Safari has been a real treat on iOS 13 and iPadOS. It’s chock-full of amazing features such as an always-on desktop mode, full-fledged support for downloads, and personalized site settings. I’m starting to use it more and more, which is surprising considering my history as a Chrome fanatic.
But moving between browsers isn’t easy. While I don’t mind copying over my passwords from Chrome to Safari gradually as when needed, I can’t work without my bookmarks. However, neither Safari nor Chrome for iOS offer the ability to import or export bookmarks. That is maddening.
Thankfully, there’s are workarounds. As long as you have access to either a PC or a Mac, you can get your Chrome bookmarks imported to Safari pretty quickly. Let me show you how.
Windows: Sync to Safari with the iCloud Bookmark Extension
On Windows, you can easily use the iCloud Bookmarks extension for Chrome to sync your bookmarks over to Safari via iCloud. Yeah, it’s that easy. But on the downside, you must also install the iCloud app on your computer — it measures around 200MB. You can choose to either keep it around once you’ve got your bookmarks synced over to Safari or delete it afterward.
iCloud for Windows comes in two different versions — as a traditional desktop application and as a Windows Store app. However, I recommend installing the latter since it carries far fewer bugs compared to the desktop version. If you are interested, you can also read my comparison of both versions.
And one more thing — this procedure is a two-way street. Remember that I said ‘sync,’ not ‘import.’ So any bookmarks already present within Safari will also sync over to Chrome.
Since you now know what’s involved, let’s go through the steps required to get your bookmarks synced over to Safari.Note:
Step 1: Open Chrome, and then install the iCloud Bookmarks extension via the Chrome Web Store.
Once you’ve finished installing the extension, exit Chrome.
Step 2: Install the iCloud Windows Store app.
Alternatively, you can install the iCloud desktop app by downloading the iCloud installer from the Apple website.
Step 3: Once the iCloud app finishes installing, sign into it with your Apple ID when prompted.
On the iCloud window that shows up subsequently, click Options next to Bookmarks, and then select Chrome. Finally, click Apply, and then restart your computer.Note:
Step 4: Open Chrome after the reboot, and then click on the iCloud Bookmarks extension next to the address bar. You should see the message ‘Your Chrome bookmarks are synced with iCloud.’ This means that your Chrome bookmarks are now available in iCloud.
Step 5: Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad. Next, tap your profile, tap iCloud, and then make sure that the toggle next to Safari is enabled. That is to verify that iCloud syncing is active for Safari.
Launch Safari. Head over to the Bookmarks screen, and you should see your Chrome bookmarks listed within. That wasn’t hard at all.
You can now choose to either keep the iCloud Bookmarks extension on Chrome or just delete it altogether. Same applies to the iCloud app. If you retain them, then both browsers will sync your bookmarks with each other whenever you launch Chrome on your PC. That would be nice to have if you intend to keep switching between both browsers on your iPhone or iPad.
Mac: Import to Safari and Sync via iCloud
On a Mac, things are much easier compared to Windows. It simply involves importing your Chrome bookmarks to Safari (which is just super-easy) and then syncing them over iCloud. Let’s check the steps.
Step 1: If you don’t have Chrome installed on your Mac, then do it now. You can remove it once you’ve finished importing your bookmarks over to Safari if you want to.
Afterward, open Chrome, and then sign in with your Google Account credentials to download your bookmarks.
Step 2: Open Safari, and then click File on the menu bar. Point to Import From, and then click Google Chrome.
Step 2: On the pop-up box that shows up, check the box next to Bookmarks, and then click Import. You can also import your Chrome history if you want to.
Step 3: Verify that iCloud syncing is enabled for Safari. To do that, open the Apple menu, click System Preferences, and then click iCloud. The box next to Safari should be checked.
Step 4: The same goes for your iOS device. On the Settings app, tap your profile, tap iCloud, and then verify that the switch next to Safari is enabled.
Now, it’s just a matter of launching Safari on your iPhone or iPad and seeing your Chrome bookmarks in all their glory.
It’s just ridiculous that the major browsers on iPhone and iPad lack any sort of export/import functionality for bookmarks. That’s just basic stuff, right? But at least, it doesn’t take long to get you bookmarks imported to Safari using the methods above.
Next up: On iPadOS, Safari is a force to be reckoned with. Here are seven awesome tips and tricks that you can try out to enhance your browsing experience even more.
Last updated on 03 February, 2022
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