The are two reasons why I didn't want an automatic internet connection on startup. First, I didn't want any Apple software automatically downloaded/installed. Second, I didn't want my Safari bookmarks on this particular computer synced. In early October, I had a bookmark syncing problem that I basically rectified myself. The two links below, and just two of my many posts, should explain what happened.
Anyway, this particular computer is a 5 year old, 27 inch, 3TB fusion drive, that had the drive replaced by Apple last summer. It has the latest Mojave, and is now just a spare. This Mac hadn't been running since the spring, or early summer.
As I previously stated, as soon as the computer started up and I gained access to the controls, I turned off the WIFI.
I then went over to Software Update. Fortunately, automatically install macOS updates and download new updates when available, were not checked.
I then went over to iCloud/Safari. It had a checkmark, which I quickly unchecked.
With bated breath, I checked the Safari bookmarks on my other devices. Fortunately, they had remained intact, confirming that the synced bookmarks remained uncorrupted.
I then nuked all traces of the Safari bookmarks on the newly fired up computer, about three times. I then clicked on the iCloud/Safari box to start syncing, and waited nervously for the correct bookmarks to show up. Which they eventually did, and the correct bookmarks remained on the Cloud. And so far, the Safari bookmark problem has remained absent.
All Macs are still running the latest Mojave. All Macs except for the notebook are still running the most recent Safari 12. The notebook is running the latest 'Safari The Thirteenth'.
The iPad Pro is running the latest operating system. The 6 year old (Perpetual motion) iPad is running the most recent operating system that can be installed on it.
On final note, when I selected iCloud/Safari on the Mac in question, the checkmark did not immediately show up. But it eventually did. I had noticed the same thing happen on at least one of the other computers when I finally got the other devices to sync last month.
Back when the bookmark problem showed up, I would click the iCloud/safari box twice in secession, to get the checkmark to show. I'm now wondering if I shouldn't have clicked the box twice.
Below are links the bookmark problem, and what I did to rectify it.
Installed Safari 13.0 and now have a bookmarks problem
This morning I installed Safari 13.0 on a MacBook Pro running the latest Mojave OS.
The first thing that I noticed was a problem with the Safari bookmarks. Namely, the bookmarks were out of order in one of the bookmark folders. I then, in turn noticed that they were also out of order in the same Safari bookmark folder in two of the desktops running the latest Mojave and the iPad Pro running the latest OS 12. The only Safari bookmarks that werenít affected were on an ancient iPad with its most allowable update.
The two desktops are backed up with Time Machine. I have restored the correct bookmarks numerous times, but whenever I attempted to sync the updated bookmarks to iCloud, the bookmarks in the problematic folder reverted back to the out of order positions.
I have tried this https://support.apple.com/en-in/HT203519
on both desktops, the MacBook, and the iPad Pro, numerous times. But no joy.
How do I force iCloud to backup my selected Safari bookmarks?
Bookmark Syncing is Broke in Catalina
Here is what I did to sync the correct bookmarks that were on the source device, and so far have remained correct on the source device.
1/ Safe start.
2/ Selected normal user.
3/ Turned off Firewall.
4/ Selected WIFI from DSL modem (AirPort).
5/ Deleted bookmark prefs.
6/ Opened Safari and deleted generic bookmarks that showed up from somewhere. Closed and opened Safari. If generic bookmarks kept showing up, continued to delete them until they no longer showed up.
7/ With Safari closed, deposited the correct bookmark prefs in the Safari folder.
8/ Selected to sync bookmarks. NOTE: Checkmark didnít show for a time. It finally showed in the box. Previously, I had always immediately clicked the box a second time to have the checkmark show in the box. Perhaps this was a mistake and I should have allowed the checkmark to show up on its own.
9/ Bookmark syncing was very quick.
10/ The bookmarks are normally kept in six folders, and which are the only things showing in the favourites bar. Not only did the folders show up in the favourites bar, they have remained there. And the folders have retained the correct bookmarks.
11/ As with the problems that Iíve had previously, loose bookmarks again showed up that were outside of the folders. Took a few tries of deleting them, after opening and then closing Safari a few times. Finally had success.
As for now, attempting to sync the correct bookmarks to the other iMac, and the MacBook Pro, I havenít made the attempt. But I have done the above steps one through six on them.
Nothing has been tried on the iPads as yet, but bookmark syncing is turned off on both of them.
Coming up to three hours, and I just closed and opened Safari. The bookmark problem is nowhere to be seen.
Still in the Safe Mode, Firewall still off, and still on AirPort WIFI which is connected to the DSL modem.
Now to see if the other devices will successfully receive the correct bookmarks from iCloud, and the correct bookmarks remain on the source device.
If there is a successful migration, itíll then be a normal start, FireWall on, and back to using the cable modem for both a hard wire connection, and WIFI.