How to transfer web browser bookmarks to the iPhone

How to transfer web browser bookmarks to the iPhone
Mac Tip #417, 30 December 2009

Tired of typing URLs into your iPhone’s web browser? Here’s how to use the Bookmarks you already have on your computer.

iPhone uses Safari bookmarks

Any bookmarks you have in Safari on the Mac synchronise with Safari on the iPhone or iPod touch.

It’s holiday time and I’m away from my normal setup. Things probably work the same way for users of Windows, but I’m unable to test, I’m afraid. Please leave a Comment if you have useful information.

First, you need to have your favorite bookmarks in Safari on the Mac. If you use a different web browser, such as Firefox, then import the bookmarks into Safari.

Export Firefox bookmarks

Firefox export bookmarks.

Firefox export Bookmarks.

  1. Open Firefox.
  2. Choose Organise Bookmarks… from the Firefox Bookmarks menu. The Bookmarks Library window opens.
  3. Select the Bookmarks collection to export — for example, the All Bookmarks item.
  4. Click on the Favorites button on the Bookmarks Library window toolbar and choose Export HTML…. A standard Save dialog box is displayed.
  5. Choose a location and a filename for the exported Bookmarks file and click the Save button. The bookmarks file is saved.

Import bookmarks to Safari

  1. Open Safari on the Mac.
  2. Choose Import Bookmarks… from the Safari File menu. A standard Open dialog box is displayed.
  3. Select the file you exported from Firefox and click the Import button. The Safari Bookmarks window opens and an item labelled Imported [date] is added at the end of the Bookmarks list in the Collections column. That item contains the Bookmarks you exported from Firefox.

Synchronise Safari Bookmarks with iPhone

Sync Safari bookmarks to iPhone.

Sync Safari bookmarks to iPhone.

  1. Plug your iPhone or iPod touch in to your Mac.
  2. Open iTunes.
  3. Select your iPhone or iPod in the Devices portion on the left-hand side of the iTunes window. The right-hand side of the iTunes window displays Settings tabs for the selected device.
  4. Select the Info tab.
  5. Scroll down to the Web Browser section of the Info tab.
  6. Check the box beside Sync Safari bookmarks.

Now when you sync your iPod touch or iPhone to your Mac the Safari bookmarks will be transferred.

Use Bookmarks on your iPhone or iPod touch

To call up a bookmark on the handheld device open Safari on the device and tap on the open book icon at the bottom of the screen.

If you start typing an URL in the Safari Address Bar on the handheld then suggestions drawn from Bookmarks will be listed below the Address Bar. Select a suggestion to enter it in the Address Bar.

Most web browsers should offer a way to export the Bookmarks or Favorites file. Check with the Help for the browser you use. I was unable to find a way to export bookmarks for Google Chrome v

Do you have any comments on this Tip? Add them below.

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  1. Dennis Beebe said:

    I tried to import my Safari book marks to my iphone as suggested above but it didn’t work.
    Any other ideas on how to do this?

  2. Miraz Jordan said:

    Valerie emailed:

    Thank you for Mac Tip #417, 30 December 2009: How to transfer web browser bookmarks to the iPhone.

    Your post was very helpful, but I need to take this a step further: Isn’t there a way to save the bookmarks so that I can go to my favorite sites just by selecting them from a list or something? (rather than having to type a portion of the name) I have about 10 sites that I visit very regularly, and they all require logins.

    And even more importantly: Surely there must be a “Remember Me” feature on all my login pages, so I don’t have to type in logins and passwords every time?

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      Valerie, if you’ve saved the bookmarks on your iPhone as explained in this Tip then “To call up a bookmark on the handheld device open Safari on the device and tap on the open book icon at the bottom of the screen.” That opens the list of bookmarks and you can choose the one you want.

      I’ve found many websites have offered to save the login details.

      You can also go to websites that require a login direct from within the most excellent 1Password app. 1Password is the single most useful app on the Mac and for the iPhone. If you don’t yet have it then I urge you to try it out. See

      for more details.



  3. Tim Rowlands said:

    To export Google Chrome Bookmarks -
    From within Google Chrome -
    2. Bookmark Manager
    3. Organise
    4. Export Bookmarks

  4. Pingback: How to transfer web browser bookmarks to the iPhone — Mac Tips | Mac Affinity

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