Removing description from Firefox bookmarks

April 18th, 2011 | Tags: ,

Description in a Firefox Bookmark

By default Firefox populates the Description field of a bookmark with the content of the page’s <meta name="Description" content="..." /> tag. I find is a little annoying and was looking for a way to remove these descriptions.

Since I have a lot of bookmarks I wanted to clean them all up in one go rather than editing them one by one. Luckily there is an easy way to do this since Firefox stores the bookmarks in an SQLite database file which can be opened and manipulated.

  1. Install SQLite Database Browser (Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install sqlitebrowser Windows: download and install from SourceForge).
  2. IMPORTANT! Export your Firefox bookmarks to have a backup in case something goes wrong.
  3. Close Firefox (you can’t edit the bookmarks file while Firefox is running).
  4. Run SQLite Database Browser and open the places.sqlite file which is located in your profile folder.
  5. Run the following SQL which will remove the description from all bookmarks.

    delete from moz_items_annos where anno_attribute_id = 2


  6. Save and close, run Firefox.

Reference on the places.sqlite file can be found on mozillaZine and Mozilla Developer Network.

  1. B
    July 14th, 2011 at 04:22
    Reply | Quote | #1

    absolutely unhelpful
    there is no such databas file in windows older version of firefox
    only bookmarks.html in the mozilla folder
    what gives

    • July 14th, 2011 at 14:31
      Reply | Quote | #2

      Hi “B”, you are correct this is applicable to Firefox 3 and later. By the way, Mozilla stopped support for Firefox 2 in December 2008. You should upgrade.

  2. Marco
    February 2nd, 2012 at 01:18
    Reply | Quote | #3

    Will this work for bulk renaming of bookmarks i.e. the name field. I have a ton of youtube bookmarks and I would like to rename all of them by deleting the youtube at the beginning of the bookmark name.

    • February 5th, 2012 at 17:27
      Reply | Quote | #4

      Yes, it should be possible. The SQL to run would be something like update moz_bookmarks set title = substr( title, 1+length( 'YouTube' )) where title like 'YouTube%'.

      Make sure to BACKUP to places.sqlite file first.

  3. Kevin
    May 20th, 2012 at 11:00
    Reply | Quote | #5

    For some reason this didn’t work when I used:

    “delete from moz_items_annos where anno_attribute_id = 2”

    but when I changed “anno_attribute_id = 2” to “anno_attribute_id = 1” it suddenly did work. Why is that? What is anno_attribute_id anyways? I hope that I’m not harming my bookmark database in any way…

    Anyways, great article. I can FINALLY get rid of those annoying descriptions 🙂