If you surf the web extensively, like a lot of people, you probably have bookmarked more websites than you can count. At the time, each bookmark seemed necessary and you probably thought you would get back that site at some point.
Well, there are probably a lot of bookmarks you never use anymore and are actually dead links. You can either ignore them or manually go through your collection of bookmarks checking each one. None of us has the time to do that!
There is an easier method of identifying dead links among your bookmarks and removing them. AM-DeadLink is a free tool that cleans up dead links in Internet Explorer Favorites, and Firefox, Opera, and Netscape Bookmarks, and identifies duplicates. It does not help you organize your bookmarks.
NOTE: Before using AM-DeadLink to remove bookmarks, we recommend that you backup your bookmarks. If you are using Firefox, you can backup just your bookmarks as we discuss in our post, Backup and Recover Bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox. Or you can backup your profile, including your bookmarks, as we discuss in our post, Backup Firefox and Thunderbird Profiles. If you are using a different browser, refer to the help for that browser for information about backing up bookmarks.
Download AM-DeadLink from
To install AM-DeadLink, double-click on the .exe file you downloaded.
If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.
NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings. See our post, Windows 7 – How to configure UAC (User Account Control), for more information.
The AM-DeadLink setup wizard displays. Click Next.
Read through the License Agreement and select the I accept the agreement radio button. Click Next.
If you want to install AM-DeadLink to a different location, use the Browse button to select a location. We accepted the default location.
NOTE: You can install AM-DeadLink as a portable program so you can take it with you, if desired. To do so, select the Install as portable application onto your USB-Stick radio button. We tested it both ways, so you will see some screen shots that say “Portable” in the title bar, and some that don’t. AM-DeadLink works the same either way.
If you want to put the shortcuts for AM-DeadLink in a different Start menu folder, use the Browse button to select a folder. We accepted the default folder. Click Next.
The Create a desktop icon check box is selected by default. If you don’t want a shortcut for AM-DeadLink on the desktop, select the check box so there is no check mark in it. Click Next.
The Ready to Install screen displays with a summary of your selections. Click Install to begin the installation.
The Launch AM-DeadLink check box is selected by default on the Completing the AM-DeadLink Setup Wizard screen. This starts AM-DeadLink immediately after the installation finishes. If you do not want AM-DeadLink to start yet, select the check box so there is no check mark in it. To continue with these instructions on how to use AM-DeadLink, leave the check box selected. Click Finish.
The Language dialog box displays. Select the desired language from the drop-down list and click OK.
The AM-DeadLink main window displays. Internet Explorer is the browser selected by default. Select the browser for which you want to find dead and duplicate links from the drop-down list below the menu bar. For the example in this post, we selected Firefox.
NOTE: You can also read links in from .URL files, comma-separated text files, tab-delimited text files, and HTML files. For example, if you have a backup of your bookmarks from Firefox in an HTML file, as discussed in our post, Backup and Recover Bookmarks in Mozilla Firefox, you can select that file to remove dead and duplicate links in the file. The next time you import the file, you will have a cleaner bookmarks list.
After selecting Firefox, AM-DeadLink reminded us to close Firefox before continuing. Click Continue.
To begin checking your bookmarks, click the Check Bookmarks button.
The status bar at the bottom of the AM-DeadLink main window displays how many of the bookmarks have been processed.
NOTE: This process can take a long time, depending on how many bookmarks you have.
Once the bookmarks have been checked, you can sort the bookmarks so the ones with errors are listed first. To do this, click the Sort Bookmarks with errors to the top of list button on the toolbar.
The bookmarks with dead links are listed first, allowing you to easily deal with them.
Double-clicking on a link in the list opens it in a browser. You can either use the internal browser, which displays in the bottom half of the AM-DeadLink main window, or you can use the default browser on your computer. We chose to use our default browser so we can see the web page full size. To use your own default browser, select Use internal browser from the Options menu so there is no check mark to the left of the option.
When we double-clicked on one of the links with an error, AM-DeadLink attempted to open it in the default browser. The website on which the page was originally located, displayed a message that nothing was found.
NOTE: Since we opened Firefox while AM-DeadLink is working with the bookmarks in Firefox, the following message displays in a red strip at the top of the Firefox window.
The bookmarks and history system will not be functional because one of Firefox’s files is in use by another application. Some security software can cause this problem.
This is fine because all we want to do is view any error that displays when trying to access a dead link.
We decided to edit the link to go to the website’s home page. To edit a link, right-click on the link and select Properties from the popup menu.
The Properties dialog box displays. Change the name used for the link in the Name edit box and change the URL for the website in the Url edit box. Click Change.
When you have changed a link, you can have AM-DeadLink check the link again. To do this, select the changed link in the list and select Check selected bookmarks from the Bookmarks menu. You can also press Ctrl + K to check selected bookmarks.
If you have changed the URL for the link to one that is valid, the Status of that link changes to OK.
We decided to delete the other two dead links. To delete links, select the links to be deleted. You can use the Shift and Ctrl keys to select multiple links, just like you would in Windows Explorer. Once you have selected the links to be deleted, right-click on any of the selected links and select Delete from the popup menu.
A confirmation dialog box displays, making sure you really want to delete the selected links. Click Yes to delete them.
You can export the list of bookmark links from AM-DeadLink into a text file if you want to keep the list. To do this, select Export from the File menu.
NOTE: This exported list can be imported into AM-DeadLink again using the drop-down list below the menu bar that we discussed earlier in this post.
The Export to file dialog box displays. Specify the fields, or columns, you want included in the exported file by selecting the desired check boxes in the Fields box. Indicate whether you want a comma or a tab between each field by selecting Comma-separated or Tab-delimited, respectively, in the Format box. Click Export.
The Save As dialog box displays. Navigate to the location where you want to save the file. Enter a name for the file in the File name edit box, adding a .txt extension to the end. Click Save.
You can also search for specific links using the Find command on the Search menu.
AM-DeadLink allows you to remove duplicate links from your bookmarks list. To find the duplicate links in your list, select Find duplicates from the Bookmarks menu.
NOTE: You can also click the Find duplicates button on the toolbar.
All links with duplicates are listed, while all other links are temporarily hidden. To select the duplicate link for each link in the list, click the Select all duplicates but one button right above the list.
You will notice that every other link is selected. To delete the duplicate links, right-click on any one of the selected links and select Delete from the popup menu.
Again, a confirmation dialog box displays, making sure you want to delete the duplicate links. Click Yes to delete the links.
To close AM-DeadLink, select Exit from the File menu.
AM-DeadLink is a useful tool for keeping your bookmarks list free of dead and duplicate links, but, remember, it is not a bookmark organizer.
by Lori Kaufman