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I lost all my website shortcuts on the homescreen on Android 11. I didn't know of this bug due to which all web shortcuts on Android can suddenly disappear at any time. How to get the shortcuts or the link URLs of these shortcuts back?

Also see How do I backup my website homescreen shortcuts? where I described the two things I tried. Briefly, in Xiamoi Mi Note 10 (MIUI) under Backup and restore one can backup the the System launcher.

The problem is that I'd also like to restore things between my last backup and now if possible because it's been a while since I did the last backup of the Systemlauncher and that when restoring from that file, the homescreen shortcuts are not restored. When copying the backup file located in /MIUI/backups/AllBackup to a Linux computer and running strings /directory/AllBackup/timestamp/Systemlauncher\(com.miui.home\).bak > ~/backupfile.txt I can read the file with a text editor but the actual links seem to be encrypted or simply unreadable. When I search for com.miui.home.launcher.DEEP_SHORTCUT I can only see the titles of the shortcuts and there even are some problems with that.

The mobile Web browser didn't warn about this bug which is still not fixed by Google (or whoever is responsible for closing it) so I think most people only learn about this once they lost all shortcuts so that they start to use other methods to save websites like browser bookmarks. I have the latest Android updates and I also have problems deleting app caches. I had many shortcuts and many of them were important so I need them back. How to read the links in the .bak file? Often the title is incomplete and they all have a shortcut_id but that ID appears only once in that file.

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    Web link shortcuts on the home screen are bound to the web browser (in difference to Windows where .lnk files are just files that exist independent of the program they link to). I don't think they can be restored on file-level, only the web browser can manage them, thus recreate them.
    – Robert
    Apr 11 at 7:00
  • Some titles of the websites could be restored from the .bak file with the command above. I just don't know if these are all and the URLs are missing (and I would like to have a more recent backup). Can these be restored somehow from the browser data? I checked in the folder for the browser under /Android/data but it's empty (only an empty /files/Download/ folder). In MIUI backups where I backed up Systemlauncher backing up the browser is not supported. Apr 12 at 13:36
  • The browser was updated not long ago. I can't update Firefox and Chrome now, a message box says it can't be installed right after finishing downloading but I have 1 GB of storage space available. I made a backup of the browser with cx file explorer (no URLs in there). It's an apk+ file and around 200 MB smaller than the app on the phone. Updating Chrome 2.8 MB needed but when downloading says it downloads 32.49 MB. I also can't install an 110MB app I previously uninstalled (error during installation). Also can't update the Google app. The phone is not rooted. Apr 12 at 15:34
  • @Robert Could update all the mentioned after deleting 500MB more data except for one browser but not the one I use. Don't know why 1.5 GB are required (still not enough) for updating a few small apps. One of the apps has 110 MB but when installed 320 MB again. Should I ask in a new question about it and the other problems or is it normal? I tried to restore the shortcuts from the backup again but it still doesn't. First there are extra pages but after a few seconds they're gone. I never see any of the prior website shortcuts. At least I have some website titles form the bak file. Apr 12 at 15:57

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