Switching away from Safari—where are its bookmarks?

This might not be the right place to post this but don’t know where else to start, pls let me know if I should move it elsewhere.

I’ve been running into more & more problems using Safari; finding some sites just don’t work correctly w/it. Not interested in Chrome as I don’t like all the security problems w/Google products in general. I do use Google search but no other Google products & I never log in.

Have used Firefox off & on for years, thinking of using it more. Just went to Firefox & “told” it to import my bookmarks from Safari. Didn’t work correctly; some of the bookmark folders it imported I deleted from Safari a long time ago when I cleaned up my bookmarks.

I know this could be a Firefox issue but it’s been so long since I’ve looked at the Safari bookmarks file that I don’t remember where to find it. I thought it was called bookmarks.plist but when I did a search on my Mac, nothing showed up.

Any suggestions as to where to find the Safari bookmarks file? Any advice on ways to clean it up if there’s a problem somewhere? Not extremely advanced as a techy; very limited use/knowledge of Terminal. Much more techy than the average user, but more on the lower end compared to other TidBits members.

Thanks very much.

Mine is located at ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist

In general I like Safari because it’s fast and lightweight, and in principle it should integrate well with Safari on iPhone through iCloud syncing. IME though, unfortunately, syncing over iCloud is the weak point. At times bookmarks don’t properly sync (iCloud Tabs is even worse though), often requiring Safari on Mac or iPhone (or both) gets restarted because Apple insists on not giving us any force sync option. Other times, I’ll notice that after an update, bookmark order has changed or an update I made to a bookmark more recently has been reverted.

So far though I have always assumed that my Safari bookmark troubles are related only to syncing via iCloud.

If you’re having issues that are not related to iCloud sync, perhaps you could remove your local bookmarks.plist file (make sure to retain a backup) and have Safari start a new one from scratch?

From Safari: File → Export → Bookmarks will produce an html file that can be imported into Firefox.

How about the file with open tabs? I lost that a while back and would love to restore it from TimeMachine.


My main problem w/Safari is not w/bookmarks. I’m finding that there are many sites that no longer work correctly w/Safari, including some banking/financial sites & one of my health insurance sites. They’ll open correctly w/Safari but when I click on various links on the sites, nothing happens. I originally thought these were problems w/the sites themselves but after contacting several, I’ve found they no longer bother to make the sites compatible w/Safari. When I try the same links in Firefox, they work as expected. So I’ve been more & more frustrated w/Safari.

I’ve found that even many retail sites don’t always respond correctly in Safari anymore. I’ll click a link on a site & nothing happens, there’s no response at all.

I only realized the bookmark “problem” when I tried to import all my bookmarks into Firefox & saw they imported incorrectly. Bookmarks are fine in Safari but aren’t importing correctly into Firefox, so it’s likely a Firefox issue. But then I couldn’t find my bookmarks file so I didn’t know what to do next.

You’re correct; when I went to Library/Safari I found the Bookmarks.plist file. Don’t know why when I search my Mac for Bookmarks or Bookmarks.plist the file doesn’t show up.

Another of life’s mysteries. Thanks very much for your input.

Since I’d already imported the Safari bookmarks into Firefox, when I tried to do it again, Firefox no longer let me choose which file to import; it showed that all Safari bookmarks had been imported.

After seeing your message, I went back to Firefox & deleted all bookmarks, then did as you suggested. Started in Safari, exported the bookmarks, then went to Firefox & imported the file. It worked correctly this time.

Don’t know if I’ll be happier w/Firefox but Safari has caused far too many problems for me lately, realized it was time to start considering another browser as my primary browser.

Thanks very much for your input!

I haven’t seen this. The only time I’ve had a problem is with some sites not liking content blockers I have installed, or wanting desktop/mobile version of the site to work properly. Those are easily worked around by changing your settings for those sites to not use content blockers or to always use the desktop site.

Could you list the sites you think aren’t working? Maybe there are workarounds or others can post their experiences on those sites with Safari.

Two things to try:

  1. Shut off iCloud private relay for Safari

  2. Click on the website settings wheel in the toolbar and unclick Enable Content Blockers for the websites that are giving you trouble. I have had similar issues with a bunch of websites, and I did the above and MOST of the issues h

I have run into a similar issue with one of my online banking sites. Turns out they rely on a 3rd party for one part of their service. So in order for all of that to work the way it’s intended, I need to uncheck
Safari > Settings > Privacy > Prevent cross-site tracking

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I don’t have any content blockers installed so that’s not the problem. I always use the desktop site, even on my iPad.

Don’t recall exactly which sites I’ve had issues with, I’ll start noting them & will report back.

Sometimes it will be a link in an email - only click on those when I’m 100% certain it’s a legit email & link. The link will take me to the site but the site won’t load, page will remain blank even tho the URL shows correctly. Sometimes if I reload the page 2 or 3 times, it will eventually show but often will remain a blank page.

If I go back to the email link & choose Open with…. & select Firefox, the link will open correctly in Firefox.

I’d prefer to stick w/Safari but have been told by multiple sites that the site isn’t set up to work w/Safari.


  1. Don’t know what iCloud private relay is so don’t know if it’s on.

  2. Had to look for the website settings wheel, found it. Will unclick Enable Content Blockers when I run into the problem & will see if that helps.

Really don’t understand why so many sites are telling me they’re not set up to work w/Safari, this never used to be a problem. My guess is so many people are using Chrome that’s all some companies care about these days. Didn’t run into this when Internet Explorer was so dominant, sites were still making certain they were compatible w/Safari. Now it seems all anyone cares about is Chrome compatibility. And I’m stubborn, I won’t use Chrome. I wouldn’t even use Google if there were a reasonable alternative.


I will try that. I don’t like doing that but I might not have another option if I want to continue to use Safari as my primary browser.

Thank you!

Just to be clear, I only uncheck that when I use their site. As soon as I’m done there, I flip it back on.

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If you need to use a Chrome browser, try Brave. Works well, and no google stuff.

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According to Wikipedia, there are 23 current (plus Chrome itself) and 6 discontinued web browsers based on the Chromium code-base, including several high profile ones:

  • Brave
  • Microsoft Edge (of course, you may not trust MS any more than you trust Google)
  • Opera (Chromium-based since version 15)
  • Vivaldi

One that I have problems with is Jackinthebox.com:

As you can see all I get is a blank page (except for the “Free Fries”)

Thanks, Steven. Will take a look at Brave. Just not comfortable w/Google products; feel they’re too intrusive.

Thanks, David. You’re right; feel the same about Microsoft as I do about Google. I remember trying Opera many years ago; at that point, I was still using a PC, before I made the switch to Mac. Don’t remember much about it, though.


At least you’re getting free fries! :rofl:

Is it better after you adjust the Safari Settings for that website? Safari → Settings for this website and turn off Block Pop ups, etc