Xmarks or LastPass deleted my passwords?

Slightly weird thing happened this morning. When I started work, the Xmarks plugin for Firefox popped up saying something like “we’ve noticed you’ve recently cleared your passwords, do you want to disable password syncing?”

Naturally I said yes: if something had deleted my passwords, I’d want to recover them from the Xmarks server.

However when I went to see about recovering my passwords all I could see was a message about using LastPass (the cloud password management service which was recently possibly hacked) to manage my passwords.

My Firefox password list was empty, and I have no way of recovering it that I can see.

Fortunately it’s not that big a deal, as I’ve got all my important passwords stored in PassPack, but it’s still a little disconcerting. I definitely did not clear my password list, so it’s either a major Firefox glitch, or Xmarks did something weird when they were shifting to recommending LastPass for password management. I’m assuming the latter. I generally saved passwords in the browser for non-critical websites, and there will be a few older sites where I’ve lost my password on – so they’ll need a password recovery.

However, there was a time when I used to have a few different password levels, using a simple password for multiple sites that weren’t a security risk. This was the password which I used on Lifehacker (a site included in the recent Gawker Media hacking), and I planned to go through my Firefox password list and visit any sites that used that password and update them (even though they’re non-essential).

I’ve submitted a support ticket with Xmarks and will update here when I hear back from them.

Update: 18th May 2011

I had a variety of discussions with the Xmarks team who were very prompt in their responses. Initial suggestions didn’t work, but I was able to, at their suggestion, login to my.xmarks.com and go through a password restore (they keep an extensive log of old passwords) et viola, my passwords were back to normal!


  • I am having the same issue. I have sent an email to xmarks but no response so far. Would you be able to share the contact information for the person you were dealing with at xmarks?

    Please and thanks!


    • Hi there, I'm away from my computer at the moment but will reply in the morning with more details!

  • Hi Syerah,

    Sorry for the delay getting back to you, work has been a bit distracting the past few days.

    I checked my support ticket and it was being handled by someone called Terry, but I don't think there's any way to specifically contact a member of the support team at Xmarks.

    I would advise the same approach that solved my issue:

    "Did you try to restore your passwords? Go to my.xmarks.com > Tools > Restore Old Passwords > Select a backup date > Restore. "

    Now I did have to view multiple backup sets to find the last one that had all my passwords in it – it seems that I had actually been missing my saved passwords for a few weeks before I noticed it (likely due to my general usage of PassPack for logging into sites).

    I hope this helps.

  • Prajullas

    Damn it I too lost all the password because of a stupid addon lastpass. Confused? I also tried to retrieve it from my xmarks tools. but in vein is there any way you can get it back. Please help 

    • Hi Prajullas

      Hmm, that’s not sounding too promising. If you can’t restore from my.xmarks.com that could be trouble. What browser are you using? If you’re on Firefox did you have Firefox Sync setup? That might also allow a restore of passwords.

      Personally I’ve been using the wonderful http://www.passpack.com to store all my passwords, this allows you to have a secure online storage of your passwords (which you can also backup to a local secure storage space in case the online service is ever unreachable. I’ve been using PassPack for a few years now and am very happy with its service.

      Sorry if I haven’t been able to provide a simple solution!