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I had an iPhone and a Mac connected to an iCloud account, and I recently got an iPad. However, I noticed that I can't see all my tabs on all my devices.

It seems like iCloud thinks my iPad and iPhone are the same device:

  • On the Mac, I only see one iOS device at a time. If I used my iPhone last, that's what it'll show. Then if I use my iPad, the tabs list is replaced with my iPad's tabs.

  • On either iOS device, I can only see the Mac.

So far I have tried:

  • rebooting
  • signing in and out of iCloud
  • changing the names of the devices
  • restoring the devices from backups

Has anyone else encountered this problem?

  • 1
    If you change the names of each device to something short and unique (say A and b) do the iCloud tab names in safari change after a reboot of both devices and then opening new tabs? Sometimes the iCloud update takes several minutes to 15 minutes to get caught up when it pauses. – bmike Jul 4 '14 at 18:18
  • Yeah, the names change and the tabs for each device show up correctly. It's just that it will only display the device that I used last. – Kevin Chen Jul 4 '14 at 23:29
  • Bummer. I was hoping it would be easy. – bmike Jul 5 '14 at 16:46
  • Also, is there any chance that AppleID was used with the new beta iCloud features for registered developers and iOS 9 / Yosemite? – bmike Jul 7 '14 at 21:03
  • My Apple ID is tied to a developer account, but I have a separate account for beta testing. Beta OSes haven't touched this iCloud account yet. – Kevin Chen Jul 7 '14 at 21:20
2

This is caused by setting up your iPad from your iPhone’s backup.

In macOS, the file ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.Safari.*.plist holds a key named SyncedTabsDeviceUUID. The value of that string uniquely identifies your browser’s synced iCloud Tabs.

Since I have Safari Technology Preview installed, I have a second file ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost/com.apple.SafariTechnologyPreview.*.plist, with a different SyncedTabsDeviceUUID allowing both Safari and Safari Technology Preview to sync their tabs independently via iCloud.

When you restore a device from backup, that SyncedTabsDeviceUUID gets restored as well, leading to collisions during iCloud Tabs syncing.

If you want to get fancy, you could try backing up your iPad to iTunes, find and edit that file within your iOS backup, then restore it back to your iPad.

Or you could just setup your iPad as new and get a legitimate unique ID for it.

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I have been experiencing the same issue for the last year. My only thought is that it has something to do with initializing my iPad from a backup of my iPhone. Perhaps there is some type of device identifier that carried across, which could make the two devices overwrite each other's iCloud Tabs settings? But I think this is unlikely, because everything else iCloud-related is working.

Still, I would recommend wiping your iPad, and initializing it as a new device, without restoring from a backup. So crazy, it just might work!

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I had the same problem with my iPad Mini. I used an iPhone backup when initialising it. Just reset the iPad Mini and now both iPhone and iPad webpages show together on my MacBook. Each iOS device have the others webpages with MacBook.

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Your best bet is that iCloud can only show one device at a time. What you could try to do, however, is link the two iOS devices together via Bluetooth. That might sync the tabs between the two and list both of their tabs. If not, than iCloud is a one-at-a-time thing.

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  • 3
    Absolutely not true. iCloud tabs work for me with multiple devices. – samh Jul 10 '14 at 14:25

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