How to Manage Bookmarks and Favorites in Safari on Mac: A Complete Guide

Lori Kaufman 31-05-2018

Bookmarks and Favorites in Safari are easy ways to keep track of interesting sites you want to visit again later and your favorite sites you visit often. Bookmarks and Favorites have similar, but slightly different, purposes.


Use bookmarks to save links for sites you want to visit again later. Use Favorites to store links to a select few sites you visit often or every time you open Safari.

We’ll explain how to manage your bookmarks and Favorites in Safari so you can make the best use of them and keep them organized.

Managing Bookmarks in Safari

Browser bookmarks can quickly get out of hand, especially if you bookmark a lot of sites. So it’s a good idea to start organizing your bookmarks Creative Ways You Need to Try to Organize Your Bookmarks But, what really is the best way to save and organize bookmarks? Here are a few creative ways to do so, depending on your style and browser use. Read More into folders early on to keep them under control. But it’s never too late to get organized. It just might take a while if you have a large, unorganized collection of bookmarks.

How to Create Bookmark and Favorites Folders

Before adding a bookmark for a site, create a folder to put the bookmark in. First, click Show sidebar, or press Cmd + Control + 1.

how to manage bookmarks in safari - Show sidebar button


Make sure the Bookmarks button is selected (blue) at the top of the sidebar. Either right-click or Control-click anywhere in the sidebar and select New Folder.

Your Favorites are at the top of this sidebar and you can also use this method for creating Favorites folders.

Create a new folder for bookmarks

Enter a name for the folder and press Enter.


To create a new folder in the Bookmarks editor, click New Folder in the upper-right corner of the page.

If you want to add multiple existing bookmarks to a new folder, select the bookmarks and hold down Option as you click New Folder. The selected bookmarks are added to the new folder that you can rename as mentioned above.

Click New Folder in the Bookmarks editor

How to Add Bookmarks

To add a new bookmark and customize the name, description, and location, click the Share button in the upper-right corner of Safari. Select Add Bookmark.


Select Add Bookmark from the Share menu

This enters a default name for the bookmark based on the website title. But you can change the name if you want.

You can also add an optional description for the bookmark, which helps you remember why you bookmarked a page in the first place.

The first time you add a bookmark in Safari, the default folder is Favorites. We’ll talk about adding Favorites later. For now, we’re going to add the bookmark to the new folder we created above.


Select the folder from the Add this page to dropdown list and click Add. The folder you select becomes the default folder next time you add a bookmark.

Add Bookmark dialog box

To quickly add a bookmark, move your mouse over the address bar. Click and hold the plus icon on the left side of the box.

Select a bookmarks folder from the dropdown list. Safari adds a bookmark with the default name of the page to the selected folder. We’ll show you how to edit a bookmark later.

You can also add the page to your Favorites by selecting Favorites or a Favorites folder.

Add a bookmark using the plus icon on the Smart Search box

How to Move and Copy Bookmarks and Folders

If you already have a bunch of bookmarks 8 Tips to Stop Your Bookmarks Folder from Overflowing Buried in bookmarks? I have been there, too. Never again though, because I now have a fail-safe system to tackle bookmarks. I'll teach you how to regain control over your bookmarks. Read More , you can organize them into folders or rearrange them.

Drag the bookmark to a folder or another location on the sidebar. To copy a bookmark instead of moving it, hold down the Option key while you drag it.

This method also works for rearranging Favorites.

how to manage bookmarks in safari - Move a bookmark in the sidebar in Safari

How to Rename Bookmarks and Folders

To rename a bookmark or folder, right-click or Control-click on an item in the sidebar and select Rename. You can also force-click to rename. To do this, click and hold on the item until its text highlights.

If you’re in the Bookmarks editor, select the bookmark or folder you want to rename, and press Enter.

Enter a new name or change the current one, and press Enter to accept your changes.

This also works for renaming Favorites.

Right-click on a bookmark to rename it

How to Edit the URL for a Bookmark

Safari contains a Bookmarks editor that allows you to edit and delete your bookmarks and Favorites. Go to Bookmarks > Edit Bookmarks.

Use the same method we described for renaming bookmarks to change the Address for a bookmark or Favorite. The editor also allows you to edit Website names, but you can’t add bookmarks or Favorites in the editor.

how to manage bookmarks in safari - Bookmarks editor

How to Edit the Description for a Bookmark

You might want to add descriptions to your bookmarks, so you know why you saved the link to that page. If you forgot to do that for some of your existing bookmarks, you can edit their descriptions.

You can only edit the description for a bookmark on the sidebar, and only if the bookmark is in a folder. This is another good reason for putting bookmarks into folders.

To edit the description for a bookmark, double-click the folder containing the bookmark on the sidebar to expand it. Then, Control-click the bookmark you want to edit and select Edit Description.

The description is highlighted, allowing you to enter new text.

Select Edit Description for a bookmark

How to Delete Bookmarks

If your bookmarks are cluttered, you may want to delete old ones you don’t use anymore.

On the sidebar, either right-click or Control-click the bookmark you want to delete and select Delete.

To delete multiple bookmarks, Cmd-click the bookmarks and press the Delete key.

Delete a bookmark using the right-click menu

You can also click and hold on the bookmark’s name until it’s highlighted. Then click the X to the right of the name.

Both methods also work for deleting Favorites.

Delete a bookmark using force-click

How to Search Through Your Bookmarks

If you have a lot of bookmarks, you might find it hard to locate a certain one, even if you’ve organized them into folders. Thankfully, Safari allows you to search through your bookmarks.

Enter the text you want to search for in the search box at the top of the sidebar or in the upper-right corner of the Bookmarks editor. On the sidebar, you might have to scroll up to see the search box.

Results of the search display as you type. Click on the bookmark to open the page in the current tab.

To clear the search and go back to the full list of bookmarks, click the X button on the right side of the search box.

how to manage bookmarks in safari - Search for a bookmark on the sidebar

How to Import Bookmarks From Chrome or Firefox

Have you switched to Safari from Chrome or Firefox? You can easily import your bookmarks from either browser into Safari.

Go to File > Import From > Google Chrome or File > Import From > Firefox. Check the Bookmarks box on the dialog box and click Import.

You can do this at any time, even if you’ve imported bookmarks already.

Safari is smart enough to know which bookmarks you’ve already imported from Chrome or Firefox. So if you import bookmarks again, you’ll only get new ones you added to the other browsers. Or if you’ve deleted some bookmarks you imported, you’ll get those back the next time you import.

Select items to import Safari

The bookmarks and folders from Chrome or Firefox are imported at the root level on the sidebar. Use the methods we covered above to rename and rearrange bookmarks and folders, edit descriptions, or delete any imported bookmarks you don’t want.

Bookmarks imported from another browser in Safari

How to Import Bookmarks From an HTML File

You might want to import your bookmarks into a separate folder automatically, so you can keep them separate from the bookmarks you already had in Safari.

You can accomplish this by importing bookmarks from an HTML file, which you can export from Firefox or Chrome. See our guide to exporting Chrome bookmarks How to Back Up and Export Chrome Bookmarks in 5 Easy Steps Chrome can sync your bookmarks. But you can also export and import bookmarks manually to back them up in a safe place. Read More for info on this.

Go to File > Import From > Bookmarks HTML File. Then select the HTML file you want to import and click Import.

The imported bookmarks are put into a folder titled Imported with the current date.

how to manage bookmarks in safari - Bookmarks imported from an HTML file Safari

Managing Favorites in Safari

The Favorites bar sits just below the address bar at the top of the Safari window. It provides quick access to sites you visit often.

You can only specify one web page as your homepage. But what if you want to open multiple pages every time you open Safari? You can add your favorite pages to your Favorites and have quick access to them when you open Safari.

How to Show the Favorites Bar

Safari stores favorites on the sidebar and in the Bookmarks editor, as we showed you earlier. You can also access them on the Favorites bar.

If you don’t see the Favorites bar under the address bar, click Toggle the favorites bar on the toolbar, go to View > Show Favorites Bar, or press Cmd + Shift + B.

Toggle the favorites bar button

Only a certain number of sites will fit on the Favorites bar, so it’s best to limit the number of pages you add to your Favorites.

How to View the Favorites Page on the Current Tab

If you want to view and access your Favorites as thumbnails, you can open the Favorites page on the current tab. Go to Bookmarks > Show Favorites.

If you don’t see Show Favorites as the first option on the Bookmarks menu, you must make a change in Safari’s settings. Go to Safari > Preferences. On the General screen, select Favorites from the New windows open with popup menu.

New windows open with option in Safari's settings

Your Favorites are available as thumbnails on the current tab.

Favorites page in Safari

How to View the Favorites Page on a New Tab

If you want access to Favorites page when you open a new tab, go to Safari > Preferences.

On the General screen, select Favorites from the New tabs open with popup menu. New tabs will now display the Favorites page, which includes Frequently Visited sites at the bottom. We’ll show you how to hide the Frequently Visited sites section later.

New tabs open with option in Safari's settings

How to View Favorites From the Smart Search Box

Use the Smart Search box, or address bar, as a quick way to access your Favorites page without leaving the current web page.

Click in the address bar to open the Favorites in a popup window. Then click the icon for the page you want to visit. The Favorites popup window goes away and the selected page opens on the current tab.

Access Favorites from the address bar in Safari

How to Change the Bookmarks Folder on the Favorites Page

By default, the Favorites page shows all your Favorites and the folders under Favorites. But you can change this to show only the Favorites in a Favorites folder or a folder of bookmarks.

Go to Safari > Preferences. On the General screen, select the folder you want to view from the Favorites shows popup menu.

Favorites show option in Safari's settings

The selected folder displays when you open the Favorites page on a new tab or from the Smart Search box.

Bookmarks folder on Favorites popup window

How to Show/Hide Frequently Visited Sites in Favorites

If you don’t want to see Frequently Visited sites at the bottom of the Favorites page, you can hide them.

Go to Bookmarks > Show Frequently Visited in Favorites. When the option does not have a check mark in front of it, you won’t see the Frequently Visited sites on the Favorites page.

Frequently Visited sites on Favorites popup window Safari

How to Open Your Favorites in Tabs When You Open Safari

If you visit the same pages every time you open Safari, you can add these pages to your Favorites and have them open in separate tabs when you open a new window.

To do this, set up your Favorites using the methods described earlier. Then go to Safari > Preferences.

On the General screen, select Tabs for Favorites in the New windows open with dropdown list.

Select Tabs for Favorites in the Open Safari with option in Safari's settings

Keep Track of Your Favorite Pages in Safari

Safari already offers great tools in the bookmarks and Favorites features. And they’ll help you keep your favorite and important pages organized.

But if you want other options for managing your bookmarks, you can look through some great Safari extensions for bookmark management 8 Great Safari Extensions for Bookmark and Tab Management Whether you need assistance managing tons of bookmarks or regularly work with many open tabs at once, these tools can lighten your load. Read More .

Related topics: Mac Tips, Online Bookmarks, Safari Browser, Tab Management.

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  1. Arthur Carter
    November 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm

    The key thing missing in this article is how to organize and SORT bookmarks. It’s easy to generate thousands of bookmarks. However, Safari lacks a tool for sorting bookmarks in alpha order... so, the user faces a daunting, time wasting, frustrating task of manually keeping their bookmarks in alpha order so they can be found easily.

  2. Ken
    June 15, 2018 at 10:39 pm

    One thing that is hard to tell in Safari is if a page is already bookmarked! It would be nice if there was an indicator that a page is already bookmarked. Any ideas how to do this?