It's 2022 and mobile web browsers still lack basic export options.

Without root access, the bookmarks, session, history, and possibly saved pages are locked in. There is no way to create an external backup or search them using external tools such as grep.

Sure, it is possible to manually copy and paste individual bookmarks and tabs into a text file. However, obviously, that takes lots of annoying repetitive effort.

Exporting is a basic feature. One might want to clean up the bookmarks or start a new session, but have a snapshot of the previous state so anything needed in future can be retrieved from there.
Without the ability to export these things, it becomes difficult to find web resources one might need in future. Due to the abundance of new incoming Internet posts and videos, the existing ones tend to drown in the search results and become very difficult to find after some time. Or they might be taken down and one might end up spending time searching for something that does not exist anymore. It's better to find out immediately it is no longer available than a futile search.


Some mobile web browsers such as Chrome (to Google's credit) thankfully store saved pages as MHTML files into the common Download folder, where they can be backed up and moved elsewhere using a file manager or an external computer. However, other browsers like Kiwi browser and Samsung Internet incorrectly store saved pages into their respective locked directories inside "/data/". Without root access, those files are locked in there and can only be accessed through that one web browser for the lifespan of that one device.

For tabs, there are some services like Firefox Sync. However, in order to create a text file of the opened tabs, one needs an external computer and needs to create an account on the service. For something that is technically possible in one second directly on the phone. The service can also have outages or be discontinued. This is the danger of vendor lock-in: if something is no longer supported, it can lead to data loss.

For Chrome, there is a "remote debugging" feature on the developer tools of the desktop edition that is supposedly able to get a list of the tabs ( https://android.stackexchange.com/q... ). However, I tried it and it did not work. No connection could be established. And it should not be necessary in first place.

  • 3
    One more reason why root privileges are still needed for normal use of a phone.
  • 2
    @electrineer Absolutely. No root ≠ ownership.
  • 1
    Firefox sync is not to be used as a backup tool. Unfortunately this is indeed the state of things and it's sad.
  • 3
    I'm not sure if root access is needed. You should be able to make a full backup of your phone's data without it.
  • 1
    You can at least "send" all your Bookmarks in Samsung Internet then you need a little bit of codemagic and you can format it yourself

    but i understand your point. It feels like Features like exporting Data are vanishing to keep the users locked in their own ecosystems
  • 0
    @hjk101 The key word is "should". Unfortunately, that is frequently not the case.
  • 1
    @jackpearce "Features like exporting Data are vanishing" – or they did never exist in first place.
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