Need help getting started with Safari? Here's how!

Safari is Apple's web browser — your portal to the internet. You can visit websites, bookmark favorite pages, and more.

Here's what you need to know to get started!

How to visit a website

Safari's main use is to give you a portal to the internet, i.e. millions of websites. If you know the web address or "URL" of the website you'd like to visit, you can enter it manually.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Click the address bar at the top of the window.
  3. Enter the address of the website you'd like to visit, like www.imore.com.
  4. Press return on your keyboard.

    Click the address bar, type the website's URL, press enter on your keyboard

How to search with the address bar

The address bar is where you can type websites by URL, like www.imore.com. But it's not just for web addresses; you can use it to search Google too!

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Click the address bar at the top of the window.

    Launch Safari, click the address bar

  3. Enter your search query, like "funny cat videos".
  4. Hit return on your keyboard.

    Enter your search query, hit return on your keyboard

Safari will navigate to Google, where you'll see a list of results for your search.

How to bookmark a website

If you really like what you're reading online or if you want quick access to your favorite sites, you can bookmark them so that you can go back later with just a click!

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Go to the web page you'd like to bookmark.
  3. Press Command-D on your keyboard.
  4. Enter a title for the bookmark, or you can leave it as is if you want. You can also enter a description if you'd like.
  5. Click Add or hit return on your keyboard.

    Enter a title for the bookmark, click Add

  6. Click View in the menu bar on the top left of your screen.
  7. Click Show Favorites Bar.

    Click Show Favorites Bar

Now the bookmarked pages you add to Favorites will appear below the address bar, so you can get to each of them with just a click. Also, whenever you click in the address bar, your Favorites will appear as suggested sites.

How to view all of your bookmarks

If you don't like having your favorites under the address bar or if you like having your bookmarks in separate folders, you can view all of your bookmarks at once.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Click the Show sidebar button next to the address bar.
  3. Click the bookmarks tab if it's not there already. It looks like a book.

    Click the Show sidebar button, click the bookmarks tab

How to remove bookmarks

If you don't need a page bookmarked anymore because you don't need it or it no longer exists, you can just remove it from your bookmarks.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Click Bookmarks in the menu bar on the top left of your screen.
  3. Click Edit Bookmarks.

    Click Bookmarks, click Edit Bookmarks

  4. Click the arrow next to Favorites, since that's where your bookmarks go by default.
  5. Right-click or control-click the bookmark you'd like to delete.
  6. Click Delete.

    Click the arrow next to Favorites, right click the bookmark, click Delete

How to add a web page to your reading list

Adding pages to your reading list allows you to save that site and read it later. The best part is that you can even view your reading list without an internet connection.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or the Finder.
  2. Go to the website you'd like to add to your reading list.
  3. Press shift-command-D on your keyboard.

That's all you have to do to add a web page to your reading list! You'll see a little icon jump over to the sidebar or the sidebar button.

How to view your reading list

If you're saving pages to your reading list, you'll obviously want to look at them again! Here's how!

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click the Show sidebar button next to the address bar.
  3. Click the reading list tab. It looks like a pair of glasses.
  4. Click the item you'd like to look at.

    Click the Show sidebar button, click the reading list tab, click the item you'd like to look at

How to remove items from your reading list

Once you're finished with a reading list item, you can remove it so that you don't have to sift through web pages you've already looked at.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click the Show sidebar button next to the address bar.
  3. Click the reading list tab. It looks like a pair of glasses.

    Click the Show sidebar button, click the reading list tab, click the item you'd like to look at

  4. Right-click or control-click the item you'd like to remove.
  5. Click Remove Item.

    Right-click the item you want to remove, click Remove Item

How to enable Private Browsing

Private Browsing lets you browse the internet without saving the websites you've been to, your search history, or your Auto Fill information. It's perfect for when you're shopping for Christmas presents on a shared computer or looking at… well, you know.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click File in the menu bar on the top left of your screen.
  3. Click New Private Window. You can alternatively press shift-command-N on your keyboard.

    Click File, click New Private Window

Now none of the websites you visit or any of your Auto Fill information will be stored, so no one can track where you've been by your history.

How to add extensions to Safari

Browser extensions are plug-ins that add new functions to Safari. They can do things like block ads, integrate with apps, and more. There are a host of free extensions that help you with productivity, keep you current on news, provide security, entertainment, and more!

Note: While extensions are free, the apps or services that provide them might not be.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click Safari in the menu bar at the top left of your screen.
  3. Click Safari Extensions.
  4. Find the extension you'd like to install. You can search by title or click Categories to browse that way.
  5. Click Install Now.

    Click Safari, click Safari Extensions, find an extension, click Install Now

Some extensions will have buttons that appear to the left of address bar so you can access them quickly.

How to enable/disable installed Safari extensions

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click Safari in the menu bar at the top left of your screen.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. Click the Extensions tab.
  5. Click the checkmark next to each extension you'd like to enable or disable. You can also click Uninstall after clicking on an extension.

    Click Safari, click Preferences, click the Extensions tab, click the checkmark next to each extension you want to enable

How to pin tabs

Sort of like adding sites to your Favorites, you can pin tabs, so that the sites you visit most often can be accessed with just a click.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click View in the menu bar at the top left of your screen.
  3. Click Show Tab Bar.
  4. Go to the website you'd like to pin.
  5. Click and hold the tab and drag it all the way to the left.

    Click View click Show Tab Bar, go to the website, click and drag the tab to the left

The tab will now appear as a little site logo or the first letter of the title of the site on the left side of the tab bar.

To get rid of your pinned tabs, just drag them to the right.

How to set the homepage

By default, Safari will open to apple.com when you first launch it. If you'd like to make a different website your homepage, you absolutely can.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Click Safari in the menu bar on the top left of your screen.
  3. Click Preferences.
  4. Enter a website next to Homepage. Alternatively, you can click Set to Current Page if you want the page you're on to be your homepage.

    Click Safari, click Preferences, enter a website next to Homepage or click Set to Current Page

  5. Click the dropdown menu next to New windows open with.
  6. Click Homepage if you'd like new windows to open on your homepage.
  7. Click the dropdown menu next to New tabs open with.
  8. Click Homepage if you'd like new tabs to open to your homepage.

    Click the dropdown next to New windows open with and New tabs open with, click Homepage

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How to share websites

If you've come across a web page that you'd really like friends or family to see, you can share it in a number of ways.

  1. Launch Safari from the Dock or Finder.
  2. Go to the website you'd like to share.
  3. Click the Share Sheet button on the top right of the Safari window.
  4. Click a sharing method. You can share via email, Facebook, Twitter, AirDrop, and much, much more.

    Go to the website you want to share, click the Share Sheet button, click a sharing method

There's all you need to get started surfing the web using Safari!

Need help with Safari on iPhone? Check this out:

Questions?

Questions about using Safari? Let us know in the comments below!