iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch: Sync/Transfer Your Bookmarks with Desktop/Laptop Computer’s Web Browser

If you have a large collection of bookmarks on your Desktop or Laptop computer and want to add them to your iPad, you could go through the long task of typing them in one-at-a-time or you could opt for a simpler, less painful method using iTunes to transfer the bookmarks for you. The two-way sync will work with Safari on Mac computers and with both Internet Explorer and Safari for Windows on Windows PC’s. You can use a workaround to get Chrome or Firefox bookmarks onto the iPad, but it will not give you a 2-way sync between browsers.

1. Connect your iPad to your computer and open iTunes.

2. Select your device from the left column.

3. In the right column, select the Info tab.

4. Scroll down to the Other section.

5. For Mac users: Check the Sync Safari bookmarks checkbox.

For Windows users: Check the Sync bookmarks from checkbox and select either Internet Explorer or Safari from the dropdown menu.

6. Click the Apply or Sync button.

The two-way sync between your device and your computer is now created and will include them in the sync process when the device is connected to iTunes.

If you are using a browser other than those mentioned above, you can still get your bookmarks to your device by using iTunes, unfortunately this means that you will have to export your bookmarks from Chrome, Firefox, Opera, etc. and import them into either Internet Explorer or Safari. You would then use the above steps to move the bookmarks to your device. While it does seem to be a sloppy solution, it sure beats having to enter the bookmarks by hand.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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  • RichardFrisch

    Alternatively, you can use a web-based “bookmarking” service like Delicious.com, Google Bookmarks (google.com/bookmarks or Xmarks.com.

  • Richard, you beat me to it =]

    I really do enjoy the social bookmarking of Delicious, especially the tagging allows me to bookmark many more pages and keep them organized.

    Also Chrome has a feature to sync it’s own bookmarks with other installations of Chrome you might have – and effectively backs up your bookmarks on the web.

    • Anonymous

      We are big fans of delicio.us and chrome as well. Both of these are excellent non-integrated ways to access your bookmarks on your ipad/iphone.

  • We have to sign in for our account for these web based bookmarking sites, so this may help who want to avoid it.

  • Kyliehlf

    i lost all my bookmarks from IE8 after synced my iphone4, can anybody guide me how to restore back the bookmarks in IE? thank you very much.

  • LG

    Hi all,
    This suggested fix doesn’t work for me because when I open iTunes in my MacBook, it says my bookmarks are syncing “through the air” through iCloud (except they’re not!) and it doesn’t provide any checkbox for the Safari bookmark syncing. Got any other ideas?

  • Michael

    To LG, I just figured out how to change that. To do so:

    1. On your ipod, go to settings.
    2. Go to iCloud.
    3. Bookmarks should be on, if so turn it off. When you do so the option for Safari, Internet Explorer, etc should appear in iTunes.

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