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Dashboard Widget Sync

For the most part, MobileMe's (née .Mac) "sync" features work well. They keep my calendars, my contacts, my preferences, and more just as I like them on multiple machines ((About the only additional thing I wish it could do is to synchronize folders (like ~/Library/Scripts/) across machines.)).

Unfortunately, the Dashboard sync is seemingly hopelessly broken. For two weeks I've been battling this dialog box:

Dashboard Sync

On my Mac Pro, I created four "Delivery Status" widgets to track four packages I was expecting. I'm on my Mac Pro 90+% of the time and on my MacBook Pro the remainder of the time, and things worked fine until I closed the widgets on the Mac Pro.

For the next two weeks, my Mac Pro and the MBP went into what seemed like an endless cycle of adding and deleting widgets. My Mac Pro would offer to add them. I'd let it (you really have no other choice - cancel just delays it), wait a minute or two for the sync to finish (and often wait another minute or two after that), and then close the widgets. Sometimes I'd manually sync after closing the widgets.

Then the next time I'd log into my MacBook Pro, it'd often tell me to delete the four widgets. Great! I'd again choose "Sync" and it'd grind away. I'd open the dashboard and they wouldn't be there. Good. But then the next time the Mac Pro synced, it'd ask me to add them again!

After two weeks, I finally clicked "Reset Sync Data…" on my Mac Pro (with the widgets closed and deleted), over-wrote whatever garbage was on MobileMe for just the Dashboard Widgets, and synced it up. I then opened the MBP and forced a sync, which showed a conflict. I chose "overwrite data on computer from MobileMe." Things work again.

Now, I'd be perfectly happy to write this off as a one-time thing, but as I recall, this same thing happens to me with dashboard widgets all the time. I'm not sure if it's because I occasionally have different versions of widgets enabled on the two machines, or if it's because my MacBook Pro has about half of the widgets my Mac Pro has, or what - but it happens all the time with dashboard widgets. The solution's the same every time, too: force a sync via "Reset Sync Data…".

Does anyone else experience this? I'd like to file a bug (if there's actually a problem), but I can't narrow it down very well here.

5 Responses to "Dashboard Widget Sync"

  1. I've never had a problem with widgets but somewhere in the "cloud", there is an old, old, old Keychain whose password I don't remember anymore. I get prompted for the password randomly when the sync happens. I just want it gone. I've tried overwriting the MobileMe Keychain with the local Keychain, but that just prompts me for the same password.

  2. Yes, I have the same problem with syncing widgets and it is really annoying. Since I do not clearly understand if you were able to stop the problem or how you actually did it. I guess I will go to the Apple store and get them to stop this merry-go-round.

  3. Yes, have the same problem with syncing between my iMac at home and my MacBook Pro with MobileMe in the middle. I'm in an endless sync loop deleting and then inadvertently an annoying HP ink supply widget for a useless HP printer I threw out the window last year.
    Sounds like the "Reset Sync Data" didn't work. Can you confirm

  4. Also 3rd party widgets are not syncing. I've found this :

    "This is normal. Simply download and install the third-party widget on each computer, then sync again.

    Syncing Dashboard Widgets only syncs whether or not a widget should be displayed and it's preferences."


  5. It's been two years since you posted this but I do still have the same problem. Big fail, Apple.