Saving and loading feed lists in IE7 using OPML


One question we get asked occasionally is:

How do I back up my feed list?

Well, it turns out that there is a standard way to save a feed list in a single file for backup or other purposes. It’s called OPML, and IE7 supports importing and exporting feed lists via OPML.

Here is the step-by-step process for backing up your feed list to an OPML file in IE7:

  1. Click on the Add button (the star and plus button next to the Favorites Center button — Alt-Z is the keyboard shortcut).
  2. Click on Import and Export in the menu.
  3. In the wizard, select Export Feeds from the list of options and click Next.
  4. Select where you’d like the file to be put (by default, it’s called feeds.opml, in your Documents folder)
  5. Finish up the wizard.

The OPML file generated will contain your entire feedlist, including any folders you may have created. Simply repeat the process (selecting Import Feeds) to restore a feed list.

As I noted above, OPML is the standard way to save a feed list, and it’s supported by pretty much every aggregator out there. You can use the steps above to save your feed list to use in another aggregator or to import a feed list created by another aggregator.

Since IE7 uses the RSS platform, you can also use this technique to import or export lists of feeds from and to any application that uses the RSS platform.

Oh, and by the way — IE7 is coming this month.

Sean

Comments (39)

  1. Amyloo says:

    Will you be supporting online OPML files for the import in  addition to using a locally saved file?  It helps when the sub list changes, or when it’s a reading list designed to change periodically.

  2. Tamir says:

    Just one more thing – while importing OPML into IE7 the feed nodes have to contain type="rss" attribute and be UTF-8 compatible, else while importing, after feed count, nothing happens.

  3. rss says:

    @Amyloo: We don’t support online OPML files. It’s something we’re looking for a future release of IE.

    @Tamir: Yes, that’s correct. We’ve tested with a bunch of popular aggregator’s OPML output and it works as it should (the developer of the one case we found that didn’t work has indicated that they’re going to fix their OPML output to include the type="rss" attribute, per the OPML spec).

  4. The "standard" link in this post points to the v2 draft spec.  I’m just wondering if that was intentional, or if you are using OPML v1.

  5. carotids says:

    Didn’t I recently see this somewhere else?

    Oh, yeah…

    http://www.tech-recipes.com/rx/1670/ie7_feed_reader_import_opml_file_feeds

  6. SourabhM says:

    Just installed IE7 RC1 (upgraded from IE6) and could not import opml files. I tried exporting the opml file from both live.com and RSSBandit but both could not be imported by IE7.

    The live.com exported opml file has the type="rss" attribute but the RssBandit one did not have that attr. Did not seem to make a difference though…

    Any other hoops one needs to jump to import opml files in IE?

  7. rss says:

    @Richard: We are using OPML v1 for export. The OPML v2 spec just has a convenient direct link to information on using OPML subscription lists (and it is not different enough from v1 in the subscription list scenario to make a difference).

    @SourabhM:

    Live.com OPML files work fine in our testing. I just tried another one to make sure. If possible, can you send a copy of the file to us at teamrss@microsoft.com? Thanks!

    Current RSS Bandit OPML files won’t work because of the missing type attribute. The developer has checked in a fix to the next version of RSS Bandit to add the attribute.

    One thing to note is that if a feed already exists anywhere in your feed list, it won’t be imported from the OPML file.

  8. Vijay says:

    Importing a opml files results in nothing.. I have a opml exported from onfolio on my xp machine with IE7. Trying to import in Vista. when i choose "import from a file" and choose the OPML file.. no results..any idea why?

  9. Sean says:

    @Vijay: if possible, can you send us your OPML file at teamrss@microsoft.com, so we can take a look?

  10. Dave says:

    Here is a description of how to fix an OPML file from Onfolio(and I assume RSSBandit).

    http://designingoutloud.blogspot.com/2007/01/converting-opml-files-with-xslt.html

  11. paul says:

    Hi

    Is it possible to add an default OPML as part of the install (corpote SMS install)

  12. Andreas says:

    We found an issue with IE 7 and the news feeds database on roaming profiles.

    On roaming profiles the news feeds are stored under directory %userprofile%Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftFeeds Cache and this directory is by design not roaming – so every rss feed gets lost if a user log off and log on again.

    Is there any possibility to change the feeds db location, to an persisten path?

    Thanks in advance,

    Andreas

  13. Vista says:

    @Richard: We are using OPML v1 for export. The OPML v2 spec just has a convenient direct link to information on using OPML subscription lists (and it is not different enough from v1 in the subscription list scenario to make a difference).

    @SourabhM:

    Live.com OPML files work fine in our testing. I just tried another one to make sure. If possible, can you send a copy of the file to us at teamrss@microsoft.com? Thanks!

    Current RSS Bandit OPML files won’t work because of the missing type attribute. The developer has checked in a fix to the next version of RSS Bandit to add the attribute.

    One thing to note is that if a feed already exists anywhere in your feed list, it won’t be imported from the OPML file.

  14. Webdesign says:

    Importing a opml files results in nothing.. I have a opml exported from onfolio on my xp machine with IE7. Trying to import in Vista. when i choose "import from a file" and choose the OPML file.. no results..any idea why?

  15. Webhosting says:

    Just installed IE7 RC1 (upgraded from IE6) and could not import opml files. I tried exporting the opml file from both live.com and RSSBandit but both could not be imported by IE7.

    The live.com exported opml file has the type="rss" attribute but the RssBandit one did not have that attr. Did not seem to make a difference though…

    Any other hoops one needs to jump to import opml files in IE?

  16. LFERC says:

    Just one more thing – while importing OPML into IE7 the feed nodes have to contain type="rss" attribute and be UTF-8 compatible, else while importing, after feed count, nothing happens.

  17. Dandu says:

    @Janis: Thanks for your comment at my blog. The problem is solved allready.

    I just realised today that for ompl import/export i can use the same for IE and Firefox. I always saved for both browsers seperately.

  18. Everything runs great! Peachy piece of soft.        

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  27. omaha rules says:

    The live.com exported opml file has the type="rss" attribute but the RssBandit one did not have that attr. Did not seem to make a difference though…

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  33. I tried exporting the opml file from both live.com and RSSBandit but both could not be imported by IE7.

    The live.com exported opml file has the type="rss" attribute but the RssBandit one did not have that attr. Did not seem to make a difference though…

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