How to Automatically Sort Bookmarks in Safari for Mac with SafariSort
Apple’s Safari web browser makes it easy to add and use bookmarks, and its ability to sync with your other Macs and iDevices makes it a popular option. But Safari is strangely lacking one important option: the ability to sort bookmarks.
When you add bookmarks to your primary Bookmarks folder, or any subfolders you may have created, Safari places them in chronological order. That is, it just keeps adding the most recent bookmarks at the bottom of the list. As you add more bookmarks over time, this can quickly lead to a messy layout in which it’s hard to find what you’re looking for.
Users can open the Safari Bookmark Manager (Option-Command-B) to manually rearrange their bookmarks by clicking and dragging them, but there’s no ability to automatically sort bookmarks alphabetically, or by any other criteria for that matter.
Sort Bookmarks in Safari With a Third Party App
Thankfully, there’s a third party solution. SafariSort is a free utility that unsurprisingly does one thing: sort Safari bookmarks. To try it out, head over the SafariSort website and download the latest version of the app (version 2.0.2 as of the date of this article’s publication, which works on macOS Mojave 10.14.0).
Note that you may need to work around Gatekeeper to open the app, and adjust your settings to grant the app permission to access your Safari bookmarks. Once you’ve installed and given the necessary approvals to the app, run SafariSort from your Applications folder and choose to sort all bookmarks and folders together alphabetically, or to keep the folders on top and sort individual bookmarks alphabetically below them.
The app will process for a moment, the length of which depends on the number of Safari bookmarks you have. Once it’s done, launch Safari and open your Bookmarks. You should see them now all sorted alphabetically, which will make things much easier to find going forward.
The only downside is that SafariSort doesn’t work in real-time as you add bookmarks. Once you’ve sorted your bookmarks, new bookmarks will continue to be added to the bottom of the list per Safari’s default behavior. You’ll therefore need to run SafariSort manually each time you want to re-sort your bookmarks. For those adding lots of Safari bookmarks on a regular basis, you could also try creating an Automator action that runs SafariSort on a regular schedule.
Update: Sort Safari Bookmarks via Finder
Reader James emailed us after the publication of this article to recommend another way to sort your Safari bookmarks without the use of any third party apps. To start, create an empty folder on your desktop. We’ll use this folder as an intermediary to sort our bookmarks alphabetically. Then, open the Safari Bookmarks Manager (Option-Command-B), select all of your bookmarks (being sure to deselect any folders if necessary) and then drag and drop the bookmarks into your new folder.
All of your bookmarks will appear in the folder as Website Location files (.webloc). In most Finder configurations, simply dragging and dropping the bookmarks into the folder will sort them alphabetically. If it didn’t, use the Finder columns to sort them. Next, delete your bookmarks in the Safari Bookmarks Manager. Finally, drag and drop your bookmarks from your Finder folder back into the Safari Bookmarks Manager.
This will re-add the bookmarks in alphabetical order:
One note: if you have folders in your Safari Bookmarks, like the Favorites folder in our example screenshots, be sure to pay attention to the blue line indicator when dragging your bookmarks back into Safari. The location of the blue line will indicate whether your bookmarks will drop into the top-level bookmarks directory or into one of your folders. See the screenshot below for a comparison:
On the left, the blue line on the outside of the folder icon means the bookmarks will drop into the top-level directory. On the right, the blue line being shifted in slightly means that your bookmarks will drop into the Favorites folder. This can be slightly tricky, but just keep your mouse pressed when dragging the bookmarks and reposition the cursor until the blue indicator is in your desired location.