Keep your online favorites … Online!

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July 12, 2009

People tell me their computer problems … just call me Dear Abby of the computer world!  This week, I’ve had several people tell me that they’ve lost their favorites because they have a new computer, or have switched browsers.  There are several ways to backup your favorites for safekeeping and transferring, but I think the best solution is not to keep them on your computer in the first place.

Keep your list of favorite websites, on a website!  I use iGoogle and, but there are many such systems. If you have a Google Mail (gmail) account, then you can make an iGoogle Home Page for yourself.  First, go to  In the upper right corner, you should see the ability to ‘Sign In’ as well as a link to iGoogle.  First, sign in with your Google account – usually your gmail username and password.  Then, click on iGoogle, and you’ll be prompted for the things you’d like to see on your personal ‘Home Page.’

One of the options for your home page is a list of Bookmarks.  This is where you can add names and addresses of the websites you visit most often.  If you do that on your iGoogle home page, they will be available to you on any computer.  If you can get to the web, you can go to, log in, and view your iGoogle home page.  There are several different styles of ‘gadgets’ that can hold your favorite links.  There are also gadgets for news items, weather, email, and much more.


Do you use a personalized home page?  If so, is it iGoogle, or something else?

Chris Guld,
Computer Education for Travelers

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  1. Pingback: Internet software

  2. tom b

    Caution –
    google gadgets are notorious for unreliability – losing data, unreliable etc
    read the reviews of any gadget prior to intallng and proceed at your own risk.

  3. Dan,
    If you read my prior post on ‘Don’t Delete your Original Photos’ you know that I agree with much of your sentiment. If you’ve ever attended one of our Geeks on Tour seminars, you know we preach the gospel of backup at every chance we get. We apparently differ when it comes to ‘Favorites’ because
    1. I don’t see Favorites as irreplaceable data like photos
    2. I know very few people who understand how to backup favorites. Although I can certainly teach them how, I’d rather use my portion of their attention to teach them to backup their photos.
    Every choice is a risk/benefit decision. The risk of losing my favorites due to ‘hacking and spying’ is extremely small compared to the benefit of having my Favorites available to me from any computer. The only real risk I see is forgetting the username and password! 🙂

  4. Billy G.

    Just want to pipe in a ditto and amen to Dan Rambows comments. I too have been in the computer industry since ’64 (anyone remember UNIVAC?). The less you let go of the more you can control. Many ways to do it as Dan says. Just backup, backup, backup.

  5. Dan Rambow

    Chris, you may have people telling you about all their computer problems and feel like a Dear Abby. I have been doing that for a full time living since the late 70’s, and know that feeling many times over.

    Now don’t get me wrong, I love the internet, all of the sites to visit, the knowledge to be gained, the communications with ones around the world. All good to be sure. But I don’t like to depend upon the internet for storage of my important stuff.

    I grew up in the computer industry, making a reputation of breaking free from the mainframe networks. Doing things on PC’s, fully under your own control. For many people, storing emails, favorites, pictures, and the like on the internet may be fine. Certainly convenient. But the bad parts of the internet can raise up to bite you. Servers fail, sites get hacked, and all sorts of spying goes on.

    With the rapid rise in capacities and drop in prices for USB drives, I highly recommend everyone backup their favorites, and documents, even pictures, on these devices. They are secure, durable, and cheap. I usually backup everything on CD’s and DVD’s as well, external hard disk are faster and more expensive, but for everyday data that changes often, these little drives are lifesavers when it comes to restoring a broken computer.

    There is no one solution best for everyone, but I like to control my own information, and keeping it on my own storage devices, immune to hacking and spying. It is pretty easy with the new generation of 4-8-16gb and larger usb devices.