I had a very irritating problem that was plaguing my Safari Bookmarks. They just kept duplicating themselves. It didn't matter hat I tried. They just kept duplicating and re-syncing over and over again. I was about to give up when I found a solution to stop the madness over at macandiostips.com
iCloud has a very irritating bug that in some cases duplicates entire bookmarks sets. Several apps including Safari Prairiefire can find and delete bookmarks stored locally on your Mac. But using this workflow you can make sure that your fixed, fresh bookmarks get uploaded to iCloud so you can enjoy them on all your Macs, iPhones etc. Don’t be fooled by the long procedure, it’s actually pretty quick to do.
First, here's the workflow for how to remove duplicates:
You will be quitting Safari a couple of times, so you won’t be able to keep this page open. So why not download this page as a pdf and view it in Preview instead? Here is a link to the pdf. Also, it requires that you have downloaded Safari Prairiefire.
- 1. Gather all your iDevices (iPod touches, iPhones, iPads etc) and make sure you can access all your Macs if you sync more than one to iCloud.
- 2. Quit Safari on all Macs and iDevices
- 3. On your Macs, open System Preferences. Open the iCloud pane. Turn Safari OFF.
- 4. On all your iDevices, open the Settings app, select iCloud and turn Safari OFF. Choose to delete local bookmarks.
- 5. Launch Safari Prairiefire on your Main Mac
- 6. Click the Get Bookmarks button. This will list all your bookmarks
- 7. Under Tools in the Menu, select Check Duplicates. This will check the checkbox for all your duplicate bookmarks (the first instance of each bookmarks will not be selected, so you won't risk deleting it in the following step).
- 8. Under Tools, select Delete Checked Bookmarks.
- 9. You will be prompted to save a backup copy of the bookmarks. Click to accept and to proceed.
- 10. After removing the duplicates, the app will keep a window open where you can restore your original bookmarks with the press of a button. Launch Safari and make sure the bookmarks appear as desired (if not you can make adjustments or restore at this point). When everything is satisfactory please proceed below.
- 11. On your Main Mac shut off Safari, then go to your ~/Library/Safari folder (to open the Library folder, in FInder select Go under the Menu Bar while holding the option key), and drag the Bookmarks.plist file to another (safe) location, such as the Desktop. Make sure it is not re-created automatically, that would indicate that you haven’t turned off bookmarks syncing or that Safari is running.
- 12. On all your other Macs, open the ~/Library/Safari folder and drag the Bookmarks.plist file to the Trash (or to a backup location if you are the cautious type).
- 13. On your main Mac, open System Preferences. Open the iCloud pane. Turn Safari ON. Open Safari, note that on the Mac from step 11, Safari has created a set of generic bookmarks. Now, delete ALL bookmarks in Safari’s bookmarks view. Some can be deleted with a group delete, others you'll need to hold down the Delete key to get rid of them all.
- 14. Wait a few minutes to give iCloud time to delete the cloud bookmarks. While waiting, your deleted Safari bookmarks should not reappear.
- 15. Close Safari
- 16. Turn OFF Safari sync in the iCloud Preferences on your main Mac
- 17. On your main Mac, locate the Bookmarks.plist file located in the safe location from Step 13, above. Make a backup copy of it and drag the original to your ~/Library/Safari folder and replace the file that's currently there.
- 18. Turn ON Safari sync in Preferences. Choose to merge the bookmarks with iCloud.
- 19. This should restore your bookmarks in iCloud!
- 20. You can now turn ON bookmarks syncing on your other Macs. Without launching Safari watch how a file called Bookmarks.plist gets created in the ~/Library/Safari folder. This will take a while and the file will flicker as it gets downloaded. When it’s done you can launch Safari and see your fixed bookmarks appear.
- 21. On your iDevices, open the Settings app, select iCloud and turn Safari ON. Launch Safari on each iDevices. The spinning sync symbol will spin around. When it’s done the bookmarks have been downloaded.
Enjoy your fixed and wonderfully duplicate-free bookmarks!