Best Safari Tips and Tricks for Mac Users

Best Tips Safari Mac Featured

For most Mac owners, Safari is the gateway to the World Wide Web. Given that it’s probably your most used application, knowing tips, tricks and new features is the best way to get the most out of it. While Safari does not have the extension libraries of Chrome, it still has a few tricks up its sleeve for Mac owners. Keep reading for the best tips.

Pin Tabs

Best Tips Safari Mac Pin Tab

There are certainly a few sites you visit on a regular basis. Keeping them close can make it easy to refer back to them. When a tab is pinned in Safari, it stays docked as the farthest-left tab. Pinning a tab itself is incredibly easy: right-click on any open tab and select “Pin Tab.” Rearranging pinned tabs is as easy as dragging the tabs around one another until you have a setup you prefer.

Mute Tabs

Best Tips Safari Mac Mute Tab

We have all been there as you open a new tab expecting to read new content and are instead hit with an auto-play video. In Safari, when a new tab is opened with audio playing, you’ll see a little speaker icon in the tab. Click on the speaker icon and it will automatically mute the tab.

Rearrange Tabs

For anyone who has more than a few tabs open at a time, organization can become an issue. To help with this, Safari enables you to get at least some semblance of order.

1. Open the “Window” menu on the Mac menu bar.

Best Tips Safari Mac Window Tab

2. Choose “Arrange Tabs By.”

Best Tips Safari Mac Arrange Tabs

3. You can now choose between “Title” or “Website.”

Best Tips Safari Mac Arrange Tabs 2

For many, choosing to sort by website will be the most useful. That way, if you have multiple Twitter profiles, Google Doc tabs, etc. open, they will all be next to each other.

Customize Safari Toolbar

Best Tips Safari Mac Toolbar

The Safari toolbar is where your most important buttons will go for daily use. That includes your Home button, Sidebar, Tab overview, etc. Right-click anywhere on the toolbar and select “Customize Toolbar.” You can then drag any item into the toolbar. Once you have dragged all of the icons you want to use, click on “Done,” and all of your changes are saved.

Change Your Search Engine

Safari, like most browsers, will let you choose between a few different default search engines. By default, Safari comes enabled with Google, but it’s not your only available option.

1. Go to Safari, Preferences and open the preferences window.

Best Tips Safari Mac Preferences

2. Click on the “Search” tab.

Best Tips Safari Mac Search Engine

3. You will immediately see a drop-down box that allows you to choose between Google, Yahoo, Bing or DuckDuckGo.

Best Tips Safari Mac Dropdown Search

At this time, there is no way to add your own search engine. For now, Safari has chosen just to add the most popular options.

Save Pages as PDFs

Best Tips Safari Mac Save Pages Pdf

For whatever reason you may have, if you ever need to export a website as a PDF, Safari makes it super simple. Head to the page you want to save, then click on File and “Export as PDF.” The last remaining step is to choose where on your hard-drive you want to save the page. You can then refer to the PDF anytime, and it will automatically open back up in Safari, Preview or your PDF viewer of choice.

Handoff Continuity

As Safari is the default browser for iOS and Mac, Apple has long explored how to make it seamless between the two systems. Enter Handoff, Apple’s solution for starting an email on Mac and picking up on iOS. This also works incredibly well with Safari.

Best Tips Safari Mac Handoff

1. Start by signing in to your iCloud account on both devices.

2. On your Mac computer, go to “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 it’s active.

3. Once activated, you can go about your regular browsing business on your Mac. When you want to pick up wherever you left off on your Mac on your iPhone or iPad, a little icon will appear above your Safari icon. Tap on Safari and it will allow you to select whatever page you want to continue browsing.

Reading List

Bookmarks were yesterday’s news. Today, it’s all about Safari’s Reading List. We have all come across interesting articles that we want to read but don’t have time at the moment. Across all Apple devices, Reading List is enabled via the Sidebar icon on Safari on Mac or by using the book icon on Safari on iOS/iPadOS. You can choose the eyeglasses icon to view your entire article list. To add a new article, you have two options on Mac.

1. The first is to hit the “+” sign that appears next to the website URL. Once you hit the “+” icon, the article or site will automatically save itself to your reading list.

Best Tips Safari Mac Reading List

2. Alternatively, you can click on the Share Sheet icon, and the first option in the drop-down is “Add to Reading List.” Select that and the article will automatically save itself to your Reading List.

Best Tips Safari Mac Reading List Share Sheet

If you want to read these articles offline, say while you are on a plane, go to “Safari -> Preferences -> Advanced” and click on “Save articles for offline reading automatically.”

Safari Reader

Best Tips Safari Mac Safari Reader

Safari Reader strips away all of the distractions from any site where it’s available, allowing for an uninterrupted view of your chosen content. Note that it does not work on every website but definitely works on many. To activate Reader, click on the four-line icon that appears next to the “+” button to the left of the URL. A single press of that button will enable Reader view. Clicking on it again will take you out of reader view.

The above are only the tip of the iceberg for using Safari. Don’t forget that you can also add extensions to extend its functionality. Do you use Safari on your Mac or one of the strong alternatives?


David David

David is a freelance tech writer with over 15 years of experience in the tech industry. He loves all things Nintendo.