Safari bookmark sync out of whack? Here’s the solution

If your bookmarks are always disappearing, the fix is easy to implement.

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iCloud has a feature that lets you sync your Safari bookmarks across your Macs, iPhones, and iPads. However, Macworld reader Mark has a tale that sounds nearly appropriate for Halloween: disappearing and haunted bookmarks:

I upgraded my MacBook recently and transferred everything across surprisingly easy. After a few weeks, the bookmarks disappeared in favor of the defaults (Apple, Netflix, BBC iPlayer, YouTube, Facebook). I recovered following your advice with Time Machine, but after a few minutes or hours or even days, they switch back to default again.

I suggested to Mark that this sounded like an out-of-phase synchronization problem. With iCloud enabled to sync Safari in iOS and macOS, it sounds as though iCloud decided the “truth” of the bookmark state was the defaults loaded before his upgrade. Every time he restored to an earlier version via Time Machine, iCloud sync kept deciding that was out of date and replaced it with what it thought was “newer.”

My advice was to disable Safari in the iCloud system preference pane. Restore the bookmarks. Let things settle down. Then re-enable. Sure enough, that stopped the default/correct bookmark flapping.

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