John Bokma Firefox
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: Mozilla Firefox: RSS and Live Bookmarks


Since public release 1.0 (also known as version 0.10) Mozilla Firefox has a very nice feature: Live Bookmarks. With Live Bookmarks you can see the item titles of an RSS web feed ("headlines") in your bookmarks. This way you can stay in touch with sites without visiting them all the time.

Read the rest of Mozilla Firefox: RSS and Live Bookmarks.


Great post. I found your site on google.

I have flash tutorial about RSS with Firefox Live Bookmarks. RSS Atom Feeds with Mozilla Firefox

Direct link to flash tutorial about rss with flash: RSS Atom Feeds with Mozilla Firefox (flash)

thanks for creating a great site :)

Posted by garg at 03:08 GMT on 1 August 2005

Thanks for the excellent description. Won't be using Pluck now.

Posted by Nick Name at 15:59 GMT on 16 August 2005

This also works with Safari on the Mac by the way (blue RSS icon appears in the address bar).

Posted by WOPR at 14:56 GMT on 4 October 2005

I puzzled (and Googled) for hours trying to find out how to make Firefox display the RSS icon in the status bar - yours is the only tutorial I found that includes the ...

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
    title="John Bokma RSS" href="/index.rss">

... tag. I added it and it worked.

Many thanks


Posted by Andy F at 11:54 GMT on 9 November 2005

I used your instructions to add the title bar display to Firefox, and it worked.

But the feed name that Firefox puts in the bookmarks is the main title of the page : I was hoping it would use the title tag from the status bar code.

Is this working like it should ?

Posted by Adrian at 14:35 GMT on 8 December 2005

Before ff 1.5 i use to get my live bookmark icon on the status bar and it worked well. Now i use ff 1.5 and my orange icon does not appear at the top right corner of the address bar as your tutorial sais it is rather between the site icon and the http:.....stuff. When i click on it nothing happens as i expect. I have searched several times but found no solution. the best tutorial is what i found on your site. do you have a solution or any suggestions.


Posted by Godey at 06:35 GMT on 13 December 2005


Thanks for calling my tutorial the best.

As for your question, I have no idea. Which extension(s) do you have installed? I just checked Firefox on a few sites, and in my case it does appear in the far right of the address bar. Since I have only a few extensions installed, I suspect an extension causing a conflict in your case.


This has been reported as a bug (several times even), see: Bug 251447 - Automatic retrieval of Atom/RSS feed's title for Live bookmarks

Posted by John Bokma at 06:58 GMT on 13 December 2005

I discover the icon may be not shown using some theme (Pastikfox b.e.). Try using default theme.

Posted by @Ermanno at 10:17 GMT on 24 December 2005

Wow, I just entered the 21st Century.

On my FireFox (1.5), the availability of Live Bookmarks is shown by the little red icon, which appears on the right end of the Address Field (i.e., the field with the URL of the webpage being displayed).

Some webpages have live bookmarks. Others don’t. If a webpage doesn't have them, you won't find the little red icon anywhere, anyway. A good example of one that’s got ’em is, which has them. See the little red icon all the way to the right of the webpage’s URL?

A simpler way for beginners to start handling live bookmarks is to left-click (yes, left) on the red icon, which brings up the "Add Live Bookmark" window. Then, it’s one more click to simply put the new live bookmark into the default "Bookmarks Toolbar Folder."

Perhaps after saving a dozen live bookmarks, I'll run out of room on the Bookmark Toolbar. Then I'll start breaking them up into folders.

It isn't clear that Live Bookmarks may only be saved under the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder, but not mingled in with the other bookmarks. Then, it would be more intuitive if it were named the "Live Bookmarks Folder," instead.

Also, for more viewing area, I have unchecked the Bookmarks Toolbar, removing it from the screen. (I like minimum toolbars, especially when keyboard commands are available and faster.) The live bookmarks in the Bookmarks Toolbar Folder are still available by going to the usual Bookmarks button in the top menu, as are the rest of the standard bookmarks.

Peace, -Neil-

Posted by Neil at 02:30 GMT on 3 January 2006

Thank you. Finally someone explaining this stuff clearly...

Posted by wingman at 18:07 GMT on 3 January 2006

@Neil, you can store the Live bookmarks in any bookmark folder, but I prefer the Bookmarks toolbar folder.

Posted by John Bokma at 02:56 GMT on 4 January 2006

Thank you for clearing that up for me Mr. Bokma. I appreciate the effort on your part!

Posted by Souls in the Shadows at 21:58 GMT on 7 January 2006

how can i make that annoying add live bookmarks icon disappear from my location bar? i may be the only person that doesn't care for it, but it's very annoying to accidently click it when i'm trying for the dropdown button beside it. i checked about:config nothing there, nothing in the options, nothing anywhere on how to remove it, please add an option where users like me can remove it or put it whereever we want it. thank you

Posted by thereaper at 11:03 GMT on 29 January 2006

Great Site! - However, I never found any descriptions on how to bring an existing "Live Bookmark" to the "Bookmark Toolbar": Press the "Ctrl"-tab and drag-and-drop from "Bookmark" menue...

Posted by Chris at 21:44 GMT on 23 February 2006

Chris, at first it was not very clear what you meant, but I have been experimenting a bit. So basically, if a Live Bookmark ends up in the wrong folder, open the Bookmarks menu, and before selecting it with the mouse press the Ctrl key, hold it, select and drag the Live Bookmark to the Bookmarks toolbar, release the Ctrl key (otherwise a copy is made), and release the mouse button.


What also works, right (context menu) mouse button on the item in the Bookmarks menu, select Cut. Then hold the mouse over the Bookmarks toolbar, right (context menu) mouse button and select Paste.

Posted by John Bokma at 04:37 GMT on 24 February 2006

Now my list of RSS updates is too long. How can I delete older feeds from my Live Bookmark "folder"?


Posted by Tina at 02:32 GMT on 27 February 2006

Wow, I was trying to figure out where my feed icon went in Thanks for solving my problem, I just had to look in the right place. Thanks!

Posted by 5of0 at 06:01 GMT on 12 March 2006

I just wanted to say THANKS!!! for the info on manually adding a live bookmark to Firefox. I've been trying for over an hour to figure out to turnmy bookmarks into a live bookmark and you solved it in under a minute.

Thanks again!


Posted by Michael Reuter at 19:53 GMT on 16 March 2006

Thanks for this tip. I also generate an OPML file for our feeds ... do you know if Mozilla does anything with auto-discovery of OPML as a feed source? That would be far more elegant than putting in a link for every rss feed on a page in my header. TIA.

Posted by John Kaster at 23:05 GMT on 7 April 2006

So I have Mozilla Firefox which claims to be the most up to date for Windows. I have installed the RSS Panel extension and then I tried to look at the RSS feed from a ZDnet page:

And all I get is an error "This XML file does not appear to have any style information associated with it. The document tree is shown below."

I tried to follow your tutorial about adding a Live Bookmark but there is no "Add Live BookMark" menu choice anywhere I can find. I can see the RSS Feed icon in the Address field for your page but not for the one I am trying to hook up with.

Any suggestions? Thanks, Hector

Posted by Hector at 17:45 GMT on 26 May 2006

Hector, read the section titled "Manually subscribing to an RSS feed". Copy the above URL into the Feed Location field.

Posted by John Bokma at 18:14 GMT on 26 May 2006

Thanks. I missed a step.

Posted by Hector at 23:11 GMT on 26 May 2006

Thanks a lot dude... I knew nothing about RSS feed before I saw this page... but now I have all the best RSS feeds in my browser. ~Firefox Rox... so does John Bokma ~~Keep up the good work.

Posted by Vinay at 11:06 GMT on 14 June 2006

Are Live Bookmarks supposed to work with test websites that exist only on internal web servers? I'm rebuilding our website from scratch, and I got the RSS links to work and update fine in IE (and even Opera ~ usually my most hated adversary!).

But when I create the Live Bookmark in Firefox and try to reload it, it either says "Live Bookmark failed to reload" or gives me a blank link that does nothing when clicked. Reloading it does not help.

Is this because it's trying to find the test website from outside our domain (i.e., the WWW) ~ even though I have full access to the site files since I'm the one doing the developing?

Thanks, Eddie

Posted by Eddie at 20:58 GMT on 3 July 2006

Awesome! This is the first I am learning of live book marks. I put your example on my site (the rss feed link) and it works like a charm. I tried bookmarking it and was blown away by the drop down menu of RSS items! What! Awesome!

Posted by Ben Nadel at 12:59 GMT on 14 July 2006

Thanks John!

You got me going on RSS & Firefox !

Posted by rr at 17:02 GMT on 27 July 2006

It's about time I learned this. In my ignorance I was about to download Thunderbird just to use it's RSS reader, but I figured FF must have something for this!

Posted by Student Organization Guy at 22:43 GMT on 19 August 2006

The following site has associated with it a valid RSS 2.0 feed: Internet Computing Peer2Peer Column

Live Feed will add to the bookmarks but will display nothing or say "failed to load" when the bookmark is later displayed.

Any clues why Live Bookmark does not work with this RSS please?

Posted by Charles at 15:31 GMT on 19 September 2006

Hi Charles, yes, use:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
    title="Peer2Peer RSS"

instead of:

<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml"
    title="Peer2Peer RSS" href="/index.rss">

since /index.rss is resolved to:

Posted by John Bokma at 17:19 GMT on 19 September 2006

I added a live bookmark and then decided that I would delete it. Had no problems deleting it from 'organize bookmarks' section.

But now, whenever I tried to go the site (that was previously live bookmarked), a box appears asking add the live bookmark. All I want to do is go to the website and it won't let me. :(

Even if I go to the site through google and click on the hyperlink, it still asks me to add the site as a live bookmark.

Posted by Sam at 12:25 GMT on 27 October 2006

John - Thanks for helping me *finally* figure out how to deal with RSS in Firefox. I have had the default BBC headlines taunting me in my toolbar since time began, without being able to add anything that I really wanted to see. I read your tutorial months ago and still couldn't work it out. Came back today with a little more patience and worked through the process of manually adding a feed. It might help others (like maybe "Hector" from back in May) if your syntax matched up with Firefox, and a little more detail. (E.G. "Select MANAGE BOOKMARKS from the Bookmarks menu, then select New Live Bookmark from the FILE MENU.) I would have been singing your praises six months earlier! Thanks again. :)

Posted by barnz at 17:00 GMT on 11 November 2006

Very helpful, thanks for your time !

Posted by narayan at 20:21 GMT on 18 December 2006

Great post, I'm glad I found you in google. It was so easy I couldn't figure it out. Now I wonder why I was so intimidated by RSS <embarrassed shrug>

Posted by Lynn Glessner at 17:02 GMT on 1 June 2007

Does this still work on Firefox 2? to be exact on an Mac. I can't seem to find it.

Posted by Mountain/\Ash at 06:40 GMT on 27 June 2007

Never min. I found it. You now have an extra step, when you are looking at the feed, after clicking the orange RSS button you now have an option to choose while RSS reader to use. 'Live bookmarks' is the top option in the drop-down.

Posted by Mountain/\Ash at 06:44 GMT on 27 June 2007

Live bookmarks is something not many people use but I find very useful. Still I'm not sure to quit using Google Reader because it allows me to read my favourite RSS everywhere.

Posted by Firefox Argentina at 11:17 GMT on 19 July 2007

Sounds like a good feature. Very well described. However, the entire explanation fails to answer the question: Why would I want to use this? I was looking for a problem this solves or an advantage it brings that I don't now have. Some folks jump on every whiz-bang feature; I have to see a use for it first.

Can you help?

Posted by Tom D at 12:04 GMT on 16 January 2008

Everytime I go to a site that I have already made a Live Bookmark for I get a giant yellow panel asking me if I want to subscribe. Even though I'm already subcribed.

I don't understand this feature at all. I've not had any problem with this till now.

This is Firefox 3 beta 5 I'm using.

One site that's giving me trouble is a QQ blog.

Posted by SuezanneC Baskerville at 05:07 GMT on 23 April 2008

Before I installed livebookmarks I use to be able to click on a feed and view it. Now I can't. Instead it asks me if I want to add the bookmark but it doesn't give me a view option. Any suggestions?

Posted by s243a at 20:52 GMT on 24 July 2009

It's not orange now, it's blue.

Posted by kmr at 03:39 GMT on 15 September 2009

THANK YOU! I don't know how I did it but I managed to screw up my RSS and I've not been able to work out how to get it back on my site, but your wonderful information has fixed it! Thank you so much!!!

Posted by angie @ gnomeangel at 00:08 GMT on 8 August 2010

using firefox on a mac and everytime i try to save an rss feed in live bookmarks it places it in my apple mail inbox. Any suggestions on how to stop this from happening and for it to be placed as a bookmark in firefox?

Posted by dqwerty at 14:50 GMT on 21 November 2010

Hi, I found that my browser does not carry an RSS icon anymore when I go to my site. I tried adding the tag you have mentioned but nothing shows up. Could you please help me with it? Thanks, Harini

Posted by Harini (Sunshinemom) at 13:47 GMT on 30 May 2011

Pl. delete feeds & bookmarks...

Posted by Anonymous at 15:38 GMT on 29 June 2011

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