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by JB Burke

Q. I spend quite a bit of time online, and I frequently bookmark sites I enjoy. Over the years my bookmark file has grown substantially, and I have trouble finding ones I'm looking for. Is there an easy way to clean up my bookmarks?

A. Many of us have been browsing the web for years, and all the while marking our Favorites (IE) or Bookmarks (Chrome, Firefox and others). And over time, many of those sites disappear, and many will be bookmarked more than once, because we forgot we did it the first time.

There is a solution to all this. There's a program available online, free of course, called AM-DeadLink. The download is small at 1.8MB. Download and save it to your hard drive, somewhere you can find it. When you double-click to open it, say yes to the install question, and yes to any Windows "Should I run this software" questions you see. Click Next, click on "I agree etc." and Next again. Then I just install it as a normal Windows application, but you can install it on a memory stick if you like, for portability. You make all the normal choices – where to install it (what folder), do you want a desktop icon, etc.

There are no "free extras" offered to gum up the works. In order to run it, you must close your browser (IE, Firefox, Chrome, Opera, etc.). When AM-DeadLink starts, it presents you with a list of all your Bookmarks or Favorites. Then you can do two things. First, click the Green Checkmark at the top, and it will check all your bookmarks to see if they are still "live". After that's done, click the red Up Arrow and it will bring all the Dead Links to the top. You can then delete them as you wish.

After you complete that, click on the icon next to the red up arrow, and it will bring up a list of all the duplicates. Highlight and delete the ones you don't want. The result is a much cleaner and easier to use Bookmarks or Favorites file.

Published: Courier 2/19/12 - Page 5C