Many users love Safari’s Reading List feature that allows you to quickly save webpages to read later, on any device using the same Apple ID (including iPhone, iPad, iPod, and Mac.)
But sadly, many readers tell us they recently discovered an issue in which Safari Reading List disappears and vanishes from Safari!
If you are having trouble with Reading List with Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch or Mac, try our troubleshooting steps to fix your problems.
- Quick tips
- Show all of your Reading List in Safari
- Verify iCloud sync settings for Safari
- Does the Safari Reading List disappear on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod?
- Does the Safari Reading List disappear on your Mac?
- How to restore your Safari reading list (also restores bookmarks)
- Reader tips
- Make sure you show your Reading List
- For iPhone, iPad, and iPod, choose the Bookmark icon (open book) then tap the reading list icon (a pair of glasses)
- For Macs, click the Sidebar button in the toolbar, then click the Reading List icon (a pair of glasses) at the top of the sidebar
- Check that your Reading List shows all
- Open your Safari reading list and scroll down on that list, tap Show All or Show Unread
- Check your internet connection. If you can’t connect to the Internet, your Reading List won’t update in Safari
- Check the Apple’s System Status page to see if there are known issues affecting iCloud and Safari
- Verify your date and time settings are correct on your iOS/iPadOS device or Mac–use the feature to Set Automatically
- Check your iCloud’s settings to ensure Safari syncs between your devices
- Restart your device(s)
- Can’t clear the browsing history in Safari on your iPhone or iPad?
- Safari bookmarks disappear on iPad/iPhone
- Sync bookmarks in Safari across multiple devices
- How Do I Add or Delete Items From My Safari Reading List on iOS and macOS?
- Login to iCloud.com on your iPhone or iPad
Show all of your Reading List in Safari
Show (or Hide) your reading list on an iPhone, iPad, or iPod
- Choose the Bookmark icon from the menu options
- Tap the reading list icon (pair of eye spectacles)
- Scroll to the bottom and choose Show All (or tap Show Unread to only show items not already reviewed)
Show (or Hide) your reading list on a Mac
- Make sure Safari shows the Sidebar by tapping its icon in the top toolbar
- Tap the Reading List icon (a pair of eyeglasses) at the top of the sidebar
- Just below the reading list icon, tap the All button (or tap Unread to show only items you’ve never reviewed)
- If you don’t see the All button, expand your sidebar so it’s taking more screen space
- To hide your reading list, click the Sidebar icon again
Verify iCloud sync settings for Safari
- For iDevices, tap Settings > Apple ID > iCloud and make sure that Safari is turned on. If not, toggle on
- For Macs, choose System Preferences > Apple ID (or iCloud) > and verify Safari is toggled on. If not, tick the box
- Make sure you sign in with the same Apple ID on your devices
When you enable Safari in iCloud, Safari keeps your Reading List the same on your iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
With iCloud on, Apple also automatically archives your Reading List (and bookmarks) so you can restore them from an earlier version at any time.
Does the Safari Reading List disappear on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod?
Force close Safari
- On an iPhone X or later, or an iPad with iOS 12 or later, or iPadOS, from the Home screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and pause slightly in the middle of the screen. On an iPhone 8 or earlier, double-click the Home button to show your most recently used apps
- Swipe right or left to find Safari’s app preview
- Swipe up on the Saari app’s preview to close the app
- Tap Settings > Apple ID > iCloud then toggle Safari off (choose to Keep your data on your device)
- Wait a minute
- Turn Safari in iCloud back on
Does the Safari Reading List disappear on your Mac?
If your Safari Reading List suddenly disappeared, first try restarting your Mac. If the Reading List continues to not appear, connect to a different WiFi or internet network–see if that makes a difference.
Empty Safari’s Cache
- Go to Safari > Preferences > Advanced
- Tick the box for Show Develop menu in menu bar
- Look for the Develop menu in the top Safari menu bar
- Click Develop
- Choose Empty Caches or use the shortcut Option+Command+E
- Quit all open apps
- Hold option and choose the Go menu in the top Finder menu
- Select Library from the dropdown
- Don’t see the Library? See this article: How-To Show Your User Library in macOS Catalina, Mojave, High Sierra and Sierra
- Navigate to Library > Caches > com.apple.Safari > Caches.db
- Right-click the Caches.db file and select Move To Trash
- Close Finder
- Open Safari again and test if the reading list now shows
Turn off Safari in iCloud and turn it back on
- Quit Safari
- Choose Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID (or iCloud)
- Turn Safari off
- Close System Preferences and wait about a minute
- Apple menu > System Preferences > Apple ID (or iCloud)
- Turn on Safari
- Open Safari again
Restore from Time Machine
- If you use Time Machine to back up your Mac, find a TM backup that you know showed those Bookmarks.
- Search for and restore this file: ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist
Make your Safari Reading list available when offline!
You can also change your Safari preferences so your Reading list is present, even when you are offline.
- Open Safari and choose Safari > Preferences > Advanced > Reading List
- Choose Save articles for offline reading automatically
How to restore your Safari reading list (also restores bookmarks)
- Go to iCloud’s website
- Sign in with your Apple ID and password and authenticate
- Choose Account Settings
- Under Advanced, choose Restore Bookmarks
- Review through the options available (scroll for more) and click Restore on the version you want
- Wait for iCloud to finish restoring your Safari bookmarks and reading list
- The restored bookmarks and reading list appear on all your devices set up for iCloud Safari
- Barry discovered that a simple thing worked for him. In the Reading List, scroll with two fingers up or down in the space underneath the reading list icon (pair of spectacles) and tap the All or Unread tab. He tapped All and presto, all his missing reading list items reappeared
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.