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How to Fix: Safari Tabs not Syncing between Devices

Learn how to fix the issue with Safari browser tabs not syncing between different iCloud signed-in devices. The Safari site tabs are not popping across Apple.

One of the best features of the Safari browser is that website tabs and your data sync with all your devices. But sometimes, you might face problems with your Safari syncing tabs with other devices. To fix this problem, you can try disabling and enabling Safari sync and force Safari sync to iCloud on your iOS or Mac device.

Fix: Tabs not Syncing on Safari browser

One of the best features of the Safari browser is that website tabs and your data sync with all your devices. This means if you open one website on your Mac, you can open the same website from your iPhone with the help of sync history and reading tabs data.

However, this feature was not working as intended for quite a long time. In some research, I found that many people face the same issue.

The option to sync Safari should be enabled within iCloud. Hence it will sync across devices. Sometimes there might be an issue on your Mac device if it’s unable to sync with your iCloud account.

You can force Sync Safari to iCloud to resolve the issue. However, it is also possible that the issue is due to an incorrect configuration on your iOS device.

I have followed some troubleshooting tips, which I used to fix the issue with tabs sync. The issue is mainly due to sync settings, so here is how you can fix it.

info icon
Note: You must crosscheck all your devices’ iCloud and Safari browser-sync settings. This includes your iPhone, iPad, Mac, or MacBook as well. Safari Tabs will sync slowly on slow internet, or they might not even sync. Even more, before troubleshooting, ensure you have closed all the Tabs on Safari on every device.

Force Sync Safari on Mac

To force sync Safari to iCloud, you must quit the Safari browser. Then you can enable the iCloud sync history. Here are the steps to force sync:

  1. If Safari is running, then force quit the browser.
    You can use the Cmd + Q shortcut keys.
  2. Launch the Applications folder and then open the Utilities.
  3. Open the Terminal app from Utilities.
    Terminal app in macOS computer
  4. Please type the following command in the Terminal and press Enter to execute it.
    defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1
    It will terminate any Safari-related background process.
    macOS command terminal
  5. Relaunch the Apple Safari browser.
  6. Open on Debug menu and select Sync iCloud History from the menu list.
    Safari macOS Sync iCloud History option

After that, you can check on your other devices if Safari Tabs have synced properly between Apple iCloud signed-in devices.

Force Sync Safari on iOS

Force syncing Safari on iPhone or iPad is the same as on Mac devices. You will have to ensure that Safari is not running in the background. But first, close all the tabs that are opened on Safari. Here are the steps to do:

  1. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen on your iOS device and open up the App Switcher.
  2. Swipe up the Safari Card from the app switcher to terminate the application.
  3. Press hold on to Safari until it starts jiggling.
  4. Hit on the X red icon.
  5. Launch Safari on the device which you were having issues with.

After these steps, check if the Safari Tabs are in sync using other devices.

info icon
Note: If you cannot force restart the Safari app, you can reboot your device; this essentially means the same.

Safari Sync to iCloud

Sometimes disabling iCloud syncing and re-enabling it again works to fix the issue of Safari Tabs not syncing between devices. Follow these steps:

  1. Open up the Settings app on the iPhone/iPad.
  2. Tap on Signed-in Apple ID and select iCloud.
  3. To disable the sync, toggle OFF the Safari option.
  4. Toggle ON the Safari option again to enable iCloud sync.
    iCloud Safari Enable Sync in iPhone iOS

For Mac users, you will have to go to System Preferences > iCloud, and then you will have to enable Safari.

Bottom Line

Besides the methods mentioned, you can also clear site data from the Safari browser.

Lastly, you can also try rebooting your device. This usually works; switch off your iOS or macOS device and then turn it on again. It would probably fix the Syncing issue.

Moreover, you must also check your internet connection. Slow internet connectivity can cause an issue. If both devices have the same WiFi connection and Bluetooth enabled, then sync tabs between devices work great.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback on How to Fix: Safari Tabs not Syncing between Devices, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Rahul Verma

Rahul is a Computer Science Engineer with a MBA degree. He is keenly interested in the field of tech and cryptocurrency. He has 6+ years of technical content writing experience, mainly experimenting with and troubleshooting computer and mobile operating systems. Connect him on LinkedIn.

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