lines at the end of the file. Try removing characters at the start of the file — one-at-a-time (and testing each iteration).

  2. Being careful to back up whatever are your existing Bookmarks, and making a copy of that backup file, and placing that copy out of the line of fire . . . then make a copy of the Bookmarks.BAK file and place it where it should be found in the Brave Browser whatever-directory. Next, install Mozilla Firefox and use the Firefox import wizard (or whatever it is called) in order to import settings, bookmarks, etc. from Brave Browser. Firefox might locate and import the bookmarks from the Bookmarks.BAK file.

FYI - found, for Firefox:

That is similar to the earlier:

I tried the second of your two ideas, but no luck. I struggled to find an editor to change the characters, but looking at them not sure it would help.

As for the new utility it did not work either - came back with the same type of error as the first one tried.
It seems that I may be out of luck.


Found JSONedit:

BTW, I read where somebody recommended using the Windows 10 “find” command:

INSTEAD of using a recoverying program.

You would simply look for “bookmarks” and “Bookmarks” and “Bookmarks.BAK”

And, find files by using the “DIR” command:

IOW, a recovery program might have mangled the file?

Just Great Software - a more capable text editor:

EditPad Lite / EditPad Pro

Thank you again - I do like the editpadlite, but it seems the file is too corrupted to work. I also tried the DIR and FIND to no avail.

1 Like

You made a very good effort. Thank you.

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