I’ve been a user of Google’s Browser Sync utility for almost two years. It works seamlessly in the background making sure my cookies and bookmarks are all exactly the same on each of the three computers I frequently use. A few weeks ago I ran into an issue where one of the machines had duplicate bookmark items. I was worried about what would happen if I tried deleting these items from the one machine they were duplicated on. Finally a week ago I decided it was time to clean up these dupes. I exported the current bookmarks and spent an hour deleting duplicates and re-arranging items. The next morning when I switched computers I see that Google had removed all the folders that I was cleaning up from the first computer. This machine didn’t have the duplicate problem so it actually deleted valid bookmarks, then proceeded to replicate back to my other two computers. I lost about half of my bookmarks because of this. I tried to import the backup I had and clean things again yet it only made the problem worse. It was time for drastic measures.

I exported the bookmarks from each of my machines and even found a few old backups I had. This can be done from the Bookmarks Manager, File, Export. I had a total of 5 bookmark.html files. Now I proceeded to delete every bookmark on my laptop through Bookmarks Manager and forcing a Full Refresh from the Browser Sync settings.

I then did the same to the other two machines I had browser sync running on. It took a good few minutes for each of the browsers to fully sync. Now closing the browser on the other two machines I returned to the laptop and imported each of the 5 bookmark backup files and spent another hour cleaning them up. Once I had the bookmarks to my liking I immediately backed them up yet again before forcing another full sync. This sync took about 7-10 minutes to update. Once the update was done I forced full syncs on the other two computers and everything looked normal. It’s been a full day now and so far so good.