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Possible Duplicate: Do Bookmarks slow-down firefox start-up?

Firefox 3.6 (and other browsers too): Do bookmarks slow down a browser in general? Not necessarily talking about start-up alone, but more about the actual browsing of webpages.

What about if you have the bookmarks bar enabled, and many bookmarks in that bookmarks toolbar folder?

(OS is Windows 7)

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up vote 9 down vote accepted

Do bookmarks slow down a browser in general? Not necessarily talking about start-up alone, but more about the actual browsing of webpages...

Nope, they don't.

What about if you have the bookmarks bar enabled, and many bookmarks in that bookmarks toolbar folder?

Still, no.

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Bookmarks simply sit in a file, folder, or database (depending on the browser). Nothing happens with them unless you interact with them. – Force Flow Oct 6 '10 at 21:23
@Force: Some browsers (such as Firefox or Chrome) have to check the bookmarks each time, to determine whether to display a "outline" or "full" star icon (the quick-bookmark button). It's an exact-match search though, and only happens when loading a new page. – grawity Oct 7 '10 at 18:36
Just to add to this, having thousands of bookmarks can slowdown opening of bookmark menu in Firefox, but as far as I can see, the rest is unaffected. – AndrejaKo Jan 8 '11 at 4:12
And newer browsers tend to pull information from bookmarks for things like auto-completion, which of course can slow things down if you’ve got lots (read thousands)—or are using a slow system. Organizing the bookmarks into folders and ditching whatever you can will help. – Synetech Jun 27 '11 at 1:00

It's a circular thing. More bookmarks-> more easily corrupted bookmarks -> bigger file size -> more RAM used -> more Pagefile usage -> slower computer.

If your bookmarks seem to have become corrupted for some reason, you can use the Places Maintenance extension, which has been developed by a member of the Firefox engineering team.

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I don't think the entire SQLite DB is loaded to memory... – grawity Oct 7 '10 at 18:34
No, but then there's more stuff to read when accessing them, no? – digitxp Oct 8 '10 at 1:50
+1 for vacuuming; that even improved Flash playback in Firefox on my Mac. – Arjan Dec 2 '10 at 8:34
I recently vacuumed my Firefix files to save space. I also vacuum my Chrome files now and then, especially before 7-zipping and archiving my monthly history files. I do it for the space savings, but never thought about any potential performance increase. Though to be honest, I don’t know if SQLite(3) is designed in such a way as to make too much of a difference. – Synetech Jun 27 '11 at 3:33

In general - no.

If the browser was to continually (or periodically) poll all the bookmarked sites (or even just those on a toolbar) then it could slow your current browsing experience down as it would be downloading data in the background.

However, I don't know of any browsers that do that.

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Firefox's LiveBookmarks does that, but it has never affected my browsing speeds. – Sathya Oct 6 '10 at 21:21

This question was just brought to my attention, sorry for answering on such a old question, but I want to counter the other answers!

They are all correct on all browsers OTHER than IE.

I agree with the other answers - every day browsing is normal.. however, I used to have several thousand bookmarks (now many thousand more!) and, IE does not keep these in a database, it uses individual files.

Whenever I clicked the favourites button, it would freeze the window for some time whilst it generated the list. This is quite annoying and the main reason I switched browsers.

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Don’t dump them all in the favorites folder; organize them into subdirectories. Not only does it exponentially increase access speeds (you can put the favorites sub-menu back in the Start menu), but it gives a nice, hierarchical organization to them which makes managing and searching easier. I for one, prefer them to be separate files because it makes them easier to use—which ironically is the exact opposite to my opinion on email: I prefer OE’s per-folder DBX files instead of per-message EML files. o.O – Synetech Jun 27 '11 at 3:36
@Synetech inc... I used to do that, but I had one category that had thousands in, it still made everything freeze. – William Hilsum Jun 27 '11 at 15:38
Wait, a sub -directory with a lot of bookmarks in it caused problems? That’s strange, and bad. I have only experienced problems when the Favorites root had too many items (like accidentally opening the Favorites sub-menu on the Start menu). If having too many files in a sub-directory also causes problems without you directly accessing it (eg opening the sub-menu), then something else is going on (eg IE is enumarting all bookmarks or doing something else recursively). – Synetech Jun 28 '11 at 0:49
Sorry, I meant if I expand the sub folder... but, I don't see why I should have to do that... The fact is, I had folders for various things and then I put my other favourites just in the root.... Firefox and Chrome work perfectly and the old saying... "A workman shouldn't blame his tools"... I believe in a variation... "A workman shouldn't have to adapt to his tools, the tools should work the way you work", and other browsers do this just fine. – William Hilsum Jun 28 '11 at 0:53
Ah, well if you open a menu that corresponds to a directory with lots of files, then of course it will be slow. The program (Explorer, IE, etc.) will have to enumerate each file, possibly read/process each file, and add each one to the menu. Even opening an Explorer window with thousands of files in it will be slow, especially if there’s lots of ICOs and EXEs (or worse, graphics files in Thumbnail mode!), though Explorer handles files in a folder better than a menu since a folder is expected to potentially have a lot of files as opposed to a menu which is expected to be significantly smaller. – Synetech Jun 28 '11 at 1:07

I have Googled this question at various points over the years, and I must say I am annoyed at how many "experts" don't even address the question but instead use it as an opportunity to show off what they think they know.

I can only tell you my own experience, without any nerdy jargon. I have found that YES, having too many bookmarks does slow down your browsing experience quite noticeably. I use Firefox and Chrome, and I clean my registry at least one a week with Glary Utilities.

I am also a bit of a bookmarks hoarder. Often, if a page is interesting to me, I save it as a bookmark, probably adding dozens per week, sometimes just because I'm lazy and want to come back to that page.

Once I've got about 100 bookmarks, I notice that my browser starts feeling very clunky. So, I go to my bookmarks, save them in HTML form to a folder on my computer then delete almost all of them from the browser, leaving just the main ones I visit, about 10-15 bookmarks.

And BINGO, my browser is fast and clean again. I end up doing this about every six months.

So, short answer: YES.

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Actually the answer is YES. The bookmarks continually ping at their respective addresses in the background, which is unknown to most people. Run cmd and do a ping check, you will know what I am talking about....

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Doing a ping check means nothing, a ping check is you pinging a website to see if it is up, if you want to see what connections are actually being made you need to use netstat or similar. Bookmarks do not "ping" websites for you, you do that yourself. – Mokubai Jun 26 '11 at 20:41

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