Kbase disappointment

I have heard so many kbase bell dings on the podcast that I have to admit I have been very confused and disappointed to discover that all this time they were just talking about articles on the Apple support pages? I expected some sort of grand master-wiki somewhere.

Is this the right kbase or am I missing something?

I’ve wondered too. @ismh is there a top secret developer-only kbase?

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Apple K-base articles are found by searching a topic on the Apple website under support. They offer mostly good solutions to issues one might have with an Apple product.

Apple and AASP employees often use them for reference or to find ways to repair a device. Software and Hardware issues discovered by Apple, plus possible solutions, will be found there.


I am well aware of what kbase stands for. I just thought these were something specific to MacPowerUsers.

I’m going to disagree with you here. I find the official Apple support site to be problematic for the following reasons:

  1. Click-bait. They dominate all the SERP’s for anything Apple-related, AND…
  2. They are 95% one-answer items, AND…
  3. The answer is almost always some version of “have you tried turning it off and back on?” - often some Apple-related person copy-pasting something from a manual.

Therefore, I have just taken a drastic step. After once again being frustrated at trying to resolve my wife’s frustrations regarding her watch not recording her standing times, I finally did it. I added ‘discussions.apple.com’ to my list of sites to block from Google Search results. No more kbase for me!

Somewhere in an alternate universe, a bell is ringing.


I’m aware of the discussion group, but is there an actual knowledge base somewhere?

Apple employees and AASP providers have access to kbase articles that go further than the discussion.apple.com site provide. I have found the discussion boards will offer mixed solutions to problems users are experiencing (ie: donblanco’s comment about turning it off and on again or copy+paste a generic article).

Apple will update kbase articles fairly often as new solutions are found. It can be frustrating when looking for an answer and Apple doesn’t make it simple to locate that solution.

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It can also be frustrating, as in the case of the original poster, when Apple simply doesn’t have an article that fixes your specific problem. That’s completely understandable; I’ve been there myself. But during my experience as an AppleCare employee, the vast majority of the cases I handled were solved using the information in the public-facing portion of those knowledge base articles. They were our primary resource for technical information during training and on the job, and they were updated frequently. It wasn’t a careless process. But those articles can’t address everything. For a variety of reasons, some problems require a different level of attention not possible in a knowledge base article.

The articles used to show up more prominently in my Google searches, but I just tried a few different searches and had a more difficult time getting a result that would take me to what I would consider an actual knowledge base article.

This is an an example of one: Restore your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch from a backup

If you look at the URL of that page, the file name (or whatever you call the last section of the URL) is HT204184. That’s an indication that it’s a knowledge base article. Many of my more experienced AppleCare colleagues were able to rattle off those six-digit numbers from memory when asked for help with certain common problems.

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ok, so support.apple.com is kbase, and discussion.apple.com is just mainly users?

Correct. The discussions seem to predominate in my Google searches. I may be remembering incorrectly, but not so long ago, the kbase articles were more prominent in my searches. My preference is the articles. Many of those discussions seem to involve a lot of people saying “I have that problem too.”

Also (I had forgotten this) you can find kbase articles using Apple’s Support app on the iPhone. The “Discover” section of that app is basically just a curated selection of kbase articles, and the Search function lets you search through the whole kbase and narrow your search by product.

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