Customize Safari Toolbar, Favorites, Tab, and Status Bars

Customize the Safari Window to Suit Your Working Style

Safari toolbar customization options.
You can add toolbar items such as iCloud Tabs or Text Size to Safari's toolbar. Screen shot courtesy of Coyote Moon, Inc.

Like many applications, Safari lets you tweak its interface to suit your preferences. You can customize, hide, or show the toolbar, bookmarks bar, or favorites bar (depending on the version of Safari you're using), tab bar, and status bar. Having each of these Safari interface bars configured to meet your needs can make using the web browser a lot easier, and fun. So go ahead, give the various Safari toolbars a once over.

You can't hurt anything, and you may find a few new features or capabilities you didn't know Safari had.

Customize the Toolbar

  1. From the View menu, select Customize Toolbar. Click an item you want to add to the toolbar, and drag it to the toolbar. Safari will automatically adjust the size of the address field and the search field to make room for the new item(s). When you're finished, click the Done button.
  2. Nifty tip within a tip: You can quickly customize the toolbar by right-clicking in any open space in the Safari's toolbar, and selecting Customize Toolbar from the popup menu.
  3. You can rearrange icons in the toolbar by clicking and dragging them to a new location.
  4. You can delete an item from the toolbar by right-clicking it and selecting Remove Item from the pop-up menu.

Some of my favorite toolbar items to add include iCloud Tabs, to easily continue browsing sites right where I left off when using other Macs and iOS devices, and Text Size, so I can quickly change the size of text on a page.

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.

  • From the View menu, select Customize Toolbar. Click and drag the default toolbar set from the bottom of the window to the toolbar. Click the Done button.

    Safari Favorites Shortcuts

    The bookmarks bar or favorites bar needs no introduction, except to say that Apple changed the name of the bar from bookmarks to favorites when it released OS X Mavericks. No matter what you call the bar, it's a handy place to store links to your very favorite websites. Check out our tip on how to open up to nine sites in the bookmarks bar from your keyboard:

    Hide or Show the Bookmarks or Favorites Bar

    • If you don't use the bookmarks or favorites bar, or you want to gain a little screen real estate, you can close the bar. From the View menu, select Hide Bookmarks 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

    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 to always be visible, even if you only have a single web page open, click the View menu and select Show Tab Bar. To hide the tab bar, click the View menu and select Hide Tab Bar. (Note: 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 the close button (the little "x") in a tab to close it.)
    • Tip for OS X Yosemite and later: Web page titles no longer appear in the toolbar area of the Safari browser. However the page titles are displayed in the Tab Bar, so even if you don't use tabs, having the Tab Bar showing will allow you to see the current web page title. See 8 tips for using Safari 8 and later.

    Hide or Show the Status Bar

    The status bar displays at the bottom of a 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 terribly important, but sometimes it's nice to check a URL before you actually go to the page, especially if the link is sending you to a different website.

    • To display the status bar, click the View menu and select Show Status Bar.
    • To hide the status bar, click the View menu and select Hide Status Bar.

    Go ahead and experiment with the Safari toolbar, favorites, tab, and status bar. My preference is to always have the bars visible. But if you're working in limited viewing space, you may find it helpful to close one or more of Safari's various bars.