How to use Safari’s Reading List (and why you should)


How many times have you come across a website that you wanted to read but didn’t have time at the moment? In that case, you’re probably either emailing yourself the link or bookmarking the page.

Both methods work, but are rather inefficient. And given how busy we all are these days, an effective workflow is crucial. You don’t want to waste precious time and you could miss or lose this email.

How are you?

If your favorite desktop web browser is Safari, you’re in luck. With the help of a handy feature called Reading List, which is exactly what it sounds like…a reading list of webpages you’ve saved for later viewing.

The Reading List lets you keep a collection of pages that you want to read later, or even pages that you access frequently but don’t want to bother with bookmarking (which are so early 2000s).

Reading List is available for both mobile and desktop versions of Safari, but I’ll only demonstrate it on the desktop iteration (because I’m an Android user). I’m not only going to show you how to add web pages to your reading list, but also how to access them and delete all of the items.

Adding websites to the reading list

The first step is to navigate to the website in question. It doesn’t matter how you reach the page, just that you open it in Safari.

Once the page loads, hover over the address bar to reveal a small +. Click the + to add the page to the reading list.

The Safari address bar.

Adding a page to the reading list is done from Safari’s address bar.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Near the top-left corner of the Safari window, you’ll see a small icon (to the left of the tab group drop-down list). Click this icon to bring up the Safari sidebar, which contains a handy Reading List link.

The Safari sidebar icon.

The Reading List is accessed from the Safari sidebar.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

At the bottom of the sidebar, you should see a list of four items, one of which is the reading list. Click Reading List to see all the entries you’ve added. You can then click on one of these entries to open a saved web page.

reading list3

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How to remove entries from the reading list

At some point, you’ll probably find that your reading list is overflowing with items. When that happens, the handy little feature becomes too bloated to be useful. And while there’s a search option for the reading list, what was once helpful becomes a hindrance when there are too many entries.

Fortunately, to delete an item from the list, all you have to do is right-click an entry and select Remove Item. Or, if you want to clear your reading list, click Clear All Items and everything will be cleared.

The right-click context menu in Safari Reading List.

Delete entries from the Safari reading list.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that’s all the Safari reading list has to offer. You should really take advantage of this feature to improve your daily workflow with Apple’s native browser. I’ve been using the reading list for years and find it very helpful.

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