Grown tired of Google Chrome’s data collecting? Had your head turned by the new AI features injected into Microsoft Edge? Keen to try out Firefox’s extensive add-on library? Or maybe you’ve got yourself a new Mac, and Safari is the obvious choice for its tight integration into the desktop operating system?
Whatever the reason you’re thinking of switching to a new browser, you shouldn’t let worries about leaving behind your existing browser data dissuade you. Most modern browsers now include simple import and export tools for bookmarks, passwords, browsing history, extensions, and more besides.
Exactly how you go about this will depend on the browser you’ve moving from, and the browser you’re moving to, but the steps are pretty straightforward no matter what the scenario. You might find the grass really is greener on the other side after switching—and you’ll have taken all your data with you.
The best place to start is actually with the browser you’re moving to, not the browser you’re leaving. These programs put more emphasis on their import tools than their export tools, for understandable reasons.
In Chrome for Windows, click the three dots in the top right corner of the browser interface, then choose Bookmarks and lists, and then Import bookmarks and settings. Over in Chrome for macOS, you can find the import option in the same place, as well on the Google Chrome menu on the menu bar at the top.
The next dialog you’ll see lets you select one of the other browsers on your system. As you switch between these choices, the data you can import changes as well, but you’ll typically see entries like Browsing history and Favorites/bookmarks listed. Check all of the types of data you want to move across, then click on Import.
On the browser selection menu, you can also choose Bookmarks HTML file, if the browser you’re moving across can export its bookmarks in this way. Google Chrome itself can save bookmarks in this way—click the three dots to open the application menu, choose Bookmarks and lists and Bookmarks manager, then click the three dots just below the browser toolbar and pick Export bookmarks.
Head into Safari on macOS, and you can open the File menu to find the Import From option: Once selected, you’ll see a list of the other browsers on your computer that Safari can grab data out of. The two other options, Bookmarks HTML File and Passwords CSV File, can be used as alternative methods if needed.
Once you’ve chosen the browser you’re moving away from, you’ll be able to select the types of data you want to transfer. This is going to vary between browsers, but you can expect to see options like Bookmarks, History, and Passwords listed. When you’ve made your selection, click Import to start the process.
Safari does have some basic export tools you can make use of, as well. Open up the File menu, then pick Export, and your choices are Bookmarks (as an HTML file) and Passwords (as a CSV file)—two formats that a lot of other browsers can work with.
If you’ve decided to switch to Firefox from another browser, click the three horizontal lines in the top right corner of the interface to get to the main menu, then choose Settings and open the General tab. Near the top you’ll see an Import Data button: Click on this to see a list of browsers on the same computer that you can import data from.
By default, Firefox will move across all the data it can—like bookmarks, browsing history, and stored passwords—but you can pick out individual types of data instead by clicking on the small + (plus) icon to the right. Click Import to confirm your choices.
As far as data exports go, everything is a bit spread out: Choose Passwords from the main menu, for example, to export your login details (via the three dots, top right). Choose Bookmarks and Manage bookmarks to export these lists, via the import and backup button (two arrows next to each other) above your bookmark folders.
Finally, we have the import options in Microsoft Edge, which you can get to by clicking on the three dots (top right) to open the main menu, then choosing Import browser data on the Profiles tab. You then need to pick the browser you want to import from: Find it on the list, then click the Import button next to it.
Next you can choose which types of data to import, and some of these lists can be quite lengthy. If you’re moving from Chrome for example, which runs on the same code base as Edge, you can transfer bookmarks, passwords, payment info, browsing history, settings, extensions, and even the tabs you currently have open. Click Import to confirm.
To export bookmarks and passwords, you need to go to those screens: Pick Favorites from the main menu, and the export option is behind the three dots at the top of the list. Pick Settings from the main menu and then Profiles and Passwords, and the export option can be found behind the three dots on the right (next to Add password).