Having Problems Syncing iCloud Bookmarks Across Devices?

iCloud is mostly fan­tas­tic. For the most part, it syncs every­thing effort­lessly. How­ever, if you upgraded your iPhone, iPad, or other device in such a way that it devi­ated slightly from the approved path, you may find your­self with a book­mark mess. You fix them, you delete them, you sync them. They work! And sud­denly they don’t. The Cloud has a copy of a giant mess that you can’t seem to clear out.

For­tu­nately, It’s not too tough to fix. Just fol­low the steps below and you’ll be good to go.

Accord­ing to this detailed Apple Sup­port Forum post, the trick is to use Lion 10.7.2 and Safari 5.1.1 to force a flush of the Data.

Here is a con­densed ver­sion of the steps:

  1. Turn off book­mark sync on all of your devices except the Mac. When asked, tell it to delete all bookmarks.
  2. Backup cur­rent book­marks on Mac (user/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist) by drag­ging a copy to your desktop.
  3. Cor­rect book­marks on Safari on the Mac and make a backup of that for safekeeping.
  4. Delete the book­marks file out of you Safari Library folder to force Safari to make a new blank one (user/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist)
  5. Wait for iCloud to update.
  6. Move the cor­rected book­marks file (from step 3) back into the folder. This will replace the cur­rent Bookmarks.plist file. Wait for iCloud to update
  7. Re-enable sync on all of your devices.

7 Responses to Having Problems Syncing iCloud Bookmarks Across Devices?

  1. OMG finally solved my sync prob­lem thanks to this post! My Mac­Book wouldn’t update the book­marks from my iMac anymore.

    Thank you so much!

  2. ctdvdkao says:

    Recently, I have added many book­marks in my iPad2, and can’t sync them to my Mac­Book pro. I solve this prob­lem by the fol­low­ing steps. First, dis­able book­mark sync in iCloud set­ting of iPad2. When it asks about how to deal with the book­marks in the iPad, choose keep in iPad. Sec­ond, enable book­mark sync in the iCloud set­ting of iPad2. When it asks about how to do with the book­marks, choose merge to iCloud. Then, it sud­denly works! Now, I can sync book­mark between Mac, iPad, and iPhone.

  3. Sadly, my sync­ing messed up again since the pre­vi­ous post. While the new solu­tion worked to fix the sync, it may not con­tinue to sync. Apple needs a “reset” or “sync all from this machine” option…

  4. Edmund says:

    I don’t think this will work. My iMac and my iPad have an out-of-date set of book­marks and my iPhone has the full up-to-date set. But I can’t see how to synce from there to the others. :-(

  5. Yan says:

    Hi, Edmund. Try to use other book­mark sync tools. I’m use Xmark and keep there a copy of my book­marks set. You can send to Xmark all from all of your devices and merge it there and reset an iCloud sync.

  6. ckp says:

    hey thanks. these steps worked great. appre­ci­ate you tak­ing the time.

  7. MichaelZuber says:

    To add to these great sug­ges­tions, the tim­ing of book­mark sync­ing on iOS devices is tied to the “Fetch New Data” set­tings on them. To see changes the quick­est between devices, turn “Push” on and make sure that iCloud fetch sched­ule is set to “Push”.

    Here is how to do it on the iPhone 4S (same or sim­i­lar on iPad):
    1. Go to “Set­tings“
    2. Go to “Mail, Con­tacts, Cal­en­dars“
    3. Select “Fetch New Data” and set “Push” to “On“
    4. Scroll to bot­tom and select “Advanced“
    5. Select “iCloud” and set to “Push”


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