Web Browsing Between Devices With iCloud Tabs

You can see which web pages you have open on all of your devices using iCloud Tabs. This makes it easy to start reading a page or searching the web on one device, and then continue on another. iCloud Tabs works between your Macs, iPhone and iPad, as long as you are using the same Apple ID for all of them.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Web Browsing Between Devices With iCloud Tabs.

Here's a situation that comes up from time to time. Say you're browsing the web on maybe your iPhone or your iPad and then later on you're doing it on your Mac. You want to access those same pages that you know are still open on those devices.

Now you don't have to go and actually look at those devices, find out what the webpage is and maybe send it to yourself or retype it or anything like that. There's something call iCloud Tabs which allows you to see on your Mac what pages are actually open on your other devices. In order to get it you're going to have to add the button to the toolbar.

You want to go to View, and Customize Toolbar inside Safari. There's a button here called iCloud Tabs. So I'm going to drag that up into the toolbar here and hit Done. Now when I click on iCloud Tabs here it brings up a list. You can see here in this list I've got on my iPhone, I've got two webpages open. MacMost and Internet Archive. On my MacBook I've got Wikipedia and the Apple Home page.

I can jump to any of these pages just by selecting it. So I'll click on the one that's on my MacBook. So you can easily access what is available on those other devices.

Now this works two ways. So now on my iPhone here I am in Safari and if I click on the button at the bottom right to view what's open in different tabs I see I have those two tabs open there on my iPhone. If I scroll down, I just drag from the bottom to the top, at the bottom there I can see iCloud Tabs there. I can see on my MacPro I've got that Wikipedia page open. On my MacBook Pro there's Wikipedia and Apple.

So you can go any direction you want. So for me if I have a desktop Mac, a laptop Mac, iPad, and iPhone I can see the other three devices tabs open on the device I'm using. It makes it real easy to continue doing web searches, or reading a page, or anything like that no matter what device you happen to pick up at any given time.

Now here's what that looks like on my iPad. I hit that same button but it's at the top right. I tap on that and if I scroll down I can see a nice view of what's on my MacPro, my iPhone, and my MacBook Pro. I can tap anything there just to open that in a tab.

Now there's no individual setting for iCloud Tabs. So on your iPhone or iPad you want to go to your Settings app. Go into your Apple ID and tap iCloud. Then just make sure that Safari is turned on. Likewise on your Mac in System Preferences you go to iCloud and you make sure Safari is turned on there as well. That syncs all the parts of Safari such as Bookmarks and things like that and iCloud Tabs comes along with it. Make sure, of course, that all these devices are using the same Apple ID. That's key. Otherwise they won't be able to share this information or any iCloud information with each other.

Comments: 6 Responses to “Web Browsing Between Devices With iCloud Tabs”

    Bill Sinclair
    12 months ago

    Thanks, Gary, useful as ever. However, does not work for me.
    Mac Mini (OS High Sierra), MacBook Pro (OS High Sierra), iPhone 6.
    Go to Safari tap/click tabs icon on Mac Mini— nothing.
    Will not scroll on iPhone beyond current tabs.
    Likewise MacBook Pro — clicking on Tab button only shows tabs currently on MacBook Pro. All signed in to same Apple ID and all on same wi-fi. Just thinking here — is it necessary to have Handoff activated?

    12 months ago

    Do you have Handoff disabled? That would disable continuity features, I’d imagine, which would disable this. Why not just turn it on (why is it off in the first place?) and see if it fixes the problem for you?

    Alice Faintich
    11 months ago

    Hi Gary, This doesn’t seem to work for me either. When I look at the iCloud tabs on my MacBook Pro (High Sierra) it seems to show a history of what I’ve looked at on my iPad and iPhone, which seems to consist mostly of “Favorites.” The above response mentions Handoff, but I don’t know what that is. Thanks!

    11 months ago

    Alice: Do you have Safari turned on under iCloud settings for all of your devices? The Handoff checkbox on Mac are in System Preferences, General. On iOS it is Settings, General, Handoff.

    Alice Faintich
    11 months ago

    Thanks for your response Gary. Yes, Safari and Handoff were both turned on on all my devices.

    11 months ago

    Alice: Sorry, I’m not sure why it isn’t working for you. It may need a firsthand look (Genius Bar) to determine what is wrong.

Comments Closed.