How to fix messed up Safari bookmark sync

“iCloud has a feature that lets you sync your Safari bookmarks across your Macs, iPhones, and iPads,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld.

“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,'” Fleishman writes. “I suggested to Mark that this sounded like an out-of-phase synchronization problem.”

“I suggested to Mark that this sounded like an out-of-phase synchronization problem.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Just checked one system of Safari bookmarks (across four devices: a MacBook, an iMac, an iPad Pro, and an iPhone) and they’re all working correctly; thankfully, as this feature is a godsend for us. Damn, we have way too many tabs open!

If you’re are “stuck” or otherwise borked, Fleishman’s simple solution may clear up your issue.


  1. A coworker showed my that his default home page in Safari would default back to after he closed the application and re-launched it.

    I set my Safari preferences to open a blank window. Since I do not use the “open with home page” function, I never noticed this issue. But, sure enough, the same thing happened on my computer. Somehow, the new setting is not being saved. The rest of the preferences are unchanged, so it isn’t like the prefs file is being regenerated from the installation default. Strange.

    My guess is that this is a configuration glitch caused by the horrendous configuration and update processes of our corporate IT department, which seems determined to take perfectly fine Macs and make them run like Windows PC dogs. In fact, another coworker was planning to switch to a Mac, but he decided not to bother because he heard too many complaints from Mac-using coworkers.

    1. My biggest Safari “issue” is with magnification and not remembering a preference or setting.

      On the 5K iMacs, text is really small and hard to read. I can zoom an individual page, but there is no way to set it as the standard size as far as I’ve found. Also, if I’m on a zoomed page, click a link to go to another page, then go back to the original page that was zoomed, the text is illegibly small again. It’s an annoying inconvenience that causes me to instead use Firefox these days. Safari didn’t always behave like this.

      If anyone has a solution or workaround, I’d appreciate hearing from you. I’d love to go back to Safari as my only browser but won’t do so unless this gets resolved.

  2. There is only one permanent fix: stop using Big Brother iCloud. How many times does Apple have to pull a Microsoft before we realize that Apple doesn’t really care about user experience or basic software quality? To the bean counters running Apple today, Safari is a loss leader. It’s only a matter of time before they lose interest and drop it like an Airport or an iPod. Once they have your data and your monthly subscription, they have zero incentives to fix bugs any more than the direct competitor does. By now you should have noticed how Apple is on par with Microsoft for macOS support and feature improvement. Apple is coasting and relying on tech religious zealots to ensure it can charge a premium price for increasingly average quality.

  3. The thing I am most concerned with iCloud is having my Doc folder on the cloud. There are going to be times especially when traveling that I won’t have internet access or it is slow. I like the ability to sync the folder with my various Macs but need the ability to access the folder even if the internet is down.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.