Hello, Tex. When you say "I've tried this", I presume you mean you tried the iCloud Rebuilding procedure I gave in my reply of 2014 Jan 10. But if you're still getting duplicates and triplicates, it did not work. Success is when duplicates and triplicates are gone forever and do not come back.
I have on my website an article containing another version of that procedure which gives some background information at the beginning, and also it assumes you're going to stash your bookmarks in BookMacster during the rebuilding instead of stashing them in a Safari export. But that doesn't matter. Either way, with or without BookMacster, should work. Much more important is that you should read and understand the background information in that article, particularly the Cause and Pathology section. It might help you to be successful if you try it again. And let me emphasize that if you do try it again, you must start over at step 1. To be successful, rebuilding iCloud must be done rigorously, from start to finish.
Hello Jerome! Found your solution to the iCloud bookmarks problem today. I've been fighting this for at least a year. Looks like you have solved the problem, but I gave a question. The bookmarks I want to save, all organized just the way I want them, are on my iPad. I want my MacBook Air to have this same set of bookmarks.
I back up my MacBook using Time Machine and a WD Passport external drive. I'm thinking of turning off Time Machine and clearing it and also wiping the Passport. (A year ago I spent days getting my iPad bookmarks cleaned out and organized and followed someone's posts on how to get the new set of bookmarks onto my MacBook.) Suffice it to say it's taken me a year to want to tackle it again. What a mess! On a daily basis my bookmarks were being populated with everything I had previously trashed. I came to the conclusion that it might be coming from my backups.
I do not have the software you recommend. I mainly use my iPad on a daily basis. Couldn't find apps to organize bookmarks for iOS 7.
I know I tend to overthink things and possibly make them more difficult than necessary. I just don't understand how iCloud knows which bookmarks I want to keep. I feel like most people are wanting to keep the bookmarks on their Mac. I want to keep the bookmarks on my iPad. How does iCloud choose?
The bookmarks I want to save, all organized just the way I want them, are on my iPad. I want my MacBook Air to have this same set of bookmarks.
So you need to do it kind of backwards. Never done it that way. I'm assuming that you have iCloud Safari syncing switched OFF in your MacBook and also OFF in your iPad. Here's what I'd do…
• Delete all bookmarks from Safari on your MacBook Air.
• Switch on iCloud Safari on your MacBook Air only.
• If bookmarks reappear on your MacBook Air (from iCloud), delete them.
• Continue until you can leave it overnight, switch iCloud Safari OFF and then back ON until no bookmarks reappear on your MacBook Air. The idea is that both iCloud and MacBook are empty, and synced to each other.
• Take a deep breath and pray.
• Switch on iCloud Safari syncing on your iPad.
Ideally, the bookmarks from your iPad will propagate into the empty iCloud, and from there to your empty MacBook Air, and all live happily ever after.
• Continue to pray for a day or two that your iPad and/or Mac does not get inundated with bookmarks that were hiding in a dark corner of iCloud.
I back up my MacBook using Time Machine and a WD Passport external drive. I'm thinking of turning off Time Machine and clearing it and also wiping the Passport.
That will not help with this issue. You should only do this if you're trying to resolve some other issue.
I came to the conclusion that it might be coming from my backups.
No, I disagree. I've never seen TIme Machine restore stuff automatically. If you had iCloud Safari switched on during this time, it was probably the work of iCloud.
I do not have the software you recommend.
The non-Apple software is not necessary. It is only handy for safe-keeping bookmarks while you're cleaning things out on your Mac. In your case, since the bookmarks you want to keep safe are on your iPad, it would not help you at all.
Couldn't find apps to organize bookmarks for iOS 7.
That's because there are none. Apple does not allow any non-Apple app to access with Safari bookmarks on iOS.
I just don't understand how iCloud knows which bookmarks I want to keep. I feel like most people are wanting to keep the bookmarks on their Mac. I want to keep the bookmarks on my iPad. How does iCloud choose?
It doesn't. It merges bookmarks from all devices together and keeps everything.from everywhere. When in doubt about anything, it keeps that too.
Hi again Jerome
I waited until this morning to tackle the bookmarks sync problem. It turns out I didn't need to wait overnight. It took about 5 minutes to get all my Safari bookmarks from my iPad to my MacBook Air successfully. Here's what I did:
1. Turned off iCloud for Safari on both the iPad and MacBook.
2. On the MacBook: Finder->Option Go->Library->Safari->Bookmarks.plist (delete, I also emptied trash)
3. Command + Option + B (Opens list of all bookmarks)
4. Command + Delete to delete each bookmark or folder
I repeated steps 2, 3 & 4 then turned on iCloud for Safari and repeated 2, 3, & 4 again until bookmarks quit appearing.
5. I backed up my iPad to iTunes on USB, then I backed it up to iCloud.
6. I turned on Settings->iCloud->Safari (turn button to "on")
This is where the prayers came in...
7. On the MacBook: System Preferences->iCloud->Safari (put check mark "✅" in box)
8. Held my breath as I watched the bookmarks populate in Safari on my MacBook. Yippee! They were the right bookmarks.
Note: The magic didn't happen until I deleted the BOOKMARKS.PLIST on the MacBook. (See step #2).
Thank you so very much, Jerome. I'm a happy camper today!
Very good, Judie.
I always recommend against messing with Bookmarks.plist while iCloud Safari is on. It looks like you did that (turned on iCloud for Safari and repeated 2, 3, & 4) at one point. But if your goal is to destroy everything - that is, delete all bookmarks, then I can understand how deleting the file and hammering on the bookmarks in Safari until iCloud gets tired of shoving them back might work.
I'll add that to my "knowledge base"