While most Web browsers store saved webpage locations as bookmarks, Internet Explorer saves them as favorites. For example, when you save a webpage location in Firefox, it gets stored as a bookmark. When you save one in Internet Explorer, it gets stored as a favorite. For this reason, the terms "bookmarks" and "favorites" are often used synonymously.
Favorites are also used in other applications besides Web browsers. For example, media players often include a favorites list, which allows users to store references to favorite audio and video files in a single location. Media editing programs often include a favorites panel, which contains links to files that can be imported into projects. Mac OS X has a "Favorites" folder in which users can store aliases to frequently accessed files and folders. Windows 7 also has a "Favorites" folder, which is used to store both favorite webpages and favorite files.
You can often identify a Favorites folder by a star or heart icon. Most applications allow you to simply drag items into the Favorites folder to add them to your favorites. While "favorites" may refer to a wide variety of items, the purpose of a favorites folder is always to provide easy access to frequently used items.