Customize Safari Toolbar, Favorites, Tab, and Status Bars

Personalize the Safari browser window to suit your style

Like many applications, Safari lets you tweak its interface to suit your preferences. You can customize, hide, or show the toolbar, bookmarks bar, favorites bar, tab bar, and status bar. Configuring these Safari interface bars to suit the way you use the browser can save you time and effort.

Customize the Toolbar

The toolbar runs across the top of the Safari screen, where the address area is. Here's how to add and remove items to your liking.

  1. From the View menu, select Customize Toolbar.

    The Customize Toolbar menu item
  2. Select an item you want to add to the toolbar and drag it to the toolbar. Safari will automatically adjust the size of the address and search fields to make room for the new item(s). When you finish, choose Done.

    Try adding iCloud Tabs to easily continue browsing sites right where you left off when using other Apple devices. Select Text Size to add the capability to change the size of text on a page quickly.

    Drag an item to the toolbar
  3. Alternatively, right-click in an open space in the toolbar and select Customize Toolbar.

    The Customize Toolbar button

You can adjust a couple of other things very quickly, too:

  • Rearrange icons in the toolbar by clicking and dragging them to a new location.
  • Delete an item from the toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Remove Item from the pop-up menu.

Return to the Default Toolbar

If you get carried away with customizing the toolbar, and you're not happy with the result, it's easy to return to the default toolbar.

  1. From the View menu, select Customize Toolbar.

    The Customize Toolbar menu item
  2. Click and drag the default toolbar set from the bottom of the window to the toolbar.

  3. Click Done.

    The Done button

Safari Favorites Shortcuts

Apple changed the name of the bar from bookmarks to Favorites with the release of OS X Mavericks. No matter what you call the bar, it's a handy place to store links to favorite websites.

Hide or Show the Bookmarks or Favorites Bar 

If you don't use the Favorites bar or want to gain a little screen real estate, you can close the bar. Simply select View > Hide Favorites Bar (or Hide Favorites Bar, depending on the version of Safari you are using).

If you change your mind and decide you miss the bookmarks bar, go to the View menu and select Show Bookmarks Bar or Show Favorites bar.

Hide or Show the Tab Bar

In OS X Yosemite and later: Web page titles no longer appear in the toolbar area of the Safari browser if you have the tab bar hidden. Displaying the Tab Bar allows you to see the current page title, even if you don't use tabs.

Like other browsers, Safari supports tabbed browsing, which lets you have multiple pages open without having multiple browser windows open.

If you open a webpage in a new tab, Safari will automatically show the tab bar. If you want the tab bar always to be visible, even if you only have a single web page open, select View > Show Tab Bar.

To hide the tab bar, select View > Hide Tab Bar.

If you have more than one page open in a tab, you'll need to close the tabs before you can hide the tab bar. Click or tap the Close button (the little "X") in a tab to close it.

Hide or Show the Status Bar

The status bar displays at the bottom of the Safari window. If you let your mouse hover over a link on a web page, the status bar will show the URL for that link, so you can see where you're going before you click the link. In most cases, this isn't important, but sometimes it's nice to check a URL before you go to the page, especially if the link is sending you to a different website.

  • To display the status bar, select View > Show Status Bar.
  • To hide the status bar, select View > Hide Status Bar.

Experiment with the Safari toolbar, favorites, tab, and status bars to find what works best for you. Generally, you'll find that having all the bars visible is most helpful, but if you need to maximize your viewing area, closing one or all is always an option.

Was this page helpful?