Dear Computer Lady,
I have an older HP windows XP, I want to take it back down like it was when I got it.
How do I save my Favorites? I have quite a few, and I would never know how to get them back, because it’s things I just run onto and then wanted to save them.
Please tell me step by step, because I’m not that good doing many of these things.
Thank you so much, I enjoy getting your emails very much.
Doing a clean install of Windows XP, (or any other version of Windows for that matter) is an excellent way to speed up an older computer, however it does require that you erase your computer in the process so saving your important files is necessary.
Fortunately, it is fairly easy to find and save your favorites.
Before we begin, I just want to specify, since you used the word, “Favorites” instead of “Bookmarks” I am assuming that you are using Internet Explorer as your web browser. Most other browsers refer to them as bookmarks, but IE calls them “Favorites”.
First, you need a device to save your favorites to. I would suggest a USB data stick, which can be purchased fairly inexpensively at your local office supply store.
Insert the USB stick into an available USB port on your computer. A small dialog box should pop up asking you what you want to do with the device, just click on “Open folder to view files”.
If the dialog box doesn’t pop up, just double click on “My Computer” on your desktop, then double click on the USB drive to open a window for it.
Now, you need to find your “Favorites” folder. Keep the USB drive window open, but move it to one side of your desktop.
Double click on “My Compter” again, then double click on your “C” drive, and double click to open the “Documents & Settings” folder.
In the Documents & Settings folder, you will see a list of users. Double click on the user name that is yours and you will see a list of folders.
Arrange the two open windows (Your USB window, and your User window) so that they are side by side on your desktop, then drag your “Favorites” folder from the user window to the USB window. Your computer will make a copy of the “Favorites” folder on the USB stick.
Before you close the windows, you can also drag your “Documents” folder, or any other folders that you might want to save as well.
Now, close both windows, and remove the data stick.
Once you have reloaded Windows on your computer, insert the data stick and repeat the steps above, only this time, drag the “Favorites” folder from the stick to your User Folder.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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