iCloud has duplicated my bookmarks and bookmark folders many times. Now I cleaned all the bookmarks on my Mac but iCloud keeps syncing the old data and the deleted bookmarks reappear. On the icloud.com website, I found no way to reset the bookmarks. The iCloud pref pane doesn't offer any help either. Did I miss something?

5 Answers 5


According to this detailed Apple Support Forum post the trick is to use Lion 10.7.2 and Safari 5.1.1 to force a flush of the Data.

Simplified steps:

  • Turn off bookmark sync on all devices except the Mac
  • Backup current bookmarks on Mac
  • Correct bookmarks on Safari on the Mac
  • Move the new bookmarks out of you Safari Library folder
  • Delete all bookmarks and wait for iCloud to update.
  • Move the new bookmarks folder back and wait for iCloud to update
  • Delete all bookmarks on iOS devices and re-enable sync.

It's laborious, but I am fairly certain Apple will release better tools for this process. Considering there normal rollout, they are probably handling these issues in phases. They introduced Photo Stream reset mid way in the Beta, so I am sure they will bring the rest through over time.


The above method is nice; however, it won't help if you have 1000s of duplicates like I do. I wrote an Automator script that simulated the deletion of each book and then ran it.

automator script to delete a bookmark


Luckily I just finished doing this after reading this post. The key for dong this that I found was to turn off syncing on Lion, and then perform the tedious task of deleting all the bookmarks on the iPhone. For some reason, when you change things on the iPhone it seems like iCloud gets updated much faster. Then once I was sure that syncing was done (if you move to a different folder and then tap the "Edit" button, it'll tell you if it's syncing), I turned sync back on on the Lion computer, and lo and behold all the bookmarks synced nicely the way that I wanted. I hope that helps as well as the post above.


If you have thousands of bookmarks like I did:

  • switch off Safari syncing in iCloud on all your mobile devices, then
  • go to your Mac
  • open Safari
  • edit bookmarks, then
  • search for some common string in the bookmark entries, e.g., buzzfeed.com, or http:// or https://
  • press Cmd-A to select all the search result entries, then Shift-Delete to send them all to oblivion
  • then after a moment, re-enable Safari syncing on all your mobile devices.


PS: Inspired by @BinaryMisfit's answer


If you look for duplicate bookmarks cleaner, want to sort, clean up and organise your Safari here is a great app for it: https://appssalon.de/bookmarkapp


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