UPDATE (15 May 2023): And … about 48 hours after this original post, bookmarks starting successfully syncing in full to my tablet, after months of failing totally (despite my many best efforts and every sync trick I know). Coincidence? Could be. But I’ll say “Thanks Google!” anyway.
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Greetings. Recently I asked around for suggestions to help figure out why (after trying all the obvious techniques) I could no longer get my Chrome bookmarks to sync to my primary Android 13 tablet.
Now, courtesy of a gracious #Mastodon user who pointed me at this recent article, I have the answer as to the why. But there’s no apparent fix. Bookmark sync is now broken for power users in significant ways:
In brief, Google appears to have imposed (either purposefully or not) an undocumented limit to the number of bookmarks permitted to be synced between devices. If you exceed that limit, NO bookmarks appear to usually sync — you can end up with no bookmarks at all on most affected devices.
In my case, my Android 13 phone is still syncing all bookmarks correctly, while my tablet has no bookmarks, and shows the “count limit exceeded” error in chrome://sync-internals that the above article notes.
The article suggests that the new undocumented limit is 100K for desktops and 20K for mobile devices. It turns out that I have just over 57K bookmarks currently, so why the limit is exceeded on the tablet and not on the phone is a mystery. But having ZERO synced bookmarks on the tablet is a real problem.
Yeah, there are third party bookmark managers and ways to create bookmark files that could be viewed statically, but the whole point of Chrome bookmark sync is keeping things up to date across all devices. This needs to work!
And if you feel that 57K bookmarks is a lot of bookmarks — you’re right. But I’ve been using Chrome since the first day of public availability, and my bookmarks are the road maps to my use of the Net. For them to just suddenly stop working this way on a key device is a significant problem.
I’d appreciate some official word from Google regarding what’s going on about this. Have they established new “secret” limits? Is this some sort of bug? (The error message suggests not.) Please let me know, Google. You know how to reach me. Thanks.