Safari Bookmarks Gone? Here’s How to Restore Them

Rosa Reyes
time June 10, 2020 Preview 713
share it facebook share it Twitter

Safari bookmarks gone? Safari bookmarks disappeared on Mac? Don’t panic. In this article, you will find a few ways to restore Safari bookmarks on Mac, iPhone and iPad. It won’t be a hard task if you have backed them up. What if there is no backup? The article will talk about these situations.

Part 1. How to restore Safari bookmarks on Mac

When it comes to the disappearance of Safari bookmarks, there can be various causes. In some cases, it is caused by updating macOS. Regardless of the reason, you need to get them back. There are two general situations.

Restore Safari bookmarks on Mac without backup

Before fixing the Safari bookmarks gone problem, there is an important thing to know. How are Safari bookmarks stored? They are stored locally on Mac. Where are Safari bookmarks stored on Mac? Generally you can find the location by doing the following.

In Finder, from the menu bar at the top, select Go > Go to Folder. Enter ~/Library/Safari. Click Go. In the Safari folder, you should find this file: Bookmarks.plist. It is a settings file (also known as property file) that stores all your Safari bookmarks.

where are safari bookmarks stored on mac

To recover Safari bookmarks without backup, you can use professional data recovery software to retrieve the PLIST file. Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac can recover various types of files such as PLIST files, images, audios, videos, documents and archives. It can be used to recover data lost by deleting, formatting or other reasons.

Step 1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery for Mac. Launch it. You will be presented with five solutions. Basic Data Recovery and Advanced Data Recovery apply to general data loss scenarios. By hovering your mouse over a solution, you will get brief details about the solution. Double-click the solution of your choice.

data recovery solutions

Step 2. Now you are in the Where did you lose your files interface. Select the drive, partition or volume where the above-mentioned PLIST file is located. Click Scan in the top right corner.

select the location where your Safari bookmarks stored

Step 3. As the scan goes on, it will display real-time scan results. Once it finishes, go to the left sidebar. Click the arrow icon to expand the file type Document. Click plist, and it will list on the right all the PLIST files on the drive/partition/volume you have selected in Step 2.

Step 4. The original file names are not provided. It's possible to find the file Bookmarks.plist by preview. Switch to the third preview mode and find the file that contains content like "WebBookmarkIdentifier" and "WebBookmarkType". Select the checkbox next to the file. Click Recover in the top right corner.

Step 5. In the box that pops up, select a location to store the recovered Safari bookmarks and click Open. The location should not be on the same drive where the lost data was located. The software will automatically identify your selection and prompt a warning message if you have selected the unpermitted location. Once the recovery is finished, click Show in Finder to access the recovered Safari bookmarks.

Step 6. In Safari, from the top menu bar, select File > Import from > Bookmarks HTML File. Select the PLIST file that has been retrieved and click Import.

restore safari bookmarks on mac

Safari bookmarks gone? Don’t worry. This is how to restore Safari bookmarks on Mac when there is no backup.

Note: There are some steps to take if you scan data for recovery from startup disk.

steps to take


Safari bookmarks gone? Luckily you’ve got backup

In general, there are three types of Safari bookmarks backup.

  • Time Machine backup
  • Automatic bookmarks backup by Safari
  • HTML backup made manually

#1 Restore from Time Machine backup

Safari bookmarks gone? If you regularly back up with Time Machine, you can effortlessly get them back.

Step 1. In Finder, open the above-mentioned Safari folder which stores your Safari bookmarks.

Step 2. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, click the Time Machine icon and click Enter Time Machine.

enter time machine

Step 3. Now you are able to browse through the timeline and locate the latest version of bookmarks backup. Select the Bookmarks.plist that you need and click Restore.

restore Safari bookmarks that are gone

Step 4. Now you can import the PLIST file in Safari.

#2 Restore from the automatic backup

Another method is to restore disappeared Safari bookmarks from the automatic backup if it’s available.

Step 1. On your Mac, find the Safari folder in Finder. I’ve already mentioned how to find the folder.

Step 2. Locate the file AutomaticBookmarksBackup.html. For the sake of convenience, you can copy the HTML file and paste it to Desktop, which will make it easier for import.

automatic bookmarks backup by safari

Step 3. Open Safari web browser. Import the HTML backup from the Safari folder (or desktop) to restore your Safari bookmarks.

Note that the automatic backup may not contain your recent bookmarks.

#3 Restore from manual backup

If you have the habit of regularly backing up your Safari bookmarks to HTML, then it will be super easy to have them back.

Step 1. Open Safari. Click File in the menu bar. Select Import from > Bookmarks HTML File.

Step 2. Select the HTML backup you have made. Click Import.

The Bookmarks HTML File option actually supports importing of both bookmark HTML files and bookmark PLIST files.

Part 2. Safari bookmarks gone on iOS? Check out the solutions

Safari is also the built-in browser for iOS. If your Safari bookmarks are gone on iPhone or iPad, it’s also possible to get them back.

#1 Use data recovery software

My Safari bookmarks are gone, and there is no backup. What should I do? In such as case, you can retrieve them using data recovery software.

Step 1. Download and install Cisdem iPhone Recovery on your Mac. Open it. It provides two modes. Select Recover from iOS Device.

select a mode recover bookmarks

Step 2. Connect your iPhone or iPad to your Mac with cable. Click Start Scan.

Step 3. Once the scan is finished, you will be presented with several data categories. Select the category Safari Bookmark and have a preview. You can select the bookmarks that you want to get back. Click Recover. You will be able to export the bookmarks data to HTML for import to Safari.

export Safari bookmarks to HTML to restore on iPhone

This method is pretty easy and straightforward. In addition to Safari bookmarks that are gone, you can also use the software to recover photos, videos, messages, contacts, memos, notes, etc.

#2 Restore safari bookmarks from iCloud

This method doesn’t work for everyone. To be able to restore Safari bookmarks gone, you need to have any backup. Thanks to iCloud, it's easy to sync and back up Safari data. If you have enabled iCloud, it will automatically do backups by default. However, if you have disabled backup manually, then it's impossible to use this method to restore disappeared bookmarks.

Step 1. In your web browser, go to Sign in to it with your Apple ID.

Step 2. Click Account Settings. Scroll down to find the Advanced settings section. There, you can find a few options including Restore Bookmarks. Click it.

restore safari bookmarks from icloud

Step 3. iCloud will start looking for your stored Safari bookmarks. When it finishes, it will list your Safari bookmarks, which are available for restoring. Select the checkboxes before the bookmarks that you want to get back. You can also mass select by clicking Select All in the bottom left corner.

restore safari bookmarks gone

Step 4. Click Restore in the bottom right corner.

Step 5. Once the process is done, it will display the number of the Safari bookmarks that have been restored. Click Done.


Above are the common ways to fix the Safari bookmarks gone issue. You can choose the one that suits your situation best. No matter you are using Safari on Mac or iPhone or both, it’s highly recommended to back up bookmarks regularly. A missing or corrupt Bookmarks.plist will result in the disappearance of bookmarks. A backup can effectively minimize data loss. If, unfortunately, there is no backup, you can use professional data recovery software to retrieve the PLIST file that holds your precious Safari bookmarks.

Rosa Reyes
share it facebook share it Twitter

Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

share it facebook share it Twitter
Comments (0) Leave a Reply

Name *

Comment *

Hot Articles

3 Steps to Reinstall macOS Big Sur or Catalina Without Losing Data 8 Ways: How to Recover Unsaved or Deleted Excel Files on Mac 5 Ways to Recover Deleted or Unsaved Keynote Presentation
Home > Safari Bookmarks Gone? Here’s How to Restore Them