Fixing an issue with Windows Live Toolbar and Favorites Sync


I’ve always used the Windows Live Toolbar to sync favorites across my multiple machines, so it was a bit disappointing when the previous beta removed that functionality with the demise of http://favorites.live.com

That meant I was pleased to see the service had been added to the latest beta of the toolbar in the new Windows Live Essentials pack, but then very frustrated when it failed to install properly on a couple of my PCs.

However after a bit of playing about I stumbled on a fix, so I thought I’d share the solution here as I couldn’t find any other references online.

After setting up the sync on my work laptop, after what I thought was a successful install on my home PC there was no option for setting up the sync in the left hand side of Toolbar options – see the picture below:

I had no idea what the problem was, and was going to try the trusted uninstall/reinstall route, but when I went to the uninstall control panel I realised I still had the old Favorites toolbar add-in installed:

On one PC simply uninstalling the “Windows Live Favorites for Windows Live Toolbar” did the trick, and the sync options magically appeared.

On another PC I had to reinstall the toolbar too, but then finally I was in sync across all my PCs.

I hope you found that helpful!

Update (23/12/2008): There has been some discussion on Liveside about this issue that you should check out. One thing I didn’t know is that the Favorites sync isn’t available in all markets at the moment.

Update 2 (18/02/2009): I’ve upgraded a couple of machines to Windows 7 and on one of them I just couldn’t get the sync to appear. They were both fresh installs so the issue above didn’t fix it. I also made sure everything on the failing machine was “en-us”, but to no avail.

Actually I was getting frustrated with the way the sync wouldn’t handle deletes properly, so I’ve given up and am just using the superior Live Mesh to sync my favorites directory.

Comments (4)

  1. I’m still having trouble with my favorite synchronize with the Toolbar … This option simply does not appear in my Toolbar, even within the Toolbar options. I installed the Toolbar on 3 computers and in any of the computers,  the toolbar did not show any option to synchronize my favorites … :(

    And a important note: I had not installed any previous version of Toolbar on these computers…

    For me, Toolbar is one of the most important tool in Windows Live Essentials, ’cause I can have one click access to a lot of Windows Live services Whenever I’m on the Web … Is most important to me to sync my favorites …

    Please, can you help me solve this problem? I’m starting to think that favorites sync is utopia.

  2. John Pollard says:

    Luis,

    I don’t have any more insight other than doing what I outlined in the article, which just happened to fix the problem for me.

    Did you have the old Favorites service installed? If so, did uninstalling it and then reinstalling the new Toolbar Beta from http://download.live.com not work for you?

    If none of this has helped, my only suggestion is to try contacting someone at https://support.live.com/ – although the Windows Live Toolbar option there didn’t do much for me :-(

    Anyone else have any suggestions?

  3. Thomas Moyland says:

    John – I downloaded and installed the latest versoin of Windows Live Essentials, and was unable to get the Sync portion of that install to work. I uninstalled the Windows Live Sync app as you describe in your post, and the Sync option then worked properly.

    Amazingly enough, Windows Live Sync immediately (and without prompting me) created a folder in my SkyDrive account, and synchronized my Favorites with that folder.

    Luis – I had MANY problems with the latest Windows Live Essentials conflicting with AVG VirusScan. You may want to try temporarily disabling the Windows Firewall (or any other firewall utility you may be using) to see if the Windows Live Toolbar is having problems communicating back to its server.

  4. Mike Brady says:

    Wow…. thanks for the help!   I was about to go back to using Google bookmarks (bleh).  

    The other thing that was frustrating is that it was not initially obvious to me that the new sync was using the favorites folder in skydrive.live.com rather than favorites.live.com.