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How to Move Safari Tabs Between iPhone, iPad, and Mac

iPhone showing iPad iCloud tabs in Safari
Khamosh Pathak

If you routinely switch between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac, you might want to move web pages from one device to another. Instead of using the History or Reading List features, try these seamless methods to move Safari tabs between Apple devices.

Use Handoff to Move Safari Tabs

Handoff is Apple’s feature for seamlessly moving a task from one Apple device to another. It works for many apps, including Safari.

First, ensure that Handoff is enabled on your devices. From there, launch the Safari browser and then open the website on the primary device. This can be your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Ensure that your device doesn’t go to sleep or else the feature won’t be able to hand the tab over to the secondary Apple device.

RELATED: How to Set Up and Use Handoff on Your iPhone and iPad

Now, let’s move over to the device where you want to open the Safari tab.

Handoff Tabs to iPhone

If you have a newer iPhone with the Home bar, swipe up from the bottom of the screen and hold for a second for the App Switcher to appear. If you’re using an older iPhone, double-press on the Home button.

Swipe up from bottom of the iPhone screen

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a “Safari” bar with the device name where the tab is open. Tap on it to instantly open the web page in Safari on your iPhone.

Tap on Safari handoff suggestion

Handoff Tabs to iPad and Mac

When it comes to the Mac and the iPad, the handoff process works using the Dock. On your Mac, you’ll see a new Safari icon appear in a separate section at the beginning of the Dock. When you hover over it, it will show you the device where the Safari tab is open.

Click on the icon to instantly open the tab in Safari on your Mac.

Click on Safari tab Handoff suggesion

On your Mac, this feature is browser-agnostic. Even if you’ve set your default browser to Chrome or Firefox, this feature will still work.

For your iPad, you’ll find the “Safari” icon at the right edge of the Dock, with a little badge at the top-right corner of the icon showing the source device. Tap on it to open the web page in Safari.

Tab on Safari suggestion from iPad dock

Use iCloud Tabs to Move Safari Tabs

The Handoff feature is great if you have multiple Apple devices handy. But what if you want to open a website that you were looking at a couple of days ago on one of your devices without having to pick it up.

This is where the iCloud Tabs feature comes in. As long as all your devices are using the same Apple ID and you’ve enabled iCloud sync for Safari, you can use the iCloud Tabs feature.

iCloud Tabs let you pick up your browsing history where you left off. The feature resides inside the Safari tab switcher.

On your iPhone or iPad, open the “Safari” app and tap on the Tabs button from the toolbar.

Tap on Tabs button in Safari

Here, you’ll first see a list of all open tabs. Swipe to the bottom of the screen, and you’ll now see different sections for all of the devices connected to your Apple ID, with the respective tabs that are currently open on that device. Browse around and tap on a page to open it.

Choose an iCloud Tab from Safari tab switcher

On your Mac, click on the Tabs button in the top-right corner.

Tap on the Tabs button in Safari on Mac

Here, scroll to the bottom of the screen to find all your devices. Click on a web page to quickly open it.

Click on iCloud tab

If you want to open the web page in a new tab, hold the “Command” key when you click on the web page link.

Use AirDrop to Move Safari Tabs

The Handoff feature isn’t always reliable; sometimes it just doesn’t show up. This is where you can use the AirDrop feature (which was much improved in iOS 13, iPadOS 13, and macOS Catalina).

On your iPhone or iPad, tap on the Share button while viewing a website in Safari.

Tap on Share button from Safari

Next, select the device you want to send it to.

Choose your AirDrop device from Share sheet

On your Mac, click on the Share button from the Safari toolbar. Here, select the “AirDrop” option.

Tap on Share menu and select AirDrop on Mac

Now, select a device from the AirDrop menu. Once the web page is sent, click on the “Done” button to go back.

Choose the AirDrop device


Using Safari as your default browser? Now is the time to master Safari tabs.

Khamosh Pathak Khamosh Pathak
Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has seven years of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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