How to sync Safari bookmarks on iPhone, iPad with Mac or PC

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 on iPhone

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 either Internet Explorer or Safari. 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 all of your devices 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. Windows PC users will need the iCloud control panel, available for download for free from Apple. Your iPhone will need to have iOS 5 or later.

 

On your Mac, follow these steps:

  1. Open System Preferences (Apple menu > System Preferences)
    iCloud system preferences
  2. Open iCloud and check the services you’d like to keep in sync. Make sure there is a checkbox next to SafariiCloud on Mac sync bookmarks

For PC users, install the iCloud control panel.

  1. You’ll need to enter your iCloud credentials (in most cases your Apple ID).
  2. Check the box next to Bookmarks.iCloud sync on Windows PC

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

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 bookmarks on iPhone

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 booksmarks in sync.

  • C. Kuni

    Thank you for your help. Is there a way to accomplish this if one does not use iCloud? (There is such a thing as privacy concerns, hacking ala Target credit info, etc.) It is quite annoying since my bookmarks used to sync just fine and now they won’t. Thanks again!