How to Fix: Can't Add Bookmarks in the iPad's Safari Browser

1
Restoring the iPad's Safari Browser

One curious mishap that plagues some iPad users is the device suddenly refusing to add new bookmarks in the Safari browser. Worst, the iPad can stop displaying any of your bookmarks, which can be bad news if you use the web browser for couch surfing. This issue can pop up at any time, but it is most common after updating to a newer version of the operating system. Luckily, there are two simple ways to fix this issue if you find the iPad refusing to add bookmarks.

First, we'll try turning off iCloud and rebooting the iPad. This solution will the website data on the browser, which means you won't need to re-login to websites that previously saved your password.

  1. Go into the iPad's settings. (Find out how to do this.)
  2. Scroll down the left-side menu until you spot iCloud. Tapping iCloud will bring up the iCloud settings.
  3. Locate Safari within the iCloud settings. If it is set to On, tap the button to turn it to the Off position.
  4. Reboot the iPad. You can do this by holding down the sleep/wake button at the top of the iPad and following the directions on the screen. Once your iPad shuts down, you can boot it up again by pressing down on the sleep/wake button for several seconds until the Apple logo appears on the screen. Get Help Rebooting the iPad

Once you have verified the iPad will once again allow you to bookmark web pages, you can turn iCloud back on by repeating the directions above.

2
Clearing Cookies From the Safari Browser

If rebooting doesn't work, it is time to wipe the "cookies" from the Safari browser.  Cookies are small pieces of information websites leave in the browser.  This allows websites to remember who you are when you come back to visit, but cookies can also cause problems with your browser by leaving information for too long or the information becoming corrupted.  This should fix the issue, but unfortunately, it does mean you may have to log into previously visited websites again.

  1. First, go into the iPad's settings again.
  2. This time, we'll scroll down the left-side menu and tap on Safari.  
  3. You'll notice there are a lot of Safari settings.  Scroll down to the very bottom of these settings and click on the "Advanced" button at the end.
  4. On this new screen, click "Website Data".
  5. This screen breaks down the cookies and website data into specific websites.  This is great if you just want to remove a cookie from a single website, but we want to remove all of them.  At the very bottom of the screen is a "Remove All Website Data" button.  Tap it and then tap Remove to verify your choice.

After you tap the Remove button, the iPad should immediately revert to the previous screen.  Don't worry, it actually deleted the information.  It just doesn't take very long.

Let's go ahead and reboot the iPad again just to make sure we are starting off clean.  (Remember, hold down the sleep/wake button for several seconds and then follow the instructions to reboot the iPad.)  Once it is rebooted, check Safari to see if it is working.

3
Removing All History and Data From the Safari Browser

If deleting Safari's cookies doesn't work, it is time to wipe all of the data from the Safari browser. Don't worry, this doesn't wipe your bookmarks. It will not only clear cookies and other data stored by websites on the iPad, it will remove other information Safari stores, such as your web history. You can think of this as a more thorough cleaning of the Safari browser than just removing the cookies.  It should put your browser back into a 'like new' state.

  1. Go into the iPad's settings.
  2. Scroll down until you locate the Safari settings. Tap the Safari menu item to bring up the settings.
  3. Tap "Clear History and Website Data". It should be in the middle of the screen, just below the privacy settings.
  4. This will bring up a dialog box confirming your choice. Tap "Clear" to confirm your choice.

This step won't take long to complete. Once it has finished, you should be able to add bookmarks to your Safari browser, and if your previous bookmarks had disappeared, they should now show up just fine.

If for some reason your iPad is still having problems, it may be time to reset the iPad to factory default settings.   This might sound very drastic, but so long as you back up your iPad first, you won't lose any data.  However, as an alternative, you can simply download a new web browser onto your iPad.