Are You Using the iPad Bookmarks Bar in Safari?

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Here’s a swell little iPad feature that I’ve never made use of before today.  I have no great excuse to explain why, but I’ve just never realized / remembered this was a feature on the iPad:

the Bookmarks Bar

As in, the thin bar running just below the address bar and search field etc. at the top of the Safari app.  I use it constantly in my desktop browsers to have quick access to sites and online services I most often visit – but had never thought to use it on the iPad until reading a tip at Mac OS X Hints about it.

Just in case any of you have forgotten about, or were not aware of, this lovely little feature on the iPad, here’s how you enable and use it:

— To enable it, just go to the Settings app and tap on Safari in the left pane.  Then you’ll see the ‘Always Show Bookmarks Bar’ setting in the right pane.  Just turn it On.

turn iPad Bookmarks bar on

— Once you’ve got it turned on, to add a site to the bookmarks bar do this:

  • Browse to the site you want to add
  • Tap on the Share button just to the left of the address bar (the one that looks like an envelope with an arrow through it)
  • Choose Add Bookmark from the popup dialog
  • Set a short name for the site in the first field of the new popup dialog
  • Leave the (middle) URL field as is
  • Tap on the bottom field and tap on the entry for Bookmarks Bar (you should then see a check mark next to it)

— Add more sites as you like.  If you add more than enough to fill the entire bookmarks bar, you’ll get an icon to tap to see those that do not fit on the bar itself.

I expect many of you are already aware of this iPad feature – but I thought it was worth sharing in case any of you, like me, had somehow forgotten it was there.

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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28 thoughts on “Are You Using the iPad Bookmarks Bar in Safari?”

  1. Oh yes, I love the bookmarks bar and I've added my LastPass Bookmarklets to it. It's fantastic.

  2. Perhaps if there weren't superior browsers, I may consider it, but I have discovered Atomic Web Browser, which is better in almost every way (my one complaint is that sometimes it crashes when trying to watch YouTube videos) and has a superior bookmarks bar that is thin and unobtrusive and you can scroll it to the side to get even more bookmarks on it. If you are still using Safari, you need to cough up a buck and give Atomic a try.

  3. Discovered this feature early on after getting my 3G. Did not expect it due to similarity with iPhone Mobile Safari. By the way, you're not limited to single bookmarks; you can add groups (folders) of bookmarks for even more accessibility options.

  4. even better, forget doing the bookmarks on the ipad, use xmarks and firefox and you can load all kinds of bookmarks in the bar. You have to also sync your bookmarks to IE since that is where the ipad will take the bookmarks bar entries from, but it is awesome. Set up a xmarks account if you do not have one, using safari on your mac or firefox or even ie, setup your bookmarks the way you want, including the bar and you can use folders are the bar too if you screen real estate needs more help. Then sync the bookmarks to IE and then sync your ipad bookmarks with IE, overwriting bookmarks on the ipad the first sync and there you have awesomness in the bookmarks bar and all your bookmarks synced.

  5. If you use Instapaper, this is a perfect place to put their Read Later link. They have specific instructions on their site for setting it up. This way you can save a clean Instapaper copy of something you are looking at that you want to keep a copy of.

  6. Glad to hear I'm not quite the only one who missed this. Thanks for all the tips guys. I have tried the Atomic browser once – it didn't gip me much; maybe I'll give it another look.

  7. This is great, thanks. As a non-iPhone user, many of the iPad items are new to me.

    Now please tell me about "I use it mostly for bookmarklets like "Find in Page" " That is something I have wanted on the iPad that I am used to in IE on my PC.

    1. When you tap on the Bookmarks button, you should see an Edit button on the top right of the dialog that pops up. Hit that and then edit bookmarks as you need. You can delete bookmarks or re-order them as desired.

      1. REPLY

        Taped on the Bookmarks button (just left of the Share button, left of the address bar in Safari), also tapped on the Bookmarks Bar folder and on Edit but bookmark did not get deleted.

    1. Sorry – it is actually the Share button – the one that looks like an envelope with an arrow through it. I've updated the line mentioning this in the post as well. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  8. How do you edit the bar..i only read about how to turnit on r off. What if you want to remove an entry?

    1. Tap on the Bookmarks button (just left of the Share button, left of the address bar in Safari), tap on the Bookmarks Bar folder, tap on Edit.

  9. I clicked to edit but the items showing across the top of the browser aren’t found in the.bookmarks. How do I remove those?

  10. I’m using safari on iPad 2 but my “share” button doesn’t have an edit option! And no way of find all those sites I had saved as “bookmarks” instead of to the bookmark N
    BAR… Any words of wisdom?? Thanks!

    1. You just tap the Bookmarks button to the left of the Share button to see your existing bookmarks.

  11. IPad 2 safari. Have a share button. Click on it, Only tab relating to bookmarks says ‘add bookmark’. Click on it. The only options at the top are save and cancel. No ‘edit’ option available. Help!

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