iCloud Tabs Across Devices

One of the nicer features in more recent macOS versions is the ability to access your current working Safari browser tabs across all your devices. If you switch between a Mac and iDevice using Safari, iCloud Tab syncing is very helpful. iCloud Tab syncing does not come turned on by Default. You have to set it up. Here is how you do that.

Mac iCloud Tab Syncing

You have to setup iCloud Tab Syncing on each of your devices for them to talk to each other. On Catalina and Big Sur you activate iCloud Tab syncing in the Apple ID System Preference area.

Apple ID

Once in the Apple ID area click on the iCloud link in the sidebar.

Apple ID Settings

Then make sure Safari is checked in the “Apps on this Mac using iCloud” list. That is all there is to it on the Mac.

iPad iCloud Tab Syncing

I am going to use the iPad as my example here. Setting up iCloud Tab syncing on an iPad (or iPhone) is a bit more involved. As you would expect, it all begins in the Settings area. Once in Settings, tap on your account name at the top of the list.

User Settings

Tap on the iCloud listing to get into its settings area.

iCloud Settings List

Now scroll down in the “Apps Using iCloud” list and make sure the Safari App is toggled on.

Safari Toggled On

When all of this is setup, you should see your Mac Safari Tabs on your iPad and your iPad Tabs on your Mac. If you have different tabs on each device, it tries to merge them. 

Here is an example in Safari on my iMac. It lists the browser tabs on my wife’s MacBook Air and on my iPad. The two websites above are the websites currently open on Safari Mac.

Mac Tabs

Here is an example of Safari Tabs on my iPad. It lists the tabs currently open in Safari at the top, my wife’s MacBook Air Tabs and the Tabs on my iMac down below.

Open Tabs

There are several variations to all of this, I am not going to cover them all. My suggestion is to follow the setup steps above to activate iCloud Tabs on all your devices. Then just do some experimentation. 


If you find iCloud Tab syncing distracting, then do not activate it on your devices. But, if it is helpful to you, then it is not difficult to activate it on your devices.