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

This handy Safari feature allows you to save webpages for later reading.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer on

How many times have you come across a webpage that you wanted to read but didn't have time to do so in the moment? When that happens, you probably either send an email to yourself with the link or maybe add the page as a bookmark.

Both of those 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 wind up missing or losing that email.

What do you do?

If your desktop web browser of choice 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. 

With the Reading List, you can keep a collection of pages you want to read later or even pages you frequently access but don't want to bother with boookmarking (which is so early 2000s). 

The Reading List is available for both mobile and desktop versions of Safari but I'm only going to demonstrate it on the desktop iteration (because I'm an Android user). I'm going to show you not only how to add webpages to your reading list but how to access it and purge any item.

Adding webpages to the Reading List

1: Navigate to the webpage

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

2: Add the page to the Reading list

Once the page has loaded, hover your cursor over the address bar to reveal a small +. Click that + to add the page to the reading list.

The Safari address bar.

Adding a page to the Reading List is handled from within the Safari address bar.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3: Open the Safari Sidebar

Near the top left corner of the Safari window, you'll a small icon (to the left of the Tab Group drop-down). Click that icon to reveal the Safari sidebar, which contains a handy link to the Reading List.

The Safari Sidebar icon.

The Reading List is accessed from the Safari Sidebar.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

4: View the Reading List

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 reveal all entries you've added. You can then click any one of those entries to open a saved web page.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

How to remove entries from the Reading List

At some point, you're probably going to find your Reading List has become overcrowded with entries. When that happens, the handy little feature becomes too bloated to be useful. And although there is a search option for the Reading List, if you wind up with too many entries, what was once helpful becomes a hindrance. 

Fortunately, deleting an item from the list is just a matter of right-clicking an entry and selecting Remove Item. Or, if you want to purge your Reading List, click Clear All Items and everything will be deleted.

The right-click context menu from within the Safari Reading List.

Deleting entries from the Safari Reading List.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

And that's all there is to the Safari Reading List. You really should start making use of this feature to help improve your daily workflow with Apple's native browser. I've been using the Reading List for years and have found it to be quite helpful.

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