How to use bookmarks on Mac

6 min read

Every day we visit hundreds of websites, whether it’s for work, side projects, or personal interests. Most websites we don’t really need to remember. A few websites, however, we tend to visit over and over again. It would be great to set shortcuts for them, so we can avoid manually retyping the URLs or searching Google. Sometimes, we also encounter links we would love to come back to in the future — saving those for later would significantly help our web browsing experience.

The good news is that all modern browsers support saving links — called bookmarks — for later reference. It’s one of the best ways to remember the best of what you’ve found online, and it’s very easy to do. Let’s see how we can set bookmarks on Mac using browsers like Safari and Google Chrome. 

What is a bookmark on Mac?

Simply, a bookmark on Mac is a shortcut for accessing the information you need. There are lots of reasons to create new bookmarks on a Mac. People use them to store recipes, interesting articles, frequently updated websites (e.g. news or task managers), or reference links to use in a future project. 

You can also use bookmarks to organize your workspace. If you use the same web tools every day, it could be beneficial to save all of them as bookmarks, maybe even add a bookmark folder in Safari for them, so that when you come to the office in the morning, you can simply open them all once and get to work. 

So here’s how to save an open tab as a bookmark in both Safari and Chrome. 

How to create bookmarks in Safari

Safari is the default browser on macOS and the second most popular browser after Chrome. It’s fast, private, efficient, and boasts native Mac integration. Safari features a few options to add new bookmarks for any page you visit as well. 

If you want to add an active tab as a bookmark, simply go to Bookmarks in the menu bar and select Add Bookmark… (or ⌘ + D). In the pop-up window, adjust the URL or write a short description, if needed. Then specify which folder you want to save your bookmark to with a dropdown. By default, you can save bookmarks to the general list or Favorites, which will show them in a Favorites bar, just below the URL address. When done, click Add. 

To manage preinstalled bookmarks or delete bookmarks you’ve just saved, you can either open a sidebar by going to View ➙ Show Sidebar (Shift + ⌘ + L) or Bookmarks ➙ Edit Bookmarks (Option + ⌘ + B)

manage reinstalled bookmarks

In the sidebar, you can navigate folders and right-click on anything you’d like to rename, edit, or delete. Right-click on any empty space to create a new folder as well. Manage items just by dragging them around. 

In the Bookmarks Editor, you can click to select items, use the Delete key to get rid of them, move them around, and create folders by clicking New Folder at the top. 

Everything you save in Favorites will show in your Favorites Bar, which you can enable by going to View ➙ Show Favorites Bar (Shift + ⌘ + B)

Safari's Bookmarks Favorites Bar

How to manage bookmarks in Chrome

Adding bookmarks in Google Chrome is just as easy. Simply visit the page you’d like to bookmark and then click Bookmarks ➙ Bookmark This Tab (⌘ + D) in the menu bar. You get the option to rename the bookmark right away and save it to a specific folder. 

To manage bookmarks, go to the Bookmark Manager, which you can find in the Bookmarks tab in the menu bar or use the shortcut of Option + ⌘ + B. In the manager, feel free to drag links around, either to prioritize them or move them to different folders. Click the three-dot menu for more options of editing and deleting. 

Bookmark Manager

Browser bookmarks, however, only represent a small part of what you might need to keep track of. What about notes, copied items, text snippets, scribbles, and more? To manage all kinds of content efficiently, you need Paste. 

Paste is a handy utility, to which you can copy anything you come across. Just click ⌘ + C, and it will be saved. This app is great for expanding the capabilities of your clipboard beyond just one item and representing them visually as well. You can copy text, screenshots, images, links, etc. With time, Paste transforms from a useful clipboard manager to a trustworthy record of everything that’s happening on your Mac. 

How to bookmark a folder on Mac

Browsers are not the only place where bookmarks and shortcuts can be used. It’s likely that you have thousands of files and folders on your Mac, but generally only use just a few on a daily basis. Instead of going through your folder structure to find them every time, you can also create shortcuts in Finder, Dock, and Desktop for easy access. 

To create a shortcut in Finder’s sidebar: 

  1. Open Finder from the Dock
  2. Navigate to the folder you’d like to bookmark
  3. Drag the folder into any position in the sidebar 

bookmark folders in the Finder’s sidebar

Note: You can only bookmark folders in the Finder’s sidebar.

Another option to create a shortcut for folders but also files is to save them in Dock: 

  1. Locate any folder or file on your Mac
  2. Drag them onto your Dock and drop them just between the vertical line and Trash. Be careful not to delete them! 

create a shortcut for folders for Dock

Now you can access your files and folders from the Dock at any time. 

Finally, some people find it convenient to move files and folders to the Desktop, so they can quickly open them when needed. This, however, takes those files out of their proper folder structure within your Mac. A better option is to create an alias, a literal shortcut, which can be put on Desktop or any other folder and would instead open the file from its original location. 

To create an alias on Mac: 

  1. Locate a file or folder you want to create a shortcut for
  2. Right-click and select Make Alias 
  3. Drag the alias to any folder on your Mac, including Desktop or even Dock. Opening the alias would open its folder or file from the original location. 

create an alias

What if you’re looking for an easy way to organize and launch apps on your Mac? You can’t put everything in the Dock. How do you access apps on the fly? The answer is Start. 

Start is a super helpful utility that lives in your menu bar and lets you organize all the apps on your Mac just the way you want, only one click away. You can add tags, comments, and colours. Assign shortcuts. Use fast search. Even drop the items straight onto the apps to open them. 

bookmark with Start app

As you can see, it’s easy to add new bookmarks for any page you visit in Safari and Chrome. Additionally, you can create new bookmarks on a Mac, in Finder, Dock, and Desktop. Even better, you can keep track of everything else going on in your life with Paste and organize your apps to be instantly accessible with Start

Best of all, you can use both Paste and Start absolutely free for seven days through the trial of Setapp, a platform with more than 230 Mac and iOS apps for increased productivity and more efficient workflow, from improving the team-meeting experience with iMeetingX to creating any kind of shortcuts with Keysmith. Try every Setapp app today at no cost and see how much faster your work can be done.

250+ apps for $9.99
per month

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.