Safari bookmarks disappear on iPad/iPhone

Several users have reported that their Safari bookmarks have disappeared. Users have also reported that Safari bookmarks do not appear to be syncing properly.

If you’ve suddenly lost your bookmarks, or your bookmarks are not syncing, try closing the Safari app. To do so:

  • Double press the home button.
  • Recently used apps will appear on the bottom of your screen.
  • Locate the Safari icon (scroll right by swiping if you don’t see it). This will display a list of apps running in the background on your iPad/iPhone.
  • Tap and hold the Safari icon until it wiggles.
  • Tap the red minus sign.
  • Click home button
  • Tap the Safari icon and restart Safari



    • John says

      Thanks for posting your notes folks. Unfortunately my MacBook Pro is so old (6+ years) and has such an outdated OS (10.6.8) with maxed out memory and cache, that it will not allow me to update to Lion, so as a result I am unable to add iCloud to the laptop. To get around the hassle of not being able to sync my Address Book and Safari bookmarks via Wi-Fi, I simply used the cable (which came with the iPad) went to iTunes and synced from there. Like magic, all is good now between my MBP and iPad.

    • Dana English says

      I’m completely confused. I cannot delete Safari from my phone. It won’t let me. I hold it down the way that the instructions say and I don’t get a delete option.

  1. says

    Thanks for posting this! I usually kill an app when it’s misbehaving but I hadn’t tried that when my Bookmarks disappeared. Instead Zi tried disabling and reenabling iCloud, to no avail. Thanks again for the help.

  2. Rick H says

    Thank you! Thank you!! Worked – Bookmarks are magically back – Saving this fix – have a feeling I might need it again – Was ready to run to the Apple Store

    • John says

      Thanks! I believe disappeared because iCloud is not installed on your Mac along with the built in version on your iPad. This is only a guess!

  3. Susana says

    It didn’t work! I am so frustrated. I had lots of bookmarks, some of which were very important. No idea how I’m going to recreate them.

    • Jeanette says

      I too lost my Bookmarks and History, all I had in my History was ‘Bing’. I tried the fix which closes the Safari app but it did not work. I then did a hard reset, in which you turn off the iPad by sliding the bit on the screen to force it to close, I athen turned it back on and found my History and Reading List had returned. Maybe this will help Susana.

    • Jeanette says

      That didn’t work for me. Mine came back after doing a restart:- “Restart iPad:  Hold down the Sleep/Wake button until the red slider appears. Slide your finger across the slider to turn off iPad. To turn iPad back on, hold down the Sleep/Wake until the Apple logo appears.”
      Excerpt From: Inc, Apple. “iPad User Guide for iOS 5.1.” Apple Inc., 2012. iBooks.
      When I went back into Safari, the Bookmarks etc. had returned.

  4. Jennie says

    Thanks for this info, worked like a charm! All my bookmarks are synced over wifi to safari on my desktop so I was confused on why they disappeared out of nowhere on my phone to begin with, but all is good now thankfully! Whew! Have had a couple ‘oh crap’ panic moments ever since I transferred everything f/ my 4 to my new iPhone 5 & was thinking NO NOT AGAIN! Apple, you’ve got to quit doing this to me or I’m gonna have gray hair in my 20’s!

  5. William Woods says

    Seems ICloud has replaced all my iPad Bookmarks with those on my Mac!! How do I get them back? They were very critical to our current trip planning. Very annoying!!!

  6. Barb says

    I rebooted my IPad twice, still no bookmarks. Then I did a drag down on the empty Bookmark list, like you do to update your email inbox or Facebook, and all the bookmarks were back.

  7. Becca says

    Happens to me every day. I close Safari, reopen, and my bookmarks are still not there. I go a step further and shut off my ipad after I close Safari, and that only restores my bookmarks half of the time. Then the problem just comes back again…frustrating.

  8. Steve says

    Thanks for the tip. This fixed things for me for my iphone 4. I’ve had this happen a few times now but never knew how to fix it. In the past I’ve just had the problem seemingly fix itself after a few days. Who knows, maybe for those times I did something but didn’t know it. Or, just like they all disappear for some reason, they just reappear for some reason. Craziness.

  9. Liz Strand says

    Thank you for this! My bookmarks just disappeared for the 1st time and I was freaking out, but this did the trick!

  10. says

    I would consider enabling iCloud so that your bookmarks are automatically synced between various devices. This also allows for easy installation of bookmarklets such as the Evernote web clipper or Pinterest Pin it button. Once you add them to Safari on a Mac, then are “synced” to other devices that have iCloud enabled.

  11. Stephanie says

    Thanks so much for your post. My bookmarks were gone from my ipad and by following these steps I was able to restart Safari and my bookmarks were recovered. Thanks for your help.

  12. Roberta says

    This is only a temporary fix and the bookmarks will continue to disappear and reappear randomly. How about Apple fixes the problem instead of applying a Bandaid to it.

  13. Bonnie says

    Thank you thank you! I was so stressed, but this worked in two seconds and all my cherished bookmarks are now back in their folder. Whew.


  14. James says

    Another potential fix is to clear your safari history and cookie data in the safari settings

    Settings-safari-clear history/clear cookies and data

  15. Dave says

    Brilliant! Thanks for the fix…….thought I’d lost all my bookmarks and had tried everything I knew! The fix was so easy…….

  16. Elena says

    I had this problem and I did what the instructions said and it fixed it, even if you don’t think this will work give it a try

  17. KaTinka says

    All of my bookmarks disappeared this evening on the ipad3. I have tried all the “fixes” suggested in the forums and also on the apple sights. Nothing works. All I have is a bunch of search engine folders I have never seen before and I don’t have the ability to add bookmarks anymore – no plus sign in sight. Please help July 18, 2013

  18. Deb Swann says

    This happened last week and this process worked the first time! But they disappeared again today and this process did not work today! What is going in? I know if I call Apple they will charge me and that is unfair! I also had problems a month ago with my yellow notepad pages missing several days in a row after redoing! Anyone else had that prob?

  19. Michelle says

    I lost all of my bookmarks on my iphone 5/ipad 2, literally overnight (about 6 weeks ago). I woke up the next morning to nothing. I have read dozens of web sites and tried everything that they’ve suggested, including installing recovery software on my computer and syncing with it. While the software recovered TONS of “deleted” items under every category, my bookmarks are nowhere to be found. I’ve not gone to an Apple store or the like, but I can’t imagine what other option I have. This is so very frustrating.

  20. Chirag Sharma says

    The only way is to restore from a useful backup, if you have one.

    If you sync the iPad to iTunes and use Time Machine regularly, you would likely have the appropriate backup to restore from. In that case:

    Restore the iPad backup set from Time Machine from a date before you overwrote the bookmarks. The location of the backup is ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/ (you can get to it by pressing Cmd+Shift+G in the Finder and entering this path).

    Connect the iPad, run iTunes and restore from the backup.

    If you use iCloud Backup, then you can restore from iCloud and choose which date’s backup you’d like to restore from. You can check if you’re using iCloud Backup by opening the Settings app on the iPad, then going to the iCloud submenu and looking at the status right below “Storage & Backup”, where it would say “iCloud Backup is off.” (or “iCloud Backup is on.”, as the case may be).

    In any case, keep in mind that restoring from a backup means you lose all application data changes after the date of the backup.

    Also see Restoring from a previous iCloud backup.

  21. Dee says

    Happened many times on my iPad2 and I got them back by doing the hard shutdown. This time, nothing is working, when I try the shut Safari down method, Safari won’t shut down, I never get the “x”…..any other suggestions?

  22. Princ3ss says

    I’ve gotta be retarded bc I can’t get it to work. When I double click and see the open apps then press and hold safari nothing happens but it opens when I let go lol

  23. Sue says

    I have the same problem as Princ3ss. I can’t get the safari icon to wiggle. Any suggestions? I have lost all bookmarks on my iPads as well as my iPhone.

  24. Winnie says

    I have the similar problem as Sue. I got the safari icon to wiggle, but can’t see the minus sign suggested by the apple tech. No luck for me, I have to re-do all my book marks.

  25. nivaleno says

    As we all know, iTunes can automatically backup your iPhone/iPad/iPod data, but you have no access to them. Why can’t you get them from iTunes? It is because iTunes store the data in unreadable files. So you cannot check them directly. Does it mean that you can do nothing to recover your iPhone data? Definitely no, you can try FonePaw iPhone data recovery tool to solve this problem.

    It enables you to find the backup file and preview the contacts, messages, photos, videos, calendar, notes and call history in details, no matter which model of iPhone you are using, iPhone 6/6 plus/5s/5c/5/4s/4/3gs or the previous versions. You can recover any part of them according to your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *