Modifying Startup Behavior and Home Pages for Mac OS X

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 ChromeFirefox, 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 a number of options to specify what happens each time a new tab or window is opened:

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences.

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

  2. Select the General tab in the Safari Preferences menu (if it's not already selected), then choose one of the following options from the New windows open with drop-down menu:

    • Favorites: Display your favorite websites, each represented by a thumbnail icon and title, as well as the Safari Favorites sidebar.
    • Homepage: Open the URL currently set as your home page.
    • Empty Page: Open a completely blank page.
    • Same Page: Open a duplicate of the active web page.
    • Tabs for Favorites: Launch an individual tab for each one of your saved Favorites.
    • Choose tabs folder: Open a Finder window and choose a particular folder or collection of Favorites that will be opened when the Tabs for Favorites option is active.
  3. Choose one of the options from the New tabs open with drop-down menu.

  4. In the Homepage field, enter the URL you want to open when you launch Safari, or select Set to Current Page.

How to Change Google Chrome Startup Behavior

To change your home page settings in Chrome for macOS:

  1. Select the three dots in the top-right of Chrome and choose Settings from the drop-down menu.

  2. In the Appearance section, make sure the Show Home button toggle switch is enabled.

  3. Choose Use the New Tab page or Open this page to assign a custom URL.

How to Change the Firefox Home Page

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

  1. Select the hamburger menu in the top-right corner of Firefox and choose Options from the drop-down menu.

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

  2. Select Home on the left side of the Preferences page.

  3. Choose Custom URLs from the Homepage and new windows drop-down menu.

  4. Enter the URL for your desired home page(s). Since changes are automatically saved, you can simply 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 from the drop-down menu.

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

  2. Select Basic in the Preferences menu, then choose one of the following options under On startup:

    • Begin fresh with start page: Open Opera's 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 which you define.