14 Replies Latest reply: Jun 26, 2014 1:27 AM by ImprovingApple
JIHO 069 Level 1 (0 points)

Does anyone know how to export an iMac's Safari 5.1 reading list to a Macbook Pro (with Safari 5.1 too)?


Thank You in advance

Safari 5.1, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Asos Illusionist Level 1 (0 points)

    i'd also like to know how to

  • Asos Illusionist Level 1 (0 points)

    Well from what i've searched today i've come out with "something" like a result to our problem.


    All Reading List data is stored inside a file called Bookmarks.plist located in ~/Library/Safari


    but, it's in binary format.


    We can open this with Xcode or if you don't have it by doing some Terminal work

    cd ~/Library/Safari/

    plutil -convert xml1 Bookmarks.plist

    That makes it readable by any text editor.


    Inside there there are all bookmarks, but also the ones from Reading List.


    Well thats is what i've got now, i'll try overwriting'em on my new MBP tomorrow and post results..


    hope i helped..

  • JIHO 069 Level 1 (0 points)

    What about just moving the Bookmarks.plist file between computers?


    I have checked some other posts concerning this issue and some say you cannot sync the reading list at all as it is supossed to be an iCloud feature in the future. Who knows.

  • Asos Illusionist Level 1 (0 points)

    JIHO 069 wrote:


    What about just moving the Bookmarks.plist file between computers?.....

    Well.. i've gonna try this tomorrow..!!

  • beckmart Level 1 (25 points)

    This is an interesting question, but there seems to be no answer yet. :-(


    I'd also like to export the reading list in Safari 5,

    My reading list is full of too many interesting links ad I want to sort them and save them at another place.


    that means "convert the URLs saved in the reading list to normal bookmarks which can be searched"


    Is there a way to do that by modifying the plist file which converts the entries of the reading list to a normal bookmarks directory?

  • Capitán Futuro Level 1 (0 points)

    Hello JIHO 069,


    I supposed that the computers you are refering to are not sharing the same iCloud account, otherwise the same reading list would be synchronised in a wizz to both of them. The fastest and cleanest way to export a reading list is actually not exporting it but synchronising it from iCloud to the computer you want to deploy it to. Having said that, the only thing you have got to do is:


    1) In the computer where you want to see your reading list, log out from your current iCloud account and log in to the specific reading list's iCloud account.

    2) Deselect all sync services but Safari bookmarks.

    3) Open Safari and make sure your reading list has synchronised (please notice the pop up query for the merging of your bookmarks)

    4) Logout from iCloud and log in back to the original iCloud account if there is one.


    It worked for me like a charm. Have a good day.

  • JIHO 069 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your detailed answer, Capitán Futuro, but I'm afraid it won't work for me.

    Obviously iCloud is the "official" way to do it, but, as you can read at the end of my post, I'm running Safari on Snow Leopard (10.6.8), and it has no support for iCloud.


    A shame for me as Lion doesn't support some of my older computers and no way I am upgrading.


    Other than that, those machines run smoothly, so i am not buying new ones.

    Thanks again!

  • Marshneiderr Level 1 (0 points)

    There's a clunky way to do this.

    Go to your Library/Safari directory and tar and compress the ReadingListArchive directory and mail it (or ftp if you can) to yourself. Also mail the ReadingList file in same directory. Then go to your target system where you want to see the reading list and copy / extract them to the same path.


    I did this but first shut safari down. If you have a reading list you need to preserve in the target system, I would create a special bookmarks folder and add them to that folder before copying the above files as the ReadingList file  will be overwritten. It's a binary so cat'ing the two files together probably wont work.



  • JIHO 069 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm trying this asap!

    Thx Mark

  • Billish Level 1 (15 points)

    Well, I see a lot of the suggestions in this thread, but....


    Since it's now 2013, here's an update on this question that doesn't involve Terminal commands (aka UNIX shell commands)...LOL.  Specifically, you may be able to use Google Chrome as an intermediary like so:


    1.  Try using the latest version of Google Chrome to import FROM Safari on the iMac.  Chrome apparently puts the links from one's Reading List into a Chrome bookmarks folder named com.apple.ReadingList


    2.  Export your Chrome bookmarks to a file on your iMac

    (e.g., like so.... https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/96816?hl=en)


    3.  Move the file to the MacBook Pro, then import it into Safari on that machine using the Safari->File->Import Bookmarks menu option


    4. Delete everything you didn't want to import into Safari except the Reading List folder

  • JIHO 069 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Billish,

    Thank You for taking your time to answer my question, but I am afraid there's no need to use Chrome just to import/export Safari bookmarks between my two Macs.

    In fact, that was just the solution for me (so far):

    1. Stop using the reading list feature. No easy sync, no use for me.

    2. Create a specific bookmarks folder called "read later" which I export-import later (let's call it "manual sync" XD).


    I know this is a workaround, not a proper solution, as killing the reading list can never be called a solution for exporting the reading list. But it works, and makes my life easier.



    Thank You all, guys!

  • obone747 Level 1 (0 points)

    Importing my Safari Reading List into Chrome was a doddle. Good to have a copy. Many thanks.

  • ImprovingApple Level 1 (0 points)

    Spoke to many an Apple "genius" and Safari cannot export Reading List.


    Chrome can very easily import the Reading List though. In Chrome:


    1. From the "Customize and Control Google Chrome" menu (button with 3 horizontal lines in far right top corner), choose "Bookmarks" > "Import Bookmarks and Settings"
    2. In the "Import Bookmarks and Settings..." window, select "Safari" and make sure that the "Favorites/Bookmarks" option is checked, then click "Import"
    3. Now, in Chrome Bookmarks menu, you should find a new folder called "Imported from Safari" with a subfolder called "com.apple.ReadingList" that's it.



    Alternatively you can open the Terminal application on a Mac (search it in Launchpad if you can't find it) and paste this:

    /usr/bin/plutil -convert xml1 -o - ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist | grep -E  -o '<string>http[s]{0,1}://.*</string>' | grep -v icloud | sed -E 's/<\/{0,1}string>//g'


    Hit return and it will list all your Reading List links as text which you can copy and paste elsewhere.


    Happy days