I use Windows XP and I just reset Firefox to factory settings and now all of my browsing history and bookmarks are gone. Can I fix this and get my bookmarks and browsing history back?
Once you reset Firefox to "factory settings", your personal data, including history and bookmarks are deleted (that's the point, indeed).
You may still be able to recover your data if:
- You created a Firefox account and enabled synchronisation of your data
- You have a backup of your user folder (you should alway have a backup, at least one), including your Firefox profile folder
If at least you met one of the above requirements the answer is
YES, you can
In the first case, it should be able to login using the same account and wait some time for the data to restore from Mozilla servers.
In the second case, you should find your profile directory from the backup, and restore it in its original place.
Instead if you didn't enable Firefox Sync, neither have a working backup, the answer is
NO, your data is gone
And unfortunately there's nothing you can do about it.
(Actually, there is a tiny tiny chance to recover that data using esoteric data recovery tools such as Testdisk and a good knowledge of the format of the files you're trying to recover. This way in some really lucky cases, one could be able recover some of the data from the disk)
As you said, you reset Firefox to factory settings and unless you have a backup (which you probably don't since you wouldn't be asking this question) you have no way of getting those bookmarks back unless you are willing to do digital forensics on your drives (which would be useless if you didn't stop using your computer immediately to prevent the necessary data from being overwritten).