Troubleshooting Tabs

iCloud synchronizes your open tabs in Safari across your Macs with OS X Mountain Lion installed and your devices with iOS 6. You can view any open tabs in Safari from all of your supported devices that have iCloud Safari preferences enabled. To use this feature, your Mac must have OS X Mountain Lion and Safari 6, and your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch must be using iOS 6. Learn how to access this feature and troubleshoot access issues below.

Using iCloud Tabs on your Mac

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud, and that the Safari checkbox is selected in your iCloud preferences.
  2. Launch Safari.
  3. Click the iCloud Tabs button to the left of the address bar.
  4. A list of all open tabs on your other supported devices will appear. Click on the one you want to open.

Using iCloud Tabs on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

  1. Make sure you’re signed in to iCloud, and that the Safari slider is set to ON in your iCloud preferences.
  2. Launch Safari.
  3. Tap the Bookmarks icon. Tap iCloud Tabs.
  4. A list of all open tabs on your other supported devices will appear. Tap the one you want to open.

Troubleshooting iCloud Tabs

System requirements for using iCloud Tabs

Make sure that:

  • Your Macs have OS X Mountain Lion and Safari 6 installed
  • Your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch has iOS 6 installed

Keep in mind that while iCloud Tabs is only available for Macs with OS X Mountain Lion installed, and devices with iOS 6, you can still use normal iCloud Bookmarks to sync saved Bookmarks and Reading List content between any devices that meet the iCloud system requirements. Bookmarks sync is not the same as iCloud Tabs synchronization, but it will allow you to move Bookmarks content between devices.

iCloud and Safari setup

If your devices meet the system requirements, and you see the message “iCloud automatically shows all the open tabs on your other devices.” rather than a list of tabs in the iCloud Safari tabs list, confirm that you have open tabs in Safari on your other supported devices and that you have configured iCloud and Safari correctly.

On your Mac:

  • Go to the iCloud pane in your System Preferences. Make sure that you are signed in to the same iCloud account that you are using on your other Macs.
  • Confirm that there’s a checkmark next to Safari in the iCloud preferences pane of all of your Macs with OS X Mountain Lion installed, and that the Safari slider has been set to On in your iCloud Settings on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iOS 6.
  • Confirm that you are not in a Private Browsing session. Under the Safari menu there should not be a checkmark next to Private Browsing. If there is, select Private Browsing to return to a normal browsing session. You should see Safari > Private Browsing and no checkmark to be able to share tabs.
  • Quit Safari by selecting Safari > Quit Safari from the Safari menu. After quitting Safari, reopen it.
  • If none of the above steps resolve your issue, turn iCloud Tabs off and back on again:
    1. If Safari is open, quit Safari.
    2. Open System Preferences, and choose iCloud.
    3. Deselect the checkbox next to Safari.
    4. Close System Preferences, and wait about one minute.
    5. Open System Preferences, and choose iCloud.
    6. Select the checkbox next to Safari.
    7. Click Merge to merge the bookmarks on your Mac with those you’ve stored in iCloud.
    8. Close System Preferences.
    9. Open Safari, and test to see if the issue has been resolved.
  • Restart your computer. This may sound simple, but it does reinitialize your network and application settings and can frequently resolve issues.

On your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch:

  • Tap Settings, and select iCloud. Make sure that you are signed in to the same iCloud account that you are using on your other supported devices.
  • Confirm that all of your supported iOS devices have Safari turned on in iCloud Settings, and that there’s a checkmark next to Safari in the iCloud preferences pane of all of your Macs with OS X Mountain Lion installed.
  • Confirm that you are not in a Private Browsing session. Tap Settings, and then Safari. Private Browsing should be set to off.
  • Quit, and then reopen Safari
    1. Double-click your Home button. Your open applications will appear in a row at the bottom of your screen.
    2. Find the Safari icon. Touch and hold down the icon until the icons of your open applications start shaking.
    3. Tap the red circle in the upper-left corner of the Safari icon. The icon will disappear from the list.
    4. Press the Home button again to return to normal operations.
    5. Tap Safari to reopen it.
  • If none of the above steps resolve your issue, turn iCloud Tabs off and back on again:
    1. If Safari is open, quit Safari.
      • Double-click your Home button. Your open applications will appear in a row at the bottom of your screen.
      • Find the Safari icon. Touch and hold down the icon until the icons of your open applications start shaking.
      • Tap the red circle in the upper-left corner of the Safari icon. The icon will disappear from the list.
      • Press the Home button again to return to normal operations.
    2. Tap Settings, and then tap iCloud.
    3. Tap Safari to turn it off. Tap either Keep or “Delete from My iPhone” when asked if you want to delete synced data.
    4. Press the Home button to exit Settings, and wait about one minute.
    5. Tap Settings, and then tap iCloud.
    6. Tap Safari to turn it on.
    7. Press the Home button.
    8. Open Safari, and test to see if the issue has been resolved.
  • Turn off, and then restart your iPhone. This may sound simple, but it does reinitialize your network and application settings and can frequently resolve issues.

Note: The open tabs in Safari on the supported device you are currently using will not be visible in the iCloud Tabs collection on that device. However, they will be visible on your other supported devices.

Removing Tabs from the Tab list

To remove a tab from the list of iCloud Tabs, you must close that tab in Safari on the supported device that you used to browse that website. Quitting Safari, putting your Mac to sleep, or shutting it down will not remove the tab from the list. If you no longer have access to the device that that you used to browse that tab, the tab will automatically be cleared from the list after 7 days, if not updated.