What is Pinboard?

Pinboard is a personal archive for things you find online. You save bookmarks to the site and can find and search them later from any computer. You can also set the site up to automatically import your links and tweets from a number of other services. I explain the purpose and history of the site in more detail on the about page.

Who runs this site?

My name is Maciej Cegłowski; I'm a computer guy based in San Francisco. I work on Pinboard full-time.

How can I get support?

The quickest way to get support is by emailing me at or sending me a message on Twitter. I also lurk on an IRC channel (#pinboard) on freenode.

How do I report a bug?

Send email to describing what you did, what you expected to happen, and what happened instead. Please include which browser (and version) you saw the error in, if that applies.

How do I suggest a feature?

Please post feature suggestions to the Pinboard Google group so that other users can comment.

Importing Bookmarks

Can I import bookmarks from my browser or another website?

You can import bookmarks from Delicious, Google Bookmarks, Safari, Firefox, Diigo, and most other online services that use the standard Netscape-style export format. You can also import from Instapaper in CSV format, and from Google Reader.

You'll find step-by-step instructions for each service on the the settings page.

Will I lose my tags when I import?

No. Pinboard will preserve all your tags during import, as well as other important bookmark metadata (creation time, privacy).

How long does import take?

You should see your imported bookmarks start to appear within thirty seconds of uploading them. Your tag cloud should update within a minute or two at most, and your bookmarks will be searchable within about five minutes.

If time has passed and your import seems stuck, please let me know!

Will my private bookmarks stay private when I import?

Yes. Pinboard honors privacy settings in your import file. Additionally, if you select 'add all bookmarks as private' in your user settings your imported bookmarks will be marked private without exception.

What happens if I import the same bookmarks twice?

Pinboard will ignore duplicates, with the following exceptions:

  1. If there are any new tags on the duplicate, they will be added.
  2. If a bookmark being imported has a description field where the existing version of the bookmark doesn't, Pinboard will add that description.
  3. If either the new or the old version of the bookmark is marked private, Pinboard will set the saved bookmark to private.

Can I automatically add a tag during import?

There's no way to do this now except by using the API.

My import failed, what do I do?

First, make sure your import file actually has bookmarks in it! A number of Delicious users have found that the site sometimes generates empty export files.

If everything seems to be in order with the import file, send an email with your username to and attach your import file.

Saving Bookmarks

Why does the popup show about:blank in Chrome?

This is a bug in Chrome. To work around it, open a new tab in Chrome, click on the Google Search icon, and select 'remove'. Do the same for the YouTube icon.

How do I add bookmarks?

There are several ways! The most common is to use the Pinboard bookmarklet. This is a little link that you can drag into your browser toolbar (if you use IE, you'll have to right-click and choose 'add to favorites' instead of dragging).

You can find a bunch bookmarklets and more detailed instructions on how to use them on the howto page.

If you prefer, you can install one of the Pinboard browser extensions. These let you save just like the bookmarklets, but don't require you to keep the bookmarks bar visible.

You can also add bookmarks directly using the 'add URL' link on the homepage.

You can also add bookmarks via the API, or through one of the many third-party apps that support Pinboard, or by clicking the 'add URL' link on your user page and entering the URL directly.

How do I install a bookmarklet?

If you're using Safari or Chrome, make sure the bookmarks toolbar is visible and drag one of the bookmarklets from our howto page on to the toolbar. If you're using IE, right-click the bookmarklet and select 'add to favorites'.

Can I save a bookmark without filling out a web form?

Many of our users like the 'read later' bookmarklet, which saves pages to your unread list without requiring any further action on your part. We'll have a bookmarklet available soon that will let save regular bookmarks the same way (with optional tag).

Can I automatically add a tag every time I save a bookmark?

Viewing Bookmarks

How can I see all bookmarks from a specific source?

Bookmarks from outside sources (like Twitter or Instapaper) have a blue tag in the form "from:source". You can click on this to see all bookmarks from that source. You can also edit the URL directly - for example, will show you all your bookmarks from that service.

Can I filter my bookmarks by multiple tags?

You can filter your bookmarks by up to three tags. The syntax for this is The same syntax will work for RSS feeds and global tag pages. We're working on making this something you can do through the UI.

Can I sort my bookmarks by title?

Yes. Right now the feature only works on user+tag pages, but it will be available on other parts of the site soon. To change the sort rder, click the .

Can I see a list of all my dead links?

Yes, if you have an archival account. Your profile page will show you how many bookmarks you have with various error codes, and you can click through to see a complete, editable list.

Editing Bookmarks

How do I delete all my bookmarks?

Use the 'edit' link at the top of your user page. Select 'all pages' and delete away.

How can I make changes to many bookmarks at once?

The 'edit' link at the top of your user page will let you add or remove tags, change unread status, and bulk delete your bookmarks.

Is there a faster way to tag my bookmarks than clicking 'edit' on each one?

Try the 'organize' link at the top of your homepage, or any one of your tag pages. It opens your bookmarks in a view designed for fast editing. You can turn on an optional preview of the bookmarked site in a separate frame.

Can I automatically remove all dead links?

If you have an archival account, you can view bookmarks that have errors and perform bulk operations on them, including deletion.

Can I include HTML in descriptions?

The only HTML element allowed in descriptions is <blockquote>, useful for displaying cited text. Any URLs in description text will be auto-hyperlinked.

Is there a length limit on descriptions?

The maximum description length is 64K. The maximum display length is a few hundred words - longer descriptions will be truncated in list views. You can still see the full description on the bookmark page.


What characters are allowed in tags?

Any characters except comma or whitespace are allowed.

Are tags case-sensitive?

Pinboard will display tags in the same case as they were entered, but tag search in Pinboard is not case-sensitive. Tags for 'apple', 'Apple' and 'APPLE' will all appear as the same tag. Tag auto-complete is case-aware (but should end up doing what you want).

Why can't I have spaces in my tags?

Multi-word tags pose special problems in formatting, editing, display and search. Rather than tackling these problems, we've chosen from the beginning to limit tags to non-whitespace characters only. If you have a use case that you feel requires multi-word tags, please talk to us.

How do I delete a tag?

Go to your page for that tag, click the 'edit' link at the top of the page, select 'all pages', and remove the tag. Once a tag has been removed from all your bookmarks it will disappear from your tag list, tag cloud and tag auto-complete.

How do I rename a tag?

Go to your page for bookmarks with the old tag, click the 'edit' link at the top of the page, select 'all pages', add the new tag, select 'all pages' again, and remove the old tag. Make sure you follow the steps in this order (add the new tag first, then remove the old).

Is there a way to have Pinboard auto-complete my tags?

You can turn tag auto-completion on or off on your settings page.

How can I get suggested tags?

Right now we have a simple algorithm for tag suggestions. When you bookmark a URL, we look at all the user tags for that URL and see if any overlap with tags you've already used. If so, we show those tags in the bookmark submission form.

Some users have asked for more extensive suggestions including tags they haven't already used. We're evaluating this for use on the site.

Can I see results for multiple tags?

See above.

Can I view only those bookmarks that don't contain a particular tag

There's no way to filter by tags in Pinboard. You can do this with our RSS feeds (as well as build more complicated tag queries) in Yahoo! Pipes.


What is an archival account?

When you upgrade to an archival account, Pinboard will crawl and save a copy of every bookmark in your account. This copy will persist even if the original server goes down. Archiving also turns on full-text search for your account. You'll be able to search any HTML, PDF or text document by content.

How much does archiving cost?

Archiving is $25/year. Your signup fee counts towards your first year of archiving, so if you paid $10 to join Pinboard, you'll only have to pay $15 to turn the feature on.

Are there limits on how much I can archive?

There are no hard limits on the feature. We reserve the right to disable archiving and refund your fee if we feel we don't have the resources to crawl all your links, but we have never had to do this.

Will you archive all my bookmarks, or just new ones?

We will crawl all the bookmarks in your account.

Does archiving include my tweets?

Twitter archiving is available to all our users, not just those who subscribe to the archival feature.

Can I download my archived bookmarks? What format are they in?

Right now you can download your archived bookmarks by special arrangement (in other words, you email me and I make you a tarball). The bookmarks are stored one per folder, with a top-level manifest HTML file that gives you links to each. We're working on completely automating this process so you can download your archived data whenever convenient.

Are there pages you can't archive?

There are a number of pages that we're not able to save right now. Any site behind a paywall is inaccessible to our crawler. YouTube and Flickr go to some lengths to block crawlers, and we are unable to save those links properly. That said, we are able to save the vast majority of sites and are the only archiving site that saves full page content.

How long do I have to wait before I can search my bookmarks by content?

It can take up to 48 hours to build the initial full-text index for your account. Subsequent updates should be much quicker. You can view the status of full-text indexing on your account page.

Outside Services

I turned on delicious mirroring. Why don't I see all my delicious bookmarks?

Delicious mirroring uses RSS feeds, so it is not retroactive. If you'd like all your delicious bookmarks added to your Pinboard account, you'll need to use the import feature.

How far back does my Twitter archive go?

We start crawling your tweets the moment you enable the feature, so we will typically retrieve the most recent 30 or so. We're working on a version of Twitter archiving that will fetch your entire history (up to the Twitter-imposed limit of 3200 tweets).

Can you import bookmarks from private Twitter accounts?

Not yet.

How often do you check outside feeds?

It depends on the service. You can see the time we last checked outside services, and what time we will check them again, on your account page.

Can I set up Pinboard to automatically post to my weblog? To Twitter?

We don't support any kind of automated posting to outside services.

How can I sync my toread list with Instapaper?

There's no easy way to do this right now. I'd encourage you to contact Marco at Instapaper requesting the feature.


What payment methods do you accept?

We support PayPal and Amazon Payments. We also send some invoices through Google Checkout. If you would like to sign up but have trouble paying through one or more of these services, please contact me.

How do I get a refund?

Pinboard accounts are fully refundable within three days of signup. Send me an email and I will issue a refund through the payment provider and close your account.

My payment failed, how can I redo it?

You can send me the balance due via PayPal or Amazon Payments. My address with both services is Include your username in the payment I'll make sure your account status gets updated appropriately.

How do I close my account?

Send me an email from the address we have on file for you and I'll be happy to close your account.

How can I change my username?

Send us an email with your current username, and what you would like it changed to.

How can I update my email address on file?

You can edit this and other personal information on your account page.

Can I buy a gift account for someone else?

Of course! Contact me and I'll be happy to send a pre-paid invitation in your name.


What does the search engine index?

For regular accounts, the search engine indexes all titles, tags, and descriptions. If you have an archival account, you can also search by content (by clicking the 'full-text search' checkbox).

Can I use Boolean operators in search?

We don't have support for that right now.

How often is the search engine updated?

The search index updates every three minutes. Fulltext search is updated nightly.

Will search work in Japanese, Chinese or Korean?

Yes. Please email me if you spot any problems with search in any language.