Recover Safari Backup After Downgrade - Clean Install

Discussion in 'macOS' started by babygirl44, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. babygirl44 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    #1
    Hi! I downgraded from High Sierra back to Sierra. Did a clean install of Sierra. I understand migration assistant won’t let me migrate files from a newer OS to an older OS. (My time machine backup is in High Sierra.)


    Anyway, is there a way to recover and restore Safari bookmarks from my external hard drive time machine backup? Tried to go to time machine backup folder in finder. But I’m unable to find the safari folder in ~timemachinebackup/user/library.
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    I'm not a Time Machine user... never have been, never will be.

    But... if you are able to browse around in the TM backup (I have no idea if this is even possible), you need to go to:
    home --> Library --> Safari --> bookmarks.plist

    Are you able to find that file? ("bookmarks.plist")

    If so, put a copy of it onto your desktop (Low Sierra) within "easy reach".

    Next, on your current (Low Sierra) install, open to
    home --> Library --> Safari

    ... and, copy the "bookmarks.plist" into it, REPLACING the file that is there.

    Then, try opening Safari (on the Low Sierra drive).

    Does it open?
    Not sure if it will, because the plist file was created with a later version of Safari.
    But... it just might.

    Try that and get back to us.
    If that doesn't work, there may be another way...
     
  3. babygirl44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    #3

    I’m able to browse through the time machine backup. But there’s no Safari folder on - ->home - ->library.
     
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #4
    Well, if you can't find your old bookmarks .plist, you might just have to "start over".

    I'm going to scold you a bit.
    This is happening because you used an UNRELIABLE backup utility called Time Machine.
    I won't use it myself, and I recommend that NO ONE use it.

    I don't care that TM is "Apple software" and "Apple's software is supposed to be the best, right?"
    What good is something like that if it won't help in a "moment of need" (like the one you're in NOW)?
    Get something that WORKS.

    If you want a backup utility that will actually SAVE YOUR BEHIND when something goes wrong, use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper.
    Either will create a BOOTABLE cloned backup of your internal drive.

    If something goes wrong (like it did for you), it's child's play to:
    1. Boot from the backup
    2. Restore your internal drive FROM the cloned backup
    3. It will then "be just like your drive was" before things went wrong.
    Or...
    If you need a file, you just "mount the cloned backup in the finder" and locate the file (or files) you need, then "copy them back over" manually.

    Both CCC and SD are FREE to download and try for 30 days.
    If you don't like the cloned backup, just erase it and use something else.
    But I think you -will- like the way these apps back up.
     
  5. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #5
    The Library folder in your User (home) folder is invisible. To get to the invisible Library folder: make Finder active (click on Desktop), hold the Option key while clicking on the Go menu, you will a Library listed in the drop down, select it, now find the Safari folder and look in it for the Bookmarks.plist file. Enter Time Machine with the Safari folder still open and you will be in the Safari folder in Time Machine. Go back in time to the Bookmarks.plist file you want then Restore it.
     
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #6
    Good point, Coastal. I immediately make my user library visible whenever I do any kind of software upgrade. It makes no sense to me that it's invisible.

    Isn't it thoughtful for Apple to make things so much harder to find, in a moment of need?
     
  7. babygirl44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    #7
    Thank you for this. I'm able to see the date of my last backup which was March 25, 2018, but time machine doesn't allow me to select that date. It's only showing "today".
     
  8. CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #8
    I have not tried to downgrade from High Sierra to a Sierra. I did test the process posted successfully by going back on my TM back up and accessing the Bookmarks.plist file for a date before I updated from Sierra to High Sierra. I did not replace my current Bookmarks.plist with the older file. I'm not sure why you can't access your older TM back up from March 25, 2018.

    Do you know if you were able to access the TM March 25, 2018 back up before the HS upgrade and reverting back to Sierra?
    Did you change something else like your User account ID?
    Can you successfully access the Bookmarks.plist o a date after March 25, 2018?

    I'm not an expert on TM, but I do use it as a secondary back up. My primary is a CCC clone. I have not had a problem with TM so far, but I have read about issues with it, to include people thought it was working but it was not backing up. I try to occasionally try to test it by accessing older files just to check. I especially test it before and after a OS upgrade.
     
  9. babygirl44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    #9

    No, I have not tried accessing time machine files before this.

    And yes, I changed my Macbook's user account name.

    I just don't get why there's not safari folder in library in time machine backup (accessing time machine folder via finder). this is so frustrating.:(
     
  10. CoastalOR, Apr 20, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018

    CoastalOR macrumors 68020

    CoastalOR

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon, USA
    #10
    Were you able to successfully locate the Library/Safari folder and see the Bookmarks.plist file in Finder before entering Time Machine?

    Again, I'm not a Time Machine expert, but my guesses are the TM backup was not a functional backup or Sierra can not access TM backup Library files created with High Sierra.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    Coastal wrote:
    "my guesses are the TM backup was not a functional backup or Sierra can not access TM backup Library files created with High Sierra."

    Here's one more reason why a cloned backup created with either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper is SUPERIOR TO a Time Machine backup.

    If you have a cloned backup, IT DOESN'T MATTER whether you created the backup on a "newer version of the OS" or not.
    You can use it anyway to get at your data files (and many other files as well).

    Just mount the backup "in the finder", set permissions so that "ownership is ignored" on the backup drive, and you can copy [almost] whatever you need.

    You CAN'T DO THIS with a TM backup.
    But with a CCC or SD cloned backup, YOU CAN.

    One important factor:
    The cloned backup (from High Sierra) must be in HFS+ format in order to use it in Low Sierra.
    This is why I would NEVER format ANY drive (other than the boot drive) in APFS.
    It makes that drive INACCESSIBLE FOREVER to any Mac running an older OS.
     
  12. babygirl44 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    #12
    Thank you guys. Tried to access time machine folder backup from my friend's MacBook operating on High Sierra. Still can't find safari folder on library from this backup. I've given up. Thank you everyone for all your help and suggestions.
     

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