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Something seems to have happened with my bookmarked questions or saved posts!

  • I just loaded my list of bookmarked questions today, and saw that the list is empty! When I go to a question I know I've bookmarked, my bookmark seems to be gone. This has affected some sites, but on others, my bookmarks are fine.
  • I'm a Stack Overflow user and saw that some questions I've bookmarked are missing from my list of bookmarked questions. As above, when loading a question that I previously bookmarked but is missing from my list, it doesn't show me as having bookmarked the question.
  • I've saved some posts, lists, or private notes after the change from bookmarks to saves rolled out. Those seem to be gone.

What happened? Is the data behind these pages permanently gone?


Note: This is posted as a canonical reference so users who search this site for issues arising from the temporary disabling of bookmarks can quickly find out why it's happened, and to serve as a clear duplicate target for the (inevitable) questions that come up here about them. Someone who loads their list of bookmarks for the first time in a while and suddenly finding that it's empty is going to wonder what happened.

(Also, while a note that saves are temporarily disabled has been added to the announcement's title, it will take many hours before it makes it into the bulletin, and it doesn't point out that old bookmarks will not be visible until the change is fully complete.)

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    I don't see the value of this. It is clearly said already in the announcement, anyone can just read it. And it was just launched single day ago, "loads their list of bookmarks for the first time in a while" is pointless, one day can't be "a while". Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 8:22
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    Does this answer your question? Bookmarks have evolved into Saves (temporarily disabled) Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 9:11
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    @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz The answer to this question quotes from the update in that post, and provides a further explanation so users who don't understand what it means (considering it has a fair bit of technical jargon) can more easily read it. Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 9:43
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    @ShadowTheKidWizard What I'm referring to for "in a while" is a user who hasn't loaded their bookmarks page since the change rolled out (perhaps it was weeks prior to the announcement) and loads it today only to find that their bookmarks are gone. As far as usefulness, see the end of this post: one purpose for it is searchability, as a user who searches this site for "bookmarks gone" will not find results to take them back to that announcement and we'll have to deal with duplicates. See also my comment above: the answer provides an easier-to-read for new users explanation than the update. Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 9:47
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    It's spoon feeding, we don't need it here. Searching should be trivial, the announcement is featured, having positive score, and now always on MSE homepage, it's virtually impossible to miss. Those who can't find it won't find this post either. Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 11:05
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    All that said, I really appreciate the efforts and see your point, my downvote and comments explaining it weren't easy to post, but I really believe that the downsides of this approach are greater than the upsides. Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 11:10
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    Users who encounter the problem mentioned in this post will likely search for "my bookmarks are gone" or something similar, and find this post a lot easier than the proposed duplicate. I think it is more practical to close this after the bookmarks have been fully and successfully replaced by the saves. I also don't see how this post has more downsides than upsides. It's pre-emptive, but if it won't help anyone, it also does no harm. VTLO for now.
    – Joachim
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 11:22
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    Lots of people, like me, had no idea this was going on, only realized something was going on when their bookmarks went missing, and didn't know where to look for info until someone linked them to this. Anyone who claims this is useless doesn't know how a massive chunk of the user base interacts with the site(s).
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 14:24
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    @JonathanZsupportsMonicaC To be fair, it was mentioned in two places on the sidebar. This is not a rhetorical question: how much more invasive would such notifications be and still be tolerable? I doubt you want us to have an additional cookie overlay or multiple top banner kind of scenario for every change. :-)
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 14:54
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    @AaronBertrand: It's only on SO and MSO (EDIT: all the technology sites, actually) that it's mentioned in 2 places in the community bulletin, since the blog post only appears in the community bulletin on those sites – on the rest of the network, only the MSE post is shown in the community bulletin.
    – V2Blast
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 15:03
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    Thanks for replying, @AaronBertrand. My suggestion is that you not be more invasive, but more strategic! Put a (temporary) notice right where people go to access their bookmarks. For example, right now when I go to my bookmarks tab, all I see is that it's empty. A notice right there that says "We are currently having issues with bookmarks.", plus a link to a post with details, would tell me what i need to know, when and where i want to know it. ...
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 15:09
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    My real world analogy is an elevator that is being worked on. You slap a sign right on the elevator door - you don't let users hit the call button, figure out that it's not working, and then expect them to find the bulletin board where the information is posted. (The bulletin board is still useful - good citizens will read it and pass on the information. But the average user should be told something right at the place of access, if you ask me.) Good luck with the roll-out - the new Saves features look interesting.
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 15:15
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    @AaronBertrand - Yes, and I know things must be a little hectic around there right now. We've all had roll-outs go hinky, and it sucks. I will say that the idea of "inform people where they will be asking the question" was already on my mind, as the initial disappearance of "Bookmarks" left me similarly confused. Y'all might be overestimating how much the average user thinks about, and keeps up on, all the stuff you spend all your work time thinking about.
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 15:53
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    @JonathanZsupportsMonicaC I've fed back an explicit item for internal post-mortem conversations on how a banner or other notice on the bookmarks page would have been a smoother experience here (rollback or not).
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 18:57
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    @bad_coder I don't know, sometimes duplication is more of a benefit to other people than a detriment to you. I'm sure some people hate seeing the same reminder on their watch, phone, and e-mail, but sometimes that redundancy helps me not miss a meeting or appointment. As for meta posts it seems people in general often react more favorably to lots of detail that is perhaps excruciating to you, than to terseness for the purpose of word count.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 22:52

1 Answer 1

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This issue was caused by the rollout of the change from bookmarks to saves, announced last month. Yesterday, the change began to be deployed and prior bookmark data began to be migrated into the new system, but today the process had to be halted due to site performance issues.

To quote from the most recent edit to the post:

Saves has been temporarily disabled network-wide due to some site performance problems. These problems didn't appear until partway through migrating existing bookmarks into saves. We've temporarily reverted back to Bookmarks.

  • All saves, private notes, saved lists, and migrated bookmarks are unavailable. They are still saved in the database and will be available again when we turn Saves back on.
  • All unmigrated bookmarks are currently available while Saves is disabled and Bookmarks is turned on. When we turn Saves on again, we'll resume the migration.

The migration was partially applied and will resume once we've fixed the performance issues and turned Saves back on.

  • Some network sites were completely migrated, and your bookmarks were successfully turned into saves in the "For later" list. These migrated saves are unavailable until Saves is turned back on.
  • Some network sites were not yet migrated at all, and your bookmarks are untouched. These bookmarks are available as they were before the Saves launch
  • Stack Overflow was the only site partially migrated
    • Around 360k bookmarks were turned into saves
    • Around 14mil bookmarks are still bookmarks

We will post updates on this Meta post as well as on Stack Status.

As stated in the above update, the process of migrating old bookmarks to the new Saves system had to be halted, and the changes to the buttons on posts and user profile pages have been temporarily reverted. No data has been lost as a result of this action; it will all be available again once the process is complete.

As part of the process of migrating old bookmarks to the new Saves system, old bookmark votes were removed from the system. As such, if you're browsing a site where the migration process has taken place, your bookmarks list there will be empty as that page loads in questions with old bookmark votes which were removed (and replaced with saves). If you make any new bookmarks before the changes to post buttons and user profiles are redeployed, those will show up in your list, as you're casting old-style bookmark votes. At the moment, there's no word on whether these votes will be transferred to the new Saves system. If the migration process hasn't taken place on the site yet, your bookmarks page will be unaffected.

On Stack Overflow, the process was partway through before it was stopped, which is why some bookmarks are no longer present while others still are.

Again, no data has been permanently lost as a result of this process. It is simply not viewable due to the old bookmark votes being removed as part of the system and being replaced with saves, while the user profile page is the older version which only shows questions with legacy votes. Unfortunately, on affected sites, there is no way to see your prior bookmarks until the changes are fully complete.

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