The macOS Monterey trick to make Safari bearable again doesn't work in beta 2

macOS Monterey Safari
macOS Monterey Safari (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • macOS Monterey will bring Safari interface changes that few people are on board with.
  • The new beta 2 release breaks a trick that people were using to restore the old Safari interface in beta 1.

Apple released macOS Monterey beta 2 a couple of days ago and we're learning more as more and more people install and test it. Unfortunately, not all of that learning brings good news because macOS Monterey beta 2 does away with the trick that allowed users to get the old Safari interface back.

Safari is getting quite the visual overhaul when macOS Monterey arrives later this year and not all of it is good. A re-jigged tab and address bar was at the top of the list of people's dislikes — including mine — but there was at least a way to return to the old interface in macOS Monterey beta 1. With beta 2, that workaround is now gone as noted by 9to5Mac.

With macOS Monterey beta 2, which was released earlier today to developers, users can no longer revert Safari 15 to the old design. The only thing Apple allows users to do is to disable the colors in the navigation bar, but there's no way to use the old tab system.

On the positive side, there is at least an indication that the Safari team is listening. Hovering over the address bar now causes a refresh icon to appear — something that's also made an appearance in the latest iPadOS 15 beta, too.

Now we can only hope that someone far enough up the Safari chain of command hears our cries and gives us a way to get the old tab interface back — before I accidentally close a tab or drag the Safari window when trying to rearrange tabs even once more!

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.