Syncing bookmarks with iPad and Mac mini not happening


I'm running El Capitan on the Mac mini. The reason is I have to be absolutely 100% positive that PHOTOSHOP CS4 will work on Sierra. So, this is not upgraded.
The iPad is up to 11.4.

Since about November, my iPad and Mac will not sync bookmarks. I have tried a whole bunch of things: Reauthorizing; turning off Malwarbytes and Lil' Snitch; attaching the iPad with the iPod cable to the USB. I went to system preferences, held down OPTION and I see the iPad is showing up under USB. I read the information on the Apple site to "uninstall third party software" but that sent me somewhere that made no sense (to me as it talked about utilities and terminal windows, and things out of my pay grade :). I have turned the iPad on and off, turned Safari on and off, tried to reinstall anything that might make a difference, run the computer in safe mode, rebooted, etc.

BTW, if this makes any sense or help HISTORY is showing up ... it seems to be in real time. But bookmarks are stuck in 2017.

Is this a lost cause? Or, will this magically sync when I upgrade the Mac to Sierra or High Sierra? I'll try Sierra first if that's still an option; and the Photoshop CS4 works. I cannot afford to lose it as I don't use it that often and cannot spend the money for any upgrades to that software.

Any ideas? Thanks.
Have you checked:
On the iPad. Go to Settings->Safari->Favorites. Make sure Favorites is checked (or whatever sites or folder you choose)

FWIW: My wife's MBP running OS 10.13.5 High Sierra runs Photoshop CS3 quite nicely. (I use Pixelmator)
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Thanks so much re: the Photoshop info. Roaring Apps is "indefinite." Yes, checking Favs was one of the first things I did. The "Favorites" do not match with those on the computer; anything I delete from the computer (for example, an old bookmark folder), doesn't delete on the iPad. And the list along the top of the iPad showing my folders doesn't match anything ...