For most Mac owners, Safari is the gateway to the World Wide Web. Since this is probably the most widely used app, tips, tricks, and new features are the best way to get the most out of it. Safari doesn’t have Chrome’s extension libraries, but it still has a few tricks up its sleeve for Mac owners. Read on to learn how to customize Safari on your Mac.
1. Pin Tabs
You probably visit some websites regularly and if you keep them they will be easy to access. When a tab is pinned in Safari, it remains pinned as the leftmost tab. Pinning a tab is incredibly easy – right-click an open tab and choose Pin Tab. Rearranging pinned tabs is as easy as moving the tabs around each other until you have the settings you prefer.
2. Mute Tabs
We were all there when you opened a new tab expecting to read new content and instead receive an autoplay video. When a new audio tab opens in Safari, you will see a little speaker icon on the tab. Click on the speaker icon and the tab will automatically mute.
3. Rearrange Tabs
Organization can be a problem for anyone who has more than a few tabs open at the same time. To help with this, Safari allows you to get at least a semblance of order.
1. Open the “Window” menu on the Mac bar.
2. Choose “Arrange Tabs By.”
3. You can now choose between “Title” and “Website.”
For many, choosing to sort by site is more useful. That way if you have multiple tabs open they will all be next to each other.
4. Customize Safari Toolbar
The Safari toolbar is where you will find the most important buttons for everyday use. This includes the home button, sidebar, tab overview, etc.
1. Right-click anywhere on the toolbar and select “Customize Toolbar”. You can then drag any item onto the toolbar.
2. Once you have drawn all the symbols you want, click “Done”. Then all your changes will be saved.
5. Change Your Search Engine
Safari, like most browsers, allows you to choose from a few different default search engines. Google is the default search engine in Safari, but it is not the only option available.
1. Go to “Safari -> Preferences” and open the Preferences window.
2. Click the “Search” tab.
3. You will immediately see a drop-down device with which you can choose between Google, Yahoo, Bing, Ecosia or DuckDuckgo.
There is currently no way to add your own search engine. For now, Safari has chosen to add the most popular options.
6. Save Pages as PDFs
If you ever need to export a website to PDF, Safari makes it easy for you. Go to the page you want to save, then click File and “Export as PDF”.
The last remaining step is choosing where on your hard drive you want to save the page. You can then access the PDF at any time and it will automatically open in Safari, Preview, or your chosen PDF viewer.
7. Handoff Continuity
Since Safari is the default browser for iOS and Mac, Apple has long researched how to seamlessly do it between the two systems. Enter Handoff, Apple’s solution, to start an email on Mac and get it on iOS. This also works incredibly well with Safari.
1. First log into your iCloud account on both devices.
2. On your Mac computer, go to “System Preferences -> General,” and click on the box next to Handoff to allow it.
3. On iOS or iPad OS, go to “Settings -> Handoff” and move the switch so that it’s active.
4. Once activated, you can continue your normal browsing business on your Mac. If you want to pick up where you left off on your Mac on your iPhone or iPad, a small icon will appear above your Safari icon. Tap on Safari and you can choose the page you want to continue browsing.
8. Reading List
Bookmarks are a thing of the past. Today is about the Safari reading list. We have all come across interesting articles that we would like to read but we don’t have time right now. On all Apple devices, the reading list is activated by the sidebar icon in Safari on Mac or by the book icon in Safari on iOS / iPadOS. You can select the glasses icon to see your full list of items. There are two ways to add a new article on Mac.
1. The first thing to do is click on the “+” sign next to the website URL. The article or site is automatically saved to your Reading List.
2. Alternatively, you can click on the Split Sheet icon and the first option in the drop-down list is “Add to Reading List.” Select that and the article will automatically save to your reading list.
If you want to read these articles offline, for example on a plane, go to “Safari> Preferences> Advanced” and click “Automatically save articles for offline reading”.
9. Safari Reader
Safari Reader removes all distractions from any website where it is available and allows you to view selected content 24/7. Note that it won’t work on every website, but it definitely works on many.
1. To activate the reader, click the four-line symbol next to the “+” button to the left of the URL.
2. Pressing this button once activates the reader view. Clicking again leaves the reader view.
10. Set Custom Safari Icon
If you want to customize your Safari icon, it is surprisingly easy.
1. Ctrl + click the Safari logo and select Options> Show in Finder.
2. When Finder loads, you’ll find yourself on the Applications page. Click the Safari logo again while holding Ctrl and choose “Get Info.”
to the top-left corner of the Get Info window, you’ll see a tiny Safari icon next to “Safari.app”. Click on it to highlight it, then drag your replacement icon image to replace it.
11. Customize Safari Theme
The first time you use Safari on your Mac, you will see the standard white and gray interface. Okay, but it can be a bit boring for some users. Fortunately, there are several ways to customize the Safari theme.
Change to Dark Mode
For instance, you can change your browser to show dark mode.
1. Go to the Apple icon in the top left of your toolbar and choose “System Preferences … ” in the drop-down.
2. Select “General.”
At the top of the next window, you’ll see the “Appearance” option. Click on “Dark.”
Change Safari’s Background Image
Another way to customize the Safari theme is to modify the wallpaper on your home page.
1. Click the “+” button at the top right of your Safari browser to open a new page.
2. Select the icon that shows three lines with sliders in the lower right corner.
3. Make sure the box next to “Background Image” is ticked. Then, choose from one of the custom background images beneath it.
In addition to using the wallpapers included in Safari, you can also add your own. Click on the “+” symbol instead of one of the other images.
Select the image you want to use as the background image for Safari.
Once you’ve selected your image, you should see the changes being made instantly.
If you later want to erase your background, you can Ctrl + click on the screen and choose Clear Background.
12. Customize Safari Homepage
Once you’ve customized your Safari theme, it’s time to refine your home page.
If you view the Frequent Visits section, all the pages in this area initially appear as smaller versions of the actual web pages. However, you can display them as icons again.
1. Click on one of the pages while holding down the Ctrl key.
2. Select “View as Icons.”
You can also remove some of your favorites from view. As with changing frequently visited pages to icons, click on one of the pages while holding down the Ctrl key. Select “Delete” from the drop-down menu and the changes will take effect.
13. Create Custom Bookmark Folders
When customizing Safari on your Mac, productivity should be considered, not just aesthetics. One of the best ways to organize your most visited pages is to create custom bookmark folders to place them all.
1. Click the icon next to the red, yellow and green circles in the upper left corner.
2. On the bookmark tab, click anywhere while holding Ctrl.
3. Select New Folder and give it a name.
4. Drag to add pages to this folder.
14. Customize Safari Location
Like your iPhone, your Mac can easily track where you are in the world. It uses this for several reasons, such as changing the date and time on your device.
However, websites can also track you – and some users may want them to do so. If you don’t want specific sites knowing where you are in Safari, follow these steps:
1. Click on “Safari” next to the Apple logo and choose “Preferences … ” from the drop-down.
2. Go through your currently open websites and choose whether you want to allow or deny access.
You can also block future visited websites from tracking you. Go to the bottom where it says “When visiting other websites.” If you want to revoke permission, open the drop-down and select “Deny.”
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I change the color of the Safari browser?
Other than adjusting from light to dark mode, you cannot adjust Safari’s color on your Mac without third-party software.
2. Can I change my Mac’s default browser?
Yes. To change your Mac’s default browser, go to System Preferences> General> Default Web Browser. Open the drop-down menu and switch to the browser of your choice.
3. Why won’t my Safari icon change on my Mac?
In some cases, the Safari icon on your Mac may not change. You may need to close and reopen the application. If that doesn’t work, try changing the read and write permissions on your device.
Safari is one of the most important native Apple applications. When you customize them, you can show your personality and increase your productivity. The tips above for customizing Safari are just the tip of the iceberg. Don’t forget that you can also add extensions to expand the functionality.