Windows 7 - Where are MSN Favorites on my computer ?

Asked By Craig on 18-Dec-07 10:41 PM
Where, what folder are the MSN favorites stored on my computer.

I have been told they are not and that they're only stored at
Microsoft servers,
But in reading the simple instructions for export/import on MSN, it
says they are served on the MS servers and my computer.

Doing a search for favorites, all I can find are my favorites stored
using IE7.

Thank You,

StephenB replied on 16-Dec-07 02:33 PM
Open Windows Explorer and go to Tools/Options and set the options to Display
Hidden files and folders *and* display protected system files.

Browse to C:\Documents and Settings\{userID}\Application
** on my system, the folder is \UserData\ - it may be \AppData\ **
(Easy way to get here is to type “%appdata%\MSN6\UserData” into the Run box)
In the UserData folder, there’ll be one of more GUID folders
(eg. {342342-432fds-43223-432423}), you will find favorites.xml and
favcache.xml, which are your Favorites from MSN Explorer

** on my system, I have 9 sub-accounts. I browsed each of the folders in the
UserData folder and changed the view to "Icons" so that I could see the actual
picture for usertile.bmp. That file is the Display Picture, so when I saw my
display picture for the Primary account I knew I was in the right folder.

This information is pretty useless, however, unless you want to copy the entries
from the XML file.

If you are looking to export your favorites, sign in at and use the Export function in the upper right corner
of the page. Live Favorites are the same as those in your MSN profile in MSN


Stephen Boots
MVP Windows Live
Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
Craig replied on 18-Dec-07 10:42 PM
Thanks Steve for this,
I went there and looked, I see the folders with me email address
names and they are all emtpy, not a file in them.

I did a search using favorites.xml and nothing on my computer.

I thought the favorites were stored only on the MSN servers and not
the home computer.

StephenB replied on 19-Dec-07 04:52 AM
The favorites are stored on the server and syncronized with the local cache for
performance reasons, I suspect.
Stephen Boots
MVP Windows Live
Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
Craig replied on 21-Dec-07 08:23 PM
Do you have any idea why my MSN favorites folders are empty. This
problem Im having is my msn favorites reverted back to old ones from
over a year ago, and msn cant get it fixed.
I do let msn syncronize every time, I dont stop it.

And this problem happened on a day when I wrongly clicked into
Windows Live by mistake, and right after that everything in my
Favorites were messed up.

Would there be any other place on my computer to look for these.

StephenB replied on 19-Dec-07 08:05 PM
What do you mean by "clicked on Windows Live by mistake?" Windows Live is a
family of products. (
Honestly, if you have checked the \db30 folder and the various folders below
this which are your login identities, the local version of the Favorites have
been overlooked. They are not stored anywhere else.
Try logging in at to see you server copy of the
Favorites in a bowser window.
Stephen Boots
MVP Windows Live
Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator
Earle Horton replied on 19-Dec-07 09:08 PM
are distinct from MSN favorites.  As evidence, that page has an "Import"
link that lets one import MSN favorites, making them Windows Live
favorites.  I don't see how it could be used to see the server copy of
the MSN favorites.  The page also has severe performance problems.  It
has been "loading my favorites" for ten minutes now.  I did manage to
get a "bookmark.htm" file out of it once, for which I am grateful.

I am not sure what "Windows Live" is, despite apparently being a
customer, but "family of products" sounds close.


StephenB replied on 20-Dec-07 04:56 AM
You know, Earle, you may be right about that. I've been fiddling with these
things for so long, my brain may have gotten some information crossed. :-)
The bottom line, though, is that the local cached xml file for Favorites has to
be there and the server copy should match. If the server copy has reverted to an
old version though some glitch, then the local cache is likely in the same
Stephen Boots
MVP Windows Live
Windows Live OneCare Forum Moderator