How to reopen closed or lost Tabs in Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or Mac

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It’s tempting to keep lots of tabs open in Safari for quick access to webpages when you want them. But Safari tabs are not a reliable stronghold. In fact, it’s very common for all your Safari tabs to disappear or to lose them after updating your device.

If this happened to you, there are a few things you can try to reopen your closed Safari tabs. We’ve explained all you need to know below, including a much safer way to save important websites in the future.

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Step 1. View a List of Your Recently Closed Tabs in Safari

Whether you’re using Safari on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac it’s easy to view a list of all your recently closed tabs. This way, you can find the particular websites you still want to visit from the list and restore those tabs in Safari.

On an iPhone:

  1. Open Safari and tap the Tabs button (two overlapping squares) in the bottom-right corner.
  2. Tap and hold the Plus (+) button at the bottom of the screen.
  3. A list of recently closed tabs appears, tap an item to open it in a new tab.
Safari New Tab Plus button to see recently closed tabs
Tap and hold the Plus button to see your closed tabs.

On an iPad:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap and hold the Plus (+) button in the top-right corner.
  3. A list of recently closed tabs appears, tap an item to open it in a new tab.

Recently closed tabs in Safari on iPad

Tap your recently closed tabs to reopen them in Safari.

On a Mac:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, go to History > Recently Closed.
  3. A list of recently closed tabs appears, click an item to open it in a new tab.
  4. Alternatively, go to History > Reopen Last Closed Tab or press Cmd + Shift + T to automatically reopen your las closed tab.

Reopen Last Closed Tab option in Safari on Mac

Reopen your recently closed tabs from the menu bar on a Mac.

Step 2. Check Your Other Safari Windows in iPadOS

The release of iPadOS introduced lots of iPad multitasking features, including the ability to open multiple windows of the same app. It’s possible you didn’t lose all your Safari tabs after updating to iPadOS, they just might be in a different app window.

There are lots of ways to manage and view Safari windows on your iPad. You can even merge them all together so you don’t lose tabs in the future.

Different Ways to View Your Open Safari Windows in iPadOS:

  • Tap and hold the Safari app icon from your Home screen, then select Show All Windows in the pop-up menu.
  • Open Safari, then slide up to reveal the Dock. With Safari open, tap the Safari icon again to see all your windows.
  • Slide up to the middle of the screen (or double-click the Home button) to open the App Switcher. Each Safari window appears as a different app.

Show All Windows in pop-up menu for Safari app on iPadOS
Tap and hold an app icon to view quick actions.

How to Reopen Closed Safari Windows and Tabs:

  1. Follow any of the instructions above to view your open Safari windows.
  2. In the top-right corner of the screen, tap Reopen Closed Windows to open recently closed Safari windows, including all the tabs in them.

Multiple windows open in Safari with option to reopen closed windows

Reopen closed Safari windows from the top-right corner.


How to Merge Your Safari Windows Together:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap and hold the Tabs button (two overlapping squares) in the top-right.
  3. In the pop-up menu, tap Merge All Windows. All the Safari tabs in other windows should merge to your current window.

Tabs button options with Merge All Windows option in iPadOS

Choose to Merge All Windows from the pop-up window in Safari.

Step 3. Check Your Open Tabs on Other Apple Devices

One of the benefits of using Safari is that Apple syncs the open tabs across all your connected Apple devices. Thanks to this feature, there’s a chance you can restore your missing Safari tabs using another Apple device, if you have one.

This only works if you make iCloud sync across your devices.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Safari and tap the Tabs button (two overlapping squares).
  2. Scroll down to reveal open tabs on each of your other Apple devices.
  3. Tap a webpage to open it in a new tab.
Safari Tabs on other Apple devices
Tap a tab from another device to reopen it in Safari.

On a Mac:

  1. Open Safari and click the Tabs button (two overlapping squares).
  2. Scroll down to reveal open tabs on each of your other Apple devices.
  3. Click a webpage to open it in a new tab.

Tabs from other devices on Mac Safari

Click tabs to reopen them from other Apple devices.

4. Search for Your Closed Tabs in the Safari History

If you still can’t recover your lost Safari tabs, you may need to reopen them from the browsing history instead. This is quicker than re-entering each website by hand, since you don’t need to remember any web addresses

Unless you’re browsing in Private mode, Safari saves every website you visit in the browsing history. You can easily view your history as a list or search for particular websites to reopen your closed Safari tabs.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Safari and tap the Book icon.
  2. Tap the Clock icon to view your browsing history.
  3. Drag down to reveal a search bar or scroll through your history in chronological order.
  4. Tap a previously visited webpage to open it in a new tab.
History option with Search bar on iPhone Safari
Drag down to reveal a search bar for your history.

On a Mac:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, go to History > Show All History.
  3. Use the search bar or scroll through your history in chronological order.
  4. Double-click a previously visited webpage to open it in your current tab.

Show All History option from Mac Safari menu bar

Show your browsing history from the Safari menu bar.

A Better Way to Save Your Safari Tabs

It’s easy to keep a lot of tabs open in Safari as you browse the web. But if you want to save those tabs for future reading, you should save them as bookmarks instead. You can do this for multiple Safari tabs at once and even reopen them together as well.

Unlike open tabs, iCloud backs up and syncs your Safari bookmarks so you can’t ever lose them. This way, the sites you want to visit are safe even if you update or change your device.

On an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap and hold the Book icon, then select Add Bookmarks for [X] Tabs.
  3. Choose a name and location for your new bookmark folder.
  4. To reopen the Safari tabs, tap the Book, then view the Bookmarks.
  5. Navigate to the new bookmark folder, then tap and hold it and select Open in New Tabs to open all the saved tabs at once.
Add Bookmarks for multiple tabs option in Safari
Tap and hold the Book icon to reveal a pop-up menu.

On a Mac:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. From the menu bar, go to Bookmarks > Add Bookmarks for These [X] Tabs.
  3. Choose a name and location for your new bookmark folder.
  4. To reopen your Safari tabs, go to Bookmarks > Show Bookmarks.
  5. Navigate to the new bookmark folder, then control-click and select Open in New Tabs to open all your saved tabs at once.

Add Bookmarks for Multiple tabs option in Mac Safari

Save bookmarks for all your open tabs at once.


Learn How to Fix Any Safari Problems

Losing your tabs after updating your device isn’t the only Safari problem people encounter. Other common issues include slow performance, unexpected behavior, and iCloud sync problems.

Whatever issue you’re experiencing with Safari, you can learn how to fix it in our master Safari troubleshooting guide. We’ve included simple yet effective instructions to help with all the most common Safari problems.

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