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  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1

    What I would like to know is if anyone actually tried to follow the steps exactly as outlined in my blog post and  not got it to work?


    When I read things like "I tried everything, I even wiped the devices" or "I did everything you guys suggest and even signed out from iCloud" etc which means that the steps were not at all folloed exactly.  For example, wiping the device may prime it for restoring, and signing out from iCloud does not at all help.


    Bottomline, my recommnedation is to follow some of the very good step-by-step instructions posted already.  But do exactly as posted, no less and absolutely no more.  For me and the people I have instructed it has worked every time. 

  • goombot Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    It still has not worked for me.  Please see my post on April 28th because what was happening then is still happening now.  At this point I'm just hoping that iOS7 will fix it but if it's a cloud issue then I could see still having the same problem.  I've got the duplicates off my macbook and my macbook safari is synching with the cloud so that's good but still, after multiple wipes on my iphone 5 (just did one 2 days ago to resolve my "other" problem.. that's an entire other thread) and still the same.  Same as well on my ipad mini... about 23k duplicated bookmarks.  Any suggestions on fixing that would be great.  I wish we could just modify our icloud account.

  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1

    Goombot, I read your post from April 28th and that is why I posted the question if you actually tried to follow posted steps exactly exactly exactly, no less and certainly no more...


    For example, you stated that you signed out from iCloud and erased the bookmarks from the device, then turned back syncing again and noticed that the bookmarks came back.  That is the expected behavior using iCloud and not a bug. The "truth" resides in the cloud, not on any one device.  Turning off the bookmarks syncing on a device means that you don't want that device to pull bookmarks from iCloud, not that you want to erase them from iCloud. Turning the syncing back on again means the device will pull them from the cloud again.  Don't get me wrong, the duplicate issue is certainly a bug but what you describe feels like the preferred outcome and not a bug.


    If you want to erase them from iCloud you will need to erase them from a device that has syncing turned on and make sure no other device will keep feeding the iCloud with bookmarks.  There are several blogs that outline these steps, my link above is just one of them. 


    I would like to know if you follow these steps precisely and make sure you have all devices at hand since leaving even one device out will prevent iCloud from erasing the bookmarks...


    Good luck!



  • goombot Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    I've always had all three devices in front of me.  The issue for me is now that I have managed to erase the 23k of bookmarks on my macbook I just can't do that on my iphone or ipad mini.  Selecting each bookmark on an iphone or ipad and deleting it individually would take a week since you can't globally delete booking on those.  So I'm stuck.  And what's weird is that why, if my icloud safari is turned on my macbook and it does not replicate those duplicate bookmarks, do my iphone and ipad mini even if they've been wiped?  My macbook is synching to the cloud and doesn't see those duplicates but my iphone and ipad are syching to the cloud and do see them.  ????

  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1

    Is the syncing working?  For example, if you add a bookmark each of all three devices, do the bookmarks appear on the other devices? 


    If yes, then I think your iCloud does not have the duplicates uploaded but the iphone and ipad mini may have merged the bookmarks from icloud with the bookmarks there already.  The fix would be to erase all bookmarks from iCloud and sync such that the bookmarks disappear from the devices as well (as desribed previously). Then restore iCloud with the fresh bookmarks set from your macbook.  After an hour or so the new bookmarks set should appear without the duplicates on your two devices. 

  • Jerome Krinock Level 1 Level 1

    I think there is a solution, not stated in the blog posts, for deleting the 23K bookmarks in less than a week.  In iOS Settngs, in iCloud, when you switch off Safari, you're given the option to Delete from iPad (or whatever).  I just tried that on a test account with 3 bookmarks, and it seemed to work.

  • goombot Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    see I never heard of the "delete from ipad" thing.  Does the ipad need to be plugged into your mac in order to do that?  That sounds like something that might work and I definitely did not try.  I'll try both these suggestions and let you know although I have already tried the suggestion that you just made Peter.  Thank you both for your input.  I'll let you know what happens.

  • Jerome Krinock Level 1 Level 1

    The iOS device does not need to be plugged into your Mac.  Here are the exact steps in "Microsoft Support" format, goombot…


    1. Go to the Home screen.
    2. Scrolling screens if necessary, find and then tap the app named Settings.
    3. In the left column, tap iCloud.
    4. In the right column find the switch for Safari.
    5. If Safari is OFF, turn it ON and then wait for bookmarks and other data to sync.
    6. Switch Safari to OFF.  A dialog titled Turn off Safari will appear.  There are three choices/buttons.  The middle choice/button is Delete from My iPad.
    7. Tap that middle button.
    8. Activate Safari.
    9. Verify that all bookmarks are gone.


    Let us know what part of that doesn't work.   I've tested this on an iPad Mini running iOS version 6.

  • goombot Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    That option doesn't appear on a mac.  I have the latest software.  I had iCloud Safari on and I turned it off and nothing.  There is no option to click on anything.  Seems very weird that they would have that for a pc and not a mac. Now my old bookmarks are back.  So they are in the cloud.  But why, once I clear them with Safari Praire Fire on my mac do they not come back, even if my mac is synching to iCloud, AND they are still on my other devices.  I'm totally at a loss with all of this.  Spent days on bookmarks.  

  • Jerome Krinock Level 1 Level 1

    The 9-step procedure I gave above explains how to delete all Safari bookmarks on an iOS device, because you said that I just can't do that on my iphone or ipad mini.   You were correct about that, so I gave you the answer.


    Well, whatever.  Deleting all bookmarks on a Mac is usually easy too…


    1. Activate Safari.
    2. Click in the menu: Bookmarks > Show All Bookmarks.
    3. In the left source list, select Bookmarks Bar.
    4. Click in the right pane.
    5. Click in the menu: Edit > Select All.
    6. Hit the delete key.
    7. In the left source list, select Bookmarks Menu.
    8. Repeat steps 4-6.
    9. In the left source list, delete all items under Bookmarks Bar and Bookmarks Menu.  I call these items at the root level.
    10. Delete all items in the Reading List.


    Now, I said usually because unfortunately the items in steps 9 and 10 cannot be selected en masse; you need to click each item, as you said. Possibly one could write an AppleScript, using GUI scripting, which would chunk through those all night.  It might not take any less of your time, but would be educational and more fun    More seriously, if you have thousands of items at the root level, or in Reading List, there are apps which can dig into Safari bookmarks and allow you to delete all with just a few clicks.  These apps must be found on the internet, outside the Mac App Store because, since 2011 when iCloud arrived, Apple no longer provides a sanctioned method for third-party apps to dig into Safari bookmarks.  Also, by shopping outside the Mac App Store you can get free trials, so you could do this one-time cleanup for free.

  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1



    If you follow Jerome's instructions on you Mac you will risk losing all your bookmarks forever. That does not matter for users of multiple macs but since your bookmarks data on your Mac is ok you will first want to save a copy if it.


    In my blog post 012/1/22_Tips_on_How_to_Delete_Duplicate_Safari_Bookmarks_from_iCloud.html

    the instructions will guide you through how to first create a good bookmarks set (steps 5-10). Those are the only steps that require a software such as Prairiefire. You can skip these steps since the bookmarks are fine and you've only got one Mac.

    The following steps make sure you save that data to a safe location and the erase your bookmarks by deleting the bookmarks.plist file. This is much quicker than the steps in Jerome's post above (which also would work though).


    Goombot, I see that you remain frustrated why the bookmarks appear ok on your Mac while the duplicates "come back" on your iOS devices.  It's presumably from when you turn syncing back on. Note that you are asked to Merge or Cancel. To turn in syncing one must automatically merge the bookmarks in iCloud with those locally stored on the device. Note that this leaves users with both sets of bookmarks. I think that is causing some of your confusion since you probably expect that turning on syncing would make all devices and macs to become identical clones when it comes to bookmarks.  Therefore it's important that the bookmarks are cleared locally.


    I hate to be repetitive but I re-started this thread because I wanted to know if my blog post has failed for anyone who has followed it exactly. May I ask if you did that (because deleting local bookmarks were part of step 4)?


    Good luck


  • Kramme Level 1 Level 1

    I've had this problem since the shift from MobileMe to iCloud.


    I had around 20.000 duplicates and I tried countless times to follow one tutorial after another with no luck.


    To day I decided should be the day I came clean of these duplicates.


    I tried the tutorial from Peter Berglund once more a few times without luck.


    Searching the web from different ways to do this, I came across a programs called "BookMacster".


    I though I'd give it a try.


    What I did was keeping iCloud safari sync turned off on all my idevices. (2 iPhones and a iPad mini). But turned on, on my iMac.


    On my iMac I ran BookMacster. It's pretty straight forward. Manually select all the duplicates and delete them.


    The programs seems to stall on the computer, but just give it some time and it will come around.


    After this, I used the Export setting in the program, to kinda export what changes I made to my bookmarks (delete the duplicates).


    The I just watched as it synced with the bookmarks in safari.


    I gave it like 45 min to make sure everything was synced to iCloud.


    Then I turned back iCloud sync on all devices. After a while I checked my iPhone, only to get really frustrated. All the duplicates had synced back on. I checked the bookmarks on my iMac, and they still looked as they should without duplicates.


    I the decided to just wait it out. And that payed off.


    Right now one my iPhone 5 still has the duplicates, so I imagine that it's just a matter of time before that also syncs.


    If this fails tomorrow, I'll check back here. But for now, this seems to have fixed my problem running for almost 2 years now... As you can imagine, I'm a happy camper :)

  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1

    For the sake of transparency, I want to declare that I am the developer of Safari Prairiefire, an app that is also mentioned in my discussed blog post as one way delete duplicate bookmarks. 


    I also assume that Kramme is Jerome Krinock who develops another good product, BookMacster, which he also mentions above.


    Both apps will scan and remove duplicates from Safari's bookmarks file.  The discussion in this thread is how to make those changes upload to iCloud.



  • Kramme Level 1 Level 1

    Just to clarify, I'm not Jerome Krinock. I'm a regular user who has bought Peter Berglunds software in one of my many attempts to rid myself of duplicate bookmarks.


    Tonight I tried BookMacster to se if that could solve my problem.


    It worked, and therefor I found it relevant to share.


    I have no idea who the programmer of BookMacster is, I only used the program to see if it could solve my problem.


    I'm sure Peters program is just a good, it just didn't solve me problem, thous I needed to try something else.

  • Peter Berglund Level 1 Level 1

    I want to take back that my statement about the posters as I have no reason at all to believe they are the same person. My apologies.