Fix Safari iCloud Tabs Not Syncing Between iPhone, iPad & Mac

Safari iCloud tabs bug

Safari iCloud tabs bug

Are your open Safari iCloud tabs not syncing between devices? Do you have open Safari tabs on your Mac that don’t show up on your iPhone and vice-versa? Or tabs that are long closed on your iPad are still available on iPhone? This is a common issue occurring on Mac, iPhone and iPad used with the same Apple ID. The Safari tabs are out of sync and this seems to be an iCloud-related problem.

The Safari iCloud tabs not working issue was highlighted to us by Pam. She mentioned that she can’t access tabs that are open on her iPad, remotely from her iPhone to continue browsing. Although we’re not currently able to replicate the problem at our end, we’ve found numerous other similar reports on Reddit and the Macrumors forums.

How To Fix Safari Tabs Not Syncing

Apple is aware of this bug and is currently working to provide a solution. At the time of writing, there is no permanent fix available but you can try the following to attempt to troubleshoot Safari tabs not syncing across devices, via iCloud.

1. Reboot Devices

Your first option is to restart all devices that are plagued with the Safari tabs syncing problem:
– iPhone: Quickly click and release Volume Up, Volume Down and then press & hold the Side Button until the Apple log is displayed on the screen. Be patient until the device is restarted.
– iPad: Perform the same steps as the ones described above, the Side Button being replaced by the Power button. If you have an iPad with a Home Button, simultaneously press & hold it together with the Power Button to generate a force restart.
– Mac: Click the Apple logo, in the top-left corner of the screen and select Restart…

2. Reset Safari iCloud Sync

If you rebooted all devices and the iCloud Safari tabs are not working, your next option is to disable Safari syncing in iCloud and re-enable it back to force the service to restart.
On iPhone
how to reset Safari iCloud tabs sync

  • Open Settings and tap on your Apple ID available at the top of the screen.
  • Next, tap iCloud.
  • In the list with ‘Apps Using iCloud’, disable Safari. You’re asked what you want to do with previously synced data. Select ‘Keep on My iPhone’ if you don’t want to lose anything important. However, to properly reset this you should go for ‘Delete from My iPhone’.
  • Re-Enable Safari iCloud syncing and check if the problem is fixed.

On Mac
Open System Preferences -> Click on Apple ID -> In the iCloud section, un-check Safari to disconnect it from iCloud. Click the checkbox once again to re-enable Safari iCloud syncing.
Fact: Click OK, on the popup that asks you if you want to merge your bookmarks and Reading list with iCloud.

3. Sign Back Into iCloud

Another troubleshooting option is to sign out of iCloud and sign back in on every device that’s plagued by the Safari tabs not syncing issue.
how to sign out of iCloud
– iPhone & iPad: Settings -> Apple ID (scroll all the way down for Sign Out)
– Mac: System Preferences -> Apple ID -> Overview (Sign Out)
Tip: Sign back in using the same Apple ID on all devices and check if the problem is fixed!

4. Update Software

This Safari tabs iCloud issue could also be generated by an iOS 14 or macOS Big Sur bug. Apple will most likely fix this problem with the help of a software update. That’s why we recommend you to always update to the most recent version.
Tip: iOS 14.3 RC is already available for public beta testers. You can update your iPhone and iPad to it as described here and let us know, if it fixes the Safari tabs not syncing issue!

Did you make any breakthrough? Has any of the above tips fixed the iCloud Safari tabs not working on your iPhone, iPad and Mac? Use the comments section and share your feedback. Don’t hesitate to mention if we’re missing something out.

Related: Other common bugs currently occurring in iOS 14.2 are:
Messages notifications not working for iMessages and regular SMS. This bug has surfaced in iOS 14.2 and is occurring randomly. When it does the sender is also receiving a read receipt, although the receiver hasn’t even been notified about the new message.
iPhone and iPad keyboard lags when typing in Messages and other apps.
Apps crash randomly because of poor RAM management and iPhone displays the Home Screen.
Sound Recognition bug is crashing the Settings app and the feature can’t be edited.
iPhone app closing animation stuttering when dismissing an app to bring up the Home Screen.