4.12  Sync Loops

Sync Loops are not complicated to understand, but because it’s so important not to create one, we have a lengthy description, to make sure that everyone gets it.  You may stop reading as soon as you understand what a Sync Loop is.

Putting a Collection into a Online Synced Folder and activating an Agent between them creates a bookmarks syncing service.  Firefox Sync, Chrome’s Sign in, and iCloud - Safari syncing are also syncing services.

It is OK to use more than one syncing service, as long as they are syncing separate pairs or groups of browsers and devices, and only meet at one point.

A Sync Loop is created when you configure two syncing services to do the same job; to keep the same bookmarks in sync.  To make sure you don’t have a Sync Loop, draw a diagram of your setup, showing your devices and browsers, like the diagrams in our example sketches.  Note that in our setups, you cannot start at one browser on a device, trace around the blue lines and come back to the same browser from a different direction.  There are no complete loops of blue lines.  No loops.  That’s what you want.

Syncing services in a Sync Loop will step on one another’s work as they fight over your bookmarks, continually un-doing and re-doing.  Deleted bookmarks will reappear, and may even multiply.  Don’t create a Sync Loop.

Because Smarky, Synkmark and BookMacster only runs on Macs, if you only have one Mac, you don’t need to worry about Sync Loops involving these apps.

To correct a Sync Loop, choose which syncing service you want to do the syncing between two device/browsers, and disable the other service.  For example, disable Firefox Sync, or in Google Chrome, Sign out..  In Smarky, Synkmark or BookMacster, that means to switch off syncing (agents)

Our apps have a little algorithm which detects when there is probably a Sync Loop, disables syncing and warns you.  But by that time a lot of damage has been done, and you’ll need to zero everything out and re-populate from a backup.  Our apps have adopted macOS Versions (File > Revert to > Browse All Versions…), so backups should be available, but it ruins your day.