The paper was established on 28 July 1906 by Edward Lincoln with a two-page issue.
Only once in its history has the Manly Daily failed to appear: on 24 February 1966, when excessive humidity in the switchboard caused a breakdown in the electrical system. A double edition was published the following day.,
The newspaper was last printed at Manly on 4 August 1989 (the edition of 5 August). The paper was then printed at the Parramatta plant of its parent company, Cumberland Newspapers, now NewsLocal, a News Ltd subsidiary until 1 October 2004. It was printed at Rural Press, North Richmond, until an upgrade of the News Limited-owned Chullora Print Centre was completed in 2008. The paper is now printed at Chullora.
On 28 July 2006 the newspaper celebrated its 100th anniversary with a special edition Manly Daily that featured the founding of the newspaper along with events and stories that have made an impact on the Peninsula, such as the 2000 Olympic Torch relay and Warringah Mall.
The newspaper is distributed to about 90,000 homes and businesses with an estimated readership of about 156,000. It is distributed all over the Northern Beaches from the Spit Bridge and Seaforth to Palm Beach and the Hawskbury River, as well as being available online. The majority of Manly Daily's readers are in the 35-49 and over 50-64 age groups.
- Australian Newspaper History Group Newsletter July 2003, No 23..
- Demographics for the Manly Daily News Limited Community Newspapers. March 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2006.