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I cur­rently have an iMac, MacBook Air and four iOS de­vices which are con­fig­ured to use iCloud. All in­ter­act with suc­cess­fully, how­ever, I have one ex­cep­tion which is Sa­fari and book­marks. For some rea­son my iMac de­cided to cre­ate thou­sands of fold­ers en­ti­tled Fi­nan­cial In­for­ma­tion, all with no data in. Through iCloud these fold­ers are repli­cated on each de­vice, eating into valu­able stor­age space on the smaller ones!

I de­cided to pur­chase Sa­fari Prairiefire as it was re­ported to solve the prob­lem. It was par­tially suc­cess­ful as it cleared out the empty fold­ers, leav­ing a cleaned book­mark list. How­ever, as soon I re­con­nect Sa­fari to iCloud the du­pli­cate fold­ers re­turn.

In a fi­nal at­tempt, I switched off Sa­fari’s iCloud sync­ing on all de­vices and cleared out the du­pli­cate fold­ers. On the iPhone, I switched on Sa­fari sync­ing and the re­sult was the du­pli­cates ap­peared af­ter a few min­utes. Can you help? Bryan Knope Chris­tian Hall says… That prob­lem sounds hugely ir­ri­tat­ing. We’ve en­coun­tered a slightly dif­fer­ent prob­lem in which book­marks weren’t sync­ing to one of our de­vices at all, but that seemed to re­solve it­self when we turned off Sa­fari sync­ing for an ex­tended pe­riod be­fore re-en­abling it. In fact, Ap­ple’s gen­eral ad­vice on fix­ing prob­lems with sync­ing iCloud Book­marks (http://ap­ple.co/1UAI0HP) in­cludes a sug­ges­tion that you should wait sev­eral min­utes be­tween turn­ing off the fea­ture and turn­ing it back on again. If a few min­utes isn’t re­solv­ing your prob­lem, try wait­ing for at least an hour!

Fail­ing that, on a Mac that has a com­plete copy of your Sa­fari book­marks, choose File > Ex­port Book­marks. Next, turn off Sa­fari in iCloud’s set­tings on all of your de­vices, in­clud­ing that Mac, and choose the op­tion to delete book­marks when each de­vice asks. Man­u­ally check that this has been done to en­sure none of the de­vices can prop­a­gate un­wanted items back to iCloud. When you’ve con­firmed that no book­marks re­main, re­turn to the Mac and choose File > Im­port From > Book­marks HTML File and choose the file you ex­ported. Take this op­por­tu­nity to re­move du­pli­cates, then turn on Sa­fari in iCloud’s set­tings. Wait a while to en­sure they’ve up­loaded, then turn on the fea­ture on another de­vice and check that only the wanted book­marks ap­pear, and re­peat on other de­vices. Let us know how you get on.

Book­mark sync­ing has been known to take time to work.

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