Having an organized set of bookmarks can vastly improve your experience when browsing the web. Conversely, having different sets on different computers, iPhones and devices can be frustrating. It’s not simply a matter of remembering your favorite sites, but the time you save in manually entering each website address. Whether you are surfing the web for fun, work or education, bookmarks are a vital part of the overall experience. If you mainly surf the web from your iPad, you may be looking to export your favorite bookmarks, so that they are accessible on your Mac or PC. We’re here to help you bring a sense of order to your bookmark chaos. Read on for our comprehensive guide to how to sync Safari bookmarks on iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Sync Safari bookmarks

Conduct a bookmarks inventory
Before you start, I’d highly recommend you do an inventory of your bookmarks across your devices. If you are like most folks, your bookmark hub lies within the recesses of your browser of choice on your Mac or PC. For the purpose of this tutorial, you will need your bookmarks in Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox. All modern browsers have an import and export feature. The issue you’ll have to struggle with is if you are ready to permanent move to a new browser. Given the convenience of syncing across all of your devices, I’d say it’s worth the move. Having switched years ago from Firefox (Mac) to Safari, I did so because of bookmarks syncing in the now extinct MobileMe. Back to your bookmarks. If the same subset is on your iPhone, you’ve properly set-up syncing. If not, don’t worry, let’s work on moving these between your computer, tablet and iPhone, like a well oiled machine.

Syncing Bookmarks On iPhone With A Mac or PC
The easiest and most effective way to sync your bookmarks is to use Apple’s free iCloud service. In order to do so, you’ll need to upgrade your Mac to OS X 10.7.4 or later. Apple’s Yosemite, available as a free download is Mac OS X 10.10. Windows PC users will need the iCloud control panel, available for download for free from Apple. If your iPhone is running iOS 8/7/6, you’re good to go.

On your Mac, follow these steps:

1. Open System Preferences and select iCloud (Apple menu > System Preferences > iCloud).

System Preferences Mac

2. Open iCloud. If you aren’t logged in, do so using the same username and password that you are using on your iPhone. Check the services you’d like to keep in sync. Make sure there is a checkbox next to Safari.

Safari sync settings Yosemite

For PC users, you’ll need to install the free iCloud control panel. You can download from Apple.

1. You’ll need to enter your iCloud credentials (in most cases your Apple ID).

2. Check the box next to Bookmarks.
iCloud Windows control panel

Tip: By default, iCloud will sync bookmarks with Internet Explorer. If you have Safari installed, there will be an options button. Selecting this will allow you to sync with Safari, Firefox or Chrome.

Now that we have the PC/Mac portion of the process completed, there is just one final step to syncing with your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

  1. Open Settings > iCloud
  2. Enter your Apple ID. Apple recommends using the same login for iCloud.
  3. Below you should see a list that includes Safari. Switch to ‘On’

Sync Safari bookmarks iOS

What I’ve described above is how to sync your bookmarks on iPhone between a Mac or PC. In actuality, syncing does not have to be confined to a finite set of devices. If you have a PC at work, Mac at home and use multiple iOS devices, they all can be set-up to use iCloud and keep your bookmarks in sync.