When web browsers were first invented, they did little more than display web pages and save bookmarks so you could return to pages you visited often. Since then, web browsers have become mini-platforms on their own, and Safari, like other browsers, lets you use extensions to enhance your browser experience.
In this article, I’ll explain how Safari extensions work, why they changed recently, and I’ll mention a few extensions that you may find useful.
It’s useful to have quick access to the websites you visit often, and in Safari 14, you can create a custom Start Page with your favorites, sites you visit often, and much more. Not only can you configure this on your Mac, but your favorites sync via iCloud to your other devices, so you can access the same sites easily on your Mac, iPhone and iPad.
Here’s how you can make your start page really useful in Safari 14.
You most likely have a number of websites you visit regularly: sites you use to shop, bank, get the news, and more. If you use Safari on the Mac, you may know that you can change the way you view these websites, changing the font size, using Reader mode, and more. But what you may not know is that you can apply these changes permanently for any site that you visit, so when you view a website, you can see it and interact with it comfortably. Here’s how.
To make your browsing experience more efficient, web browsers cache data, which means they store files on your computer. They do this so when you return to a website, you don’t need to download all if its elements. For example, if you regularly view a web page that contains a number of graphics, not downloading those graphics will save time, and save bandwidth, both for you and for the web host.
Sometimes, however, you may want or need to delete that cache. This is a first-line troubleshooting technique when you are having difficulty displaying web pages. Different browsers have different methods for doing this, and Apple’s Safari makes this complicated, for some reason. Here’s how you can delete your Safari browser cache.
Apple is planning to remove the Do Not Track feature from the Safari web browser with the next major updates of macOS Mojave and iOS. With versions 10.14.4 and 12.2 of these operating systems, respectively, the Do Not Track feature will no longer be available.
Introduced in 2014, Do Not Track was added to Apple’s browsers and told websites that you didn’t want to be tracked, or have your web browsing followed across multiple sites. According to Apple, “it’s up to the website to honor this request.”
Do Not Track has proved to be essentially useless, as most websites simply ignore it. And, the existence of this feature can help trackers create a fingerprint of your web browser. This fingerprinting uses a number of variables in your browser and operating system to create what can be a unique profile capable of identifying you.
A useful new feature in the latest version of Safari for macOS High Sierra is the ability to set permanent zoom for any website. If a site has fonts that are too small, or too large, you can change them, and ensure that every time you visit the site, the change will be remembered. Safari does this automatically, but you can control the zoom from the app’s preferences.
Start by going to a website where you would like to change the font size. Open Safari’s preferences (choose Safari > Preferences), then click Websites. You’ll see a number of website options, including Page Zoom. Click that entry in the sidebar to see the websites that are open, and those that you have configured (if you’ve already changed the zoom).
Is you can see in the right-hand pane, the top section shows those sites that are currently open in Safari, and the bottom section shows Configured Websites, those where I have changed the zoom. All you need to do to add a side to the latter section is zoom one of its pages. To do this, press Command-Plus (+) or Command-Minus (-). The first time you zoom, the page will go to 115%, then to 125%, and so on.
Once you have zoomed a page, Safari will remember that zoom, adding that domain to the Configured Websites section. The next time you visit the site, it will display with the zoom you set.
You can also manually change the zoom settings for any site, either in the Currently Open Websites section or the Configured Websites section. You may want to change some sites so they display smaller or larger fonts, and rather than zoom from the keyboard, you can choose a zoom from one of the Currently Open Websites’ popup menus.
It’s time to tip a hat to Apple for a major change they’ve made in their latest desktop operating system, macOS High Sierra. Last year, I wrote about how Safari was a memory hog. At times, it would be using 5,6, even 8 or 9 GB of memory. I would have to quit it every few days to get it to stop being sluggish.
Since the release of High Sierra, I have noticed that Safari’s memory usage has dropped a great deal. Right now, with my iMac running for more than four days, Safari is only using about 3 GB of RAM. And this with more than a dozen tabs open.
This is especially important for people with Macs that don’t have a lot of RAM, such as laptops. When apps use more RAM than they need, the computer needs to access virtual memory, files written to disk, that are much slower than RAM. So any improvement in memory usage in an app that is used as much as Safari means that it will run faster, the entire computer will be less sluggish, and also has a positive effect on battery life.
Apple’s Safari web browser is one of the most capable browsers available for macOS. It is fast, secure, and full-featured. But, like any modern web browser, Safari can be confusing; there are lots of settings and options. In this article, I want to show you some of the most useful ways you can customize Safari, and how you can ensure that your security and privacy are respected. If you use Safari, you’ll find many useful tips to make your browsing easier and more efficient.
The latest update to macOS Sierra, released on January 23, 2017, has a bug which may remove a very useful feature: iCloud Tabs. This feature allows you to view tabs open in a browser on another one of your devices, Mac or iOS. These pages sync via your iCloud account, and you can check a web page, say, on your iPhone, then later, when you get back to your desk, see it there. (As long as you didn’t close it on the iPhone.)
You can view iCloud tabs from the cloud button in the toolbar:
You see a list of pages, by device, and you choose one to open it. These tabs are also not visible in Exposé view in Safari in the desktop as they were before.
To restore iCloud tabs, go to System Preferences > iCloud, uncheck Safari, then check Safari again. The iCloud Tabs button will return, and you’ll be able to access your iCloud tabs from that button, or from Exposé view, and you’ll see tabs and pages open on the desktop on your iOS devices.