15 Safari Tips and Tricks For Mac Users

By | December 17, 2021

As a browser, Safari doesn’t get enough credit. On the surface, it seems underpowered. It was only on my third attempt that I embraced Safari as the default browser. And it’s not speed or battery life that convinces me it’s the general good of it all. Simple user interface, smooth transition.

But there is also something else. It wasn’t until I understood Safari in its entirety before I could wave goodbye to Chrome. And this is where Safari’s simple interface becomes a double-edged sword.

But that’s why we are here today. To look beyond the obvious and explore the usefulness that lies beneath that simplicity.

Picture in Picture for Each Site

Picture-in-Picture is one of the best novelties in Safari. Being able to watch YouTube videos floating on top of everything, really comes in handy. It works on many popular video streaming sites. On sites like Vimeo, you’ll find the Picture-in-Picture button in the bottom toolbar.

But on YouTube you need to double right click on the video to open the contextual menu. From here click Enter Picture-in-Picture. The video will come out right away. You can then drag it to any corner of the screen.

Toolbar Customization

I’ve taken Safari’s minimalist approach completely. So I don’t like it when extensions add ugly icons to the toolbar. Luckily you can customize the toolbar to remove those icons, as well as remove default buttons like downloads and the tab switcher.

Right-click on the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar. Then drag in or out as you like.

Search Between Tabs

It’s no secret that we open multiple tabs while browsing. Safari helps manage this tab overload by neatly stacking related tabs on the tab switching page. While you are on this page, press the shortcut Ctrl + F and you will be able to quickly search among all your tabs.

Disable Notification Popup

As a news junkie, I really like visiting blogs. What I don’t like lately is how everyone from this news site wants me to subscribe to new posts by enabling push notifications. Instead of rejecting the request every time, let’s disable this feature altogether.

From the Settings page in Safari, click Notifications. At the bottom, uncheck the option that says Allow websites to request permission to send push notifications.

Pin Tab

The instant cure for “where the damn tab” is to pin it. Then it stays docked at the left edge of the tab row (across multiple windows) and you can reach it just by using the shortcut Command + 1 or Command + 2, depending on the location.

To pin a tab, simply right-click on the tab and select Pin tab.

Mute Tabs

Unfortunately, autoplay videos are rampant on the web. You’re never too sure where exactly the audio is coming from. Safari now marks the tab that plays audio with a small speaker icon.
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What’s even better is that wherever audio is playing, you’ll also see a speaker icon in the URL bar. And clicking on it will show you the option to mute all tabs at once.

Enable URL Preview in Status Bar

I’m the type of person who likes to see a info to a page before opening it. Seeing the info URL in the status bar while hovering over it is really useful. Safari, due to its simplistic nature, disabled this feature by default a while back. Luckily, if you click View from the menu bar and select Show Status Bar, you’ll get the feature back.

Favorite Screen Customization

The Favorites screen is what appears when you open a new tab and when you click the URL bar. Then this is your welcome mat for the web. You’ll need to customize your screen to add shortcuts to the websites you use most often.

Visit the site and then click the Plus “+” button to the right of the URL bar. From the dropdown select Favorites. From the Favorites screen, you can drag icons to rearrange them.

Save Page as PDF

Exporting a web page as a PDF does not require any special extensions. Visit the page and from the File menu, select Export as PDF. Select where you want to save the page, and press Save to export.

Share Page Using AirDrop

AirDrop is a great way to share not only files but also web pages between all your Apple devices. Say you are on the page you want to open on iPad. Click the Share button and select AirDrop. Then select your device.

Enable Handoff to Make Browsing Better

Handoff and Continuity are two really cool technologies that let you seamlessly switch between macOS and iOS. Let’s say you have a page open in Safari on your iPhone that you want to open on your Mac.

If this feature is enabled, you will see a Safari shortcut on the left edge of the Dock, clicking on it will open the page in Safari. No need to copy and paste links or use third party tools.

Reader View

Click the Reader Mode button on the left edge of the URL bar after loading an article to activate the Library view. All page formatting, ads, and distractions vanish in favor of a minimal, beautiful, easy-to-read layout. You can then change the font or size of the text.

Use iCloud Tabs

iCloud Tabs is a genius feature that lets you access and control the open tabs in Safari on your other Apple devices. Once you click the tab switcher, look at the bottom to see your other devices and the tabs that are open there.

From here you can close tabs on that device or open tabs from other devices right on your Mac. Make up?

Quick Search Within Different Sites

Using the Safari Keyword Search extension, you can quickly search sites like Wikipedia, Amazon, YouTube and more using just keywords.

So you can search on YouTube by writing yt and then the search term. For example, the author of a book loads a YouTube search page for a relevant video. You will find a list of all keywords on the download page for the extension.

Block Unwanted Scripts With Ghostery

Safari is a fast and simple browser and you don’t have to worry about Flash. But if you’re the kind of person who wants to take control of their privacy and stop cookies from following you everywhere, or you want to disable tracking scripts for the sites you visit, just install Ghostery.

Ghostery gives you information about which scripts are currently running and lets you disable them individually.

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