Retrieving Old or Deleted Safari Reading List Archives

One of the bad habits of older social websites are its insatiable inclination toward censorship. And I do not say this lightly. Seeing several of these of these websites, well older than Mad Tea Party, supposedly losing either a thread or a post after few hours is simply not acceptable in this time and age. First and foremost feature of any advanced platform should be the utilization of information technologies, the power to write information —which would have taken decades in handwriting— in matters of milliseconds and store them properly.

That being said, Safari shipped with iOS and macOS has a feature called Reading List. It allows you to create a web archive on iCloud, and thus synchronize the archives across all devices and Macs. That being said, you could, in theory, use this feature just to save some reading materials while you have no reception on your phone. On the other hand, realistically, you could create a web archive of a website on to go, and retrieve it from the Mac. Do make sure your Mac of choice has Safari’s automatic Reading List saving enabled.

These archives are saved under:


If you are running Time Machine on your Macs, it also means it keeps track of the website itself as an archive. For instance, if a website is updated two times since the first retrieval, Time Machine would have three copies: original, first update, latest update.

But frankly, I believe it should be the job of the website itself to keep track of major updates. Leave a note, for instance, if an update went through. If an article or a post has been thrown out, there should be a reasonable background behind why it has been removed. Until then, you can rely on your setups to do it.

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