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8 New Safari Features on macOS Sonoma

by Kanika Modi
Safari Features on macOS Sonoma

macOS Sonoma has arrived and with it comes a slew of updates to the Safari browser. Most features are focused on security and privacy making it that much better than the competition like Chrome and Edge. If you love using the Safari browser, you will like what Apple has added to the Safari browser with macOS Sonoma. Let’s look at the new Safari features on macOS Sonoma.

1. Browsing Separation With Profiles

You can finally create profiles in Safari to keep your work and personal life separate. This keeps your settings, history, cookies, extensions, tab groups, and favorites separate for each profile making life more organized and easy.

Let’s see how you can create profiles in the Safari browser.

1. Open Safari browser and click on Safari at the top menu bar.

2. Choose Create Profile.

create profile in safari settings

3. Here, under the Profiles tab, click on Start Using Profiles.

begin using profiles in safari on mac

4. Enter the name, choose a symbol, and color, and select whether you want to keep the current bookmarks in your profile or inside a new folder.

5. Click on Create Profile to confirm.

name profile in safari on mac

Your new Safari profile is now created. You can repeat the same process and create multiple profiles for your work or personal use.

1. Open Safari on the top menu bar and choose Manage Profiles.

manage profiles in safari on mac

2. Click on the + icon to add more profiles to the list and customize them.

edit profiles in safari on mac

On the main screen, you can also switch between your profiles with a single click or open them all separately. 

Some Safari features that are shared across profiles, and those not shared are mentioned below.

  • Each profile maintains its own unique set of data items such as Browsing history, cookies, and other website data.
  • Websites won’t have access to the cookies or website data from other profiles.
  • Bookmarks, which include favorites, are available to all profiles via the Bookmarks menu or sidebar. The Favourites Bar is only shared between profiles that are set up to use the same favorites folder. Private browsing windows, on the other hand, only use the Favourites bar of the default profile.
  • Each profile maintains its own set of Tab Groups and custom start page preferences.
  • Safari extensions, which are add-ons that enhance your browsing experience, are available to all profiles.

2. Web Apps for Quick Access

The Dock is where all your recently used and favorite apps are parked so you can access them quickly. You can now save your favorite websites to the Dock.

These saved websites behave like regular apps, offering a simple and straightforward browsing experience, much like using the apps you have on your computer. It’s a handy way to access your frequently visited websites quickly and efficiently.

1. Open a website on your Safari browser.

2. Now, click on File at the top menu bar.

3. Choose Add to Dock

add to dock option in safari on macbook

4. Enter the name of your Web App, and you can also change the icon by clicking on it.

5. Once done, click on Add.

The web app will be added to the dock below. Whenever you click on it, the site will open for the web address you saved it.

3. Enhanced Private Browsing With Locking

Private Browsing is designed to keep your Safari browsing history, cookies, and other data private. Safari will automatically lock your Private Browsing window when you’re not actively using it, ensuring that your open tabs remain protected from prying eyes.

It is available on iPhones too running on iOS 17 and above. As for macOS, it is auto-activated when you’re not actively using Safari, Mac is locked, or asleep.

To unlock the window, use your FaceID on your iPhone and your Touch ID or password on your MacBook. However, if you do not want this feature to auto-work, you can enable or disable it from your Safari settings.

1. Open Safari browser and click on Safari on the top menu bar.

2. Click on Settings.

3. Go to Privacy tab. Uncheck the box beside Require Touch ID to view locked tabs to disable it.

require touch id to view locked tab in safari browser

Here are a few things to note on private browsing with a lock.

  • Automatic Locking: Safari is locked when it isn’t actively being used for some time, when you manually lock your Mac, when it goes to sleep, or when a screensaver starts
  • Manual Locking: You can also manually lock all the Windows. Go to Window on the top menu bar and click on Lock All Private Windows.
  • Exceptions to Locking: Private windows won’t be locked if you haven’t loaded a web page in them. Furthermore, they also won’t lock if you’re actively playing audio or video.

4. Advanced Privacy Protection

Apart from adding a locking feature to Private Browsing, Apple has made Safari more efficient. How? By upping its privacy game by blocking websites and advertisers from tracking your online activities.

Your online actions are now better protected and kept private, ensuring that your browsing behavior remains confidential and secure when using Private Browsing in Safari through more aggressive tracker blocking and fingerprinting protection.

Although this is automatically enabled in private browsing, you can choose to enable it for all browsing sessions.

1. Open Safari browser and go to Safari on the top menu bar.

2. Click on Settings.

3. Go to Advanced and look for the Privacy option.

4. Ensure that the option Use advanced tracking and fingerprinting protection is enabled.

5. Click on the drop-down menu beside it and choose “in all browsing”.

5. Stop Tracking With Link-Tracking Protection

Another feature added to Safari’s Private Browsing is the Link Tracking Protection. This will help remove tracking elements used to identify you from URLs. 

When you click on links during Private Browsing, it ensures that the destination website won’t be able to collect information about your click-through behavior. This further enhances your online privacy.

While link tracking protection may be a big step towards data privacy, it can be troublesome for marketers. It means that marketers and advertisers may have a harder time gathering data on user behavior, which includes understanding how users interact with their links and online content. This can impact the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, as it becomes more challenging to measure the success of specific links, campaigns, or advertising channels and deliver targeted ads.

6. Custom Search in Private Browsing

You might have set your default search engine to Google for browsing the internet. The same goes for Private Browsing as well. However, you can now set up a unique search engine specifically for Private Browsing.

This allows you to use a different search provider while in Private Browsing mode, ensuring that your search activity remains separate and anonymous from your regular browsing. DuckDuckGo is quite popular among advocates of privacy.

Here is how you can do it on your MacBook.

1. Open Safari Browser and click on Safari on the top menu bar.

2. Go to Settings in the drop-down menu.

3. Select Search from the top menu options and open it.

4. Open the drop-down menu beside Private Browsing Search Engine

5. Choose the search engine from the options: Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo and Ecosia.

And that’s it. From now on, anything you search online through private browsing will use any of the above-listed search engines based on what you choose.

7. Efficient Tab Management

With Safari 17, you can select and manage multiple tabs simultaneously. You can easily move selected tabs around the tab bar or organize them into a Tab Group. This feature is particularly handy for users who work with a large number of open tabs and want to keep them well-organized.

Here is how you can select and manage them.

1. Click one tab and select it.

2. Press Command and click to select multiple tabs.

3. You can also press Shift and click on any one tab. All the tabs in between the two will be selected.

Now, you can drag the multiple selected tabs in the tab bar, sidebar, or another window. Also, you can add them to a new Tab Group.

8. Streamlined Search Experience

There has been a minor change in your Safari Search functionality. It provides easier-to-read and more relevant search suggestions, making it quicker and more user-friendly when you’re searching for websites or information. This enhancement helps streamline your browsing experience.

Switch to Safari!

After using Safari for new years now, I would never switch to any other browser. Not only is it highly optimized for Apple MacBook, iPhone, and iPad, but these new features have only made things better.

Whether we are talking about creating separate Profiles for work or making the best out of private browsing, it has everything. If you are still using Chrome or any other browser, this is the best time to start using Safari.

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