iCloud headaches

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
November 1st, 2012 • 9:09 am

I don’t know about this iCloud thing. I really don’t know…

I was away on a business trip earlier this week and had taken my iPad along. While browsing in Safari with the iPad, I noticed that my bookmarks bar contained two copies of a folder that I call “My Sites”, which contains bookmarks for the various web sites that I administer for my clients. When I clicked on one of the folders in the bookmarks bar, the full list of the contents of the folder would pop-up. When I clicked on the other one, what popped up was… an empty list.

So I used Mobile Safari’s built-in bookmarks management tools to delete the second copy of the folder in the bookmarks bar. And I thought nothing of it.

Then today I got back to my regular work environment on my desktop computer and noticed that, in my Safari bookmarks bar, the folder in question is completely gone!

In other words, it looks like the duplicate folder with the empty list of bookmarks that I saw on the iPad was the one that was showing up on my desktop Safari with the full list of bookmarks, and that the other folder with the full list of bookmarks on the iPad was a “phantom” copy of the folder that only showed up on the iPad.


Isn’t iCloud supposed to make our lives easier? How did this particular problem happen? How did iCloud become confused about my bookmarks and end up with a “phantom” copy of the bookmarks folder that only shows up on the iPad?

Who the hell knows… All I know is that I was able to solve the problem by doing the following:

  1. I turned bookmarks syncing off on my desktop computer.
  2. On the iPad, I renamed the bookmarks folder itself, thereby forcing iCloud to somehow “refresh” its copy of the bookmarks folder in the cloud. (I am using quotation marks here because the cloud is impenetrable and I have no idea what actually happened there.)
  3. I turned bookmarks syncing back on on my desktop computer.
  4. Soon enough, I had my bookmarks restored, with a full working copy of the bookmarks folder in question in the bookmarks bar, with the missing folder back in its normal place, with the new name.

I then simply changed the name back to my original folder name, and now it appears that all is well. But still… I simply should not have to deal with such issues.

I have also noticed a number of duplicate entries in my contacts on my iPad… Again, it looks like iCloud has worked its magic and made a mess of things.

I have a strong suspicion that, as more and more things are moved to the “cloud”, we are going to have to deal with more and more problems of this particular kind. The good news is that it probably means that professional troubleshooters are not going to be out of work any time soon. The bad news is that troubleshooting problems in the cloud is even more painful than on the desktop.

Years of fun ahead, as far as one can tell.

One Response to “iCloud headaches”

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