Modifying Startup Behavior and Home Pages for macOS

Change the home page for any browser on Mac

Most web browsers for Mac allow you to choose any website as your home page. Here's how to change the home page and startup behavior for several popular browsers on macOS.

Instructions in this article apply to SafariGoogle Chrome, Firefox, and Opera for macOS 10.15 (Catalina), 10.14 (Mojave), and 10.13 (High Sierra).

How to Change Safari Home Page and Startup Behavior

The default browser for macOS lets you choose from several options to specify what happens each time you open a new tab or window.

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences.

    Alternatively, use the Safari keyboard shortcut Command+, (comma) to access the Preferences menu.

    The Preferences option under the Safari menu
  2. Go to the General tab.

    the Safari preferences with the General tab highlighted
  3. Select the New windows open with drop-down menu and choose one of the following:

    • Favorites: Display your favorite websites, each represented by a thumbnail icon and title, as well as the Safari Favorites sidebar.
    • Homepage: Open the URL that's currently set as your home page.
    • Empty Page: Open a blank page.
    • Same Page: Open a duplicate of the active web page.
    • Tabs for Favorites: Launch an individual tab for each of your saved Favorites.
    • Choose tabs folder: Open a Finder window and choose a folder or a collection of Favorites to open when the Tabs for Favorites option is active.
    The New windows open with option in Safari
  4. In the Homepage field, enter the URL you want to open when you launch Safari or select Set to Current Page.

    The Homepage option in Safari general preferences

How to Change Google Chrome Startup Behavior

To change your home page settings in Chrome for macOS:

  1. Select the three dots in the upper-right corner of Chrome.

    The More menu in Safari
  2. Choose Settings.

    Settings in Chrome
  3. In the Appearance section, turn on the Show home button toggle switch.

    The Show Home Button option
  4. Choose New Tab page or Open this page to assign a custom URL.

    The custom home page field

How to Change the Firefox Home Page

If you want, you can automatically launch several of your favorite sites when you open Firefox:

  1. Select the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner of Firefox.

    You can also bring up the Preferences menu by entering about:preferences in the address bar.

    Firefox with the More menu highlighted
  2. Choose Preferences.

    Firefox with the Preferences option highlighted
  3. Select Home on the left side of the Preferences page.

    Home in Firefox settings
  4. Select the Homepage and new windows drop-down menu and choose Custom URLs.

    The Custom URLs option under Homepage and New Windows
  5. Enter the URL for your desired home page. Since changes are automatically saved, you can close the Firefox settings.

    To customize the default Firefox home page, scroll down to the Firefox Home Content section.

How to Change Opera's Home Page on Mac

There are several choices available when it comes to Opera's startup behavior:

  1. Select Opera in the browser menu and choose Preferences.

    You can also use the keyboard shortcut Command+, (comma) to access the Opera Preferences menu.

    Preferences under the Opera menu
  2. Select Basic.

    Basic in Opera settings
  3. Choose one of the following options under On startup:

    • Begin fresh with start page: Open the Opera start page, which contains links to Bookmarks, news, and browsing history.
    • Retain tabs from previous session: Open all pages that were active at the close of your previous session.
    • Open a specific page or set of pages: Open one or more pages that you define.
    The Open a specific page option
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