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Apple A-Z » Apple Software

Safari

Safari is Apple's default web browser optimized for use on its custom silicon. Ease of use, speed, and privacy are the tentpole features of the platform. Other features include Intelligent Tracking Prevention, third-party extensions, and Tab Groups.

AT● Sandboxing ● Content Blocking ● Extensions ● Privacy ● Password Manager ● Reading List ● Tab Groups

Page last updated: 1 year ago

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Safari is the default web browser across all Apple devices and is designed from the ground up for privacy and efficiency. Apple claims that its browser is faster and more battery efficient than any other available on macOS .

Users can download other browsers on Apple products, but only macOS supports fully-functional third-party browsers. Apple requires third-party browsers to use WebKit on iPhone and iPad , so users don't get the entire experience on those platforms.

Safari Features

Safari's basic feature set focuses on speed and ease of use, though there are some in-depth controls if users look for them. Customization options, shared Tab Groups, and Focus Modes can provide plenty for a power user.

Apple also touts privacy as a primary feature of its browser. As the web became more and more reliant on ad revenue, many agencies began tracking users' activities across the internet in an effort to show them relevant advertisements. The invasion of user privacy has become a business model for many internet-based companies, and Apple has been fighting against it.

With each new Safari software update, Apple has added more user-facing protection to expose tracking features of websites and keep user data where users choose.

Apple introduced Tab Groups in macOS Monterey and improved on them vastly in macOS Ventura . Tab Groups are a method of organizing websites into groups based on work or activities being performed.

Organize websites into Tab Groups

Users can take it a step further and attach specific Tab Groups to different Focus Modes for even more customization. This means when Safari is opened with a Focus active, it will show the relevant Tab Group.

macOS Ventura also introduced Shared Tab Groups, which let users share a set of websites and interact with them in real-time. Active users are shown in each tab with an avatar icon, and any participant can open and close tabs.

Tab Groups are also available in iPadOS 16 and iOS 16 .

  • Intelligent Tracking Prevention

Intelligent Tracking Prevention is a feature that does exactly what the name implies — it prevents trackers from following users across the web. Tracking methods are numerous, and new ones are implemented daily, but Safari is constantly updated to combat active tracking.

Intelligent Tracking Prevention proactively tells users about hidden trackers

Users might encounter hidden pixels, trackers embedded in images, or social media buttons on any webpage they visit. These trackers are used to generate an advertising profile so companies like Google and Facebook can show users relevant ads.

This controversial feature has caused a lot of trouble for companies that rely heavily on user data. Facebook has campaigned against Apple for its tracking protection features, saying that it damages small businesses.

Generally speaking, a webpage is a series of text and images that should render using basic code. Technology on the web has changed over the years to include animations, videos, and interactive menus, which require some code to execute locally via JavaScript.

When a webpage needs to execute code using the CPU on a user's computer, it can run arbitrary code hidden within the page. Bad actors have hidden malware and adware within pages that need to run JavaScript.

While users could turn off Javascript in settings, this would break many websites and make browsing much more frustrating. Apple has taken a different approach by sandboxing its browser from the rest of the system.

When using Safari, each tab is completely isolated from the others so that any malicious code executed from one tab cannot affect other tabs or apps outside of Safari. The code would be unable to perform its task and crash the tab or force the system to warn users about the webpage executing an action.

  • Fingerprinting Protection

Websites use a device's signature to render a page correctly. By requesting the current OS, screen size, model, browser, and IP address, a webpage can more easily render its content tailored to the device.

Safari has built-in privacy controls

However, this data has become a tool for tracking by creating a unique "fingerprint" of the user visiting the webpage. Instead of allowing a page to access all of this information, Apple offers the site a simplified profile with a random identifier. This allows the site to get the necessary information to render the webpage while keeping the user private.

Using information available from Contacts and Calendars, Safari can surface auto-fill suggestions when a user is presented with a field. Auto-fill also extends to passwords stored in the iCloud Password or third-party password services.

If a password is being requested for the first time when signing up for an account, Safari will automatically generate a strong password and store it in the cloud. When requesting a password with auto-fill, the user will be asked to authenticate with biometrics like  Face ID  or  Touch ID .

AutoFill takes away the stress of keeping up with usernames, passwords, addresses, and more

Credit card numbers can also be saved for syncing. Protected data like credit card numbers and passwords are stored with 256-bit AES encryption.

This system also implements an iCloud+ feature called "Hide My Email." Instead of suggesting a user's primary email, it will generate an alias for that website. This help determines which websites are spamming mail or enables a user to stop mail entirely by turning an address off.

  • Speed and battery optimization

Apple boasts that they have a fast JavaScript engine with the world's fastest desktop browser.

The following tests were performed to compare Safari to other browsers.

  • Jetstream- up to 1.4 times faster than Firefox on macOS when testing JavaScript performance
  • Motionmark- up to 2.0 times faster than Chrome on macOS when testing animation rendering
  • Speedometer- up to 1.4 times more responsive than Firefox on macOS

Apple also says that using Safari will make your battery last longer than competing browsers on macOS.

  • Up to 3 hours of additional browsing compared to Chrome and Firefox
  • Up to 4 hours of additional video streaming compared to Chrome and Firefox

Safari on iOS and iPadOS

There are some differences between how Safari works on macOS versus iOS and iPadOS . The iPhone version of the browser is mobile-first, while the iPad gets the desktop website experience. However, neither platform is as open for extensions and control as the Mac.

Safari on iPadOS offers a desktop-class experience

Users can install extensions from the App Store to block certain content or customize their browsing experience. For example, content blockers act as the advertisement and tracking blocking toolset found within the App Store.

Extensions are only available for Safari and do not work with third-party browsers, even though they all use WebKit.

Safari on Mac

The Mac is more open to user customization and control through miniature programs across the operating system. Because of this, Apple has allowed third-party extensions to run within Safari.

As of macOS Big Sur , users can install popular add-ons from other browsers. Those web developers who want to submit these extensions for use on Safari will need little to no conversion.

Since Apple Silicon and Universal Apps have been widely adopted, there is little notable difference between how Safari operates on an iPad or Mac — at least at first install. The Mac still has wider access to extensions thanks to its ability to install notarized apps from the web.

  • 1. Features
  • 2. iOS and iPadOS

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How to use Safari on a Mac

Karen Haslam

Safari is the web browser app bundled with all Macs as part of macOS. You don’t have to use it – if you prefer to use Chrome or Firefox, for example, you can install those apps for your web surfing needs. But in our experience, Safari is a good option – and as you can see from our round-up of best web browser apps for the Mac , it’s pretty much the best you can get.

If you are new to Safari this article will help you find your way around the app. And if you are a seasoned Safari user we will reveal a few Safari tips and tricks that you might not know, including some of the fab new features in Safari 11, the latest version of Safari for Mac.

If you’d like to read about using Safari on the iPad or iPhone, read this .

How to get the latest version of Safari for Mac

First things first. You will want to make sure you have the latest version of Safari. At the time of writing the most up-to-date version is Safari 11.1.

Here’s how to find out which version of Safari you are running:

  • Open Safari.
  • Click on Safari > About Safari in the menu.
  • The resulting window will reveal the version number.

As long as your copy of MacOS – the Mac operating system – is up to date your copy of Safari should be because Safari is bundled as part of an operating system update.

However, you don’t have to be using the latest version of macOS to have the latest version of Safari. Apple is bundling Safari 11 with High Sierra, Sierra and El Capitan versions of the Mac OS. If you need to update your version of MacOS read this: how to update your Mac operating system software .

Now that you have the latest version of Safari you can start enjoying some of the new features that we will discuss below.

Safari basics

If you are a surfing novice you might want to familiarise yourself with these tips.

We’ll start off with the basics, such as how to get into Safari, how to search, and other useful pointers. You can skip this bit if you aren’t a Safari beginner, there are plenty of tips below that you might find useful.

You can find Safari in the Dock at the bottom of your Mac’s screen. Its icon looks like a compass.

what is the safari web browser

How to use Safari

The big bar at the top of the Safari window is where you can enter a website URL or a search term to either take you directly to a website, or to a list of pages that match your query.

It will automatically search in Google (but you can change it so it defaults to another search engine).

You rarely have to enter a complete URL for a website. Once you have visited a site once you only need to type a few letters of its name and it will autofill the rest of the URL.

For example, type: ‘Face’ and it will autofill the rest of the URL and when you press enter it will take you straight to Facebook.

How to make it easy to find your favourite sites in Safari

There are lots of ways of making it easy to get to websites you frequently visit.

When you open a new tab (see below for details of how to do that) you will see your Favourites view including Frequently Visited Sites. You could also choose to see a Top Sites view, set a Homepage, just see an empty page, or have the Same Page show up. These are all options you can access in Safari > Preferences > General. Just click on the menu beside New tabs open with.

what is the safari web browser

If you choose the Top Sites view you can adjust it to show 6, 12 or 24 sites. To add and remove Top Sites hover over the preview until you see an x and a pin icon. Pin those sites you wish to keep and click x on those you don’t image you will want to find again. The sites that appear in Top Sites tend to be those you visit most frequently.

You can choose one of these views for every time you open a new Safari window.

How to Pin a site in Safari

In Safari you can also ‘Pin’ favourite sites to the menu bar – a simple way of adding a shortcut to Facebook, YouTube or any site you visit frequently.

When you Pin a site you will see a small icon representing that site on the left of your tabs.

To Pin a particular web page right- or control-click on the tab and choose Pin Tab. Then it’s very easy to go straight to that site.

what is the safari web browser

Using tabs in Safari

Back to tabs. You can open multiple tabs in a Safari window, this means that rather than having a different Safari window open for every website you are on, you can just have one Safari window open and multiple pages accessible through that.

To open a new tab press Command + T.

There are two ways that you can see a preview of the different tabs you have open:

  • You can see a short summary of the name of the web page on the tabs themselves. This might be sufficient if you only have one or two tabs open, but once you have more than eight you’ll probably find the summary is too short to be useful.
  • Or, you can click on the icon that looks like two boxes on the right of the search/URL box. This will show a thumbnail view of all the web pages you have open.

While we’re on the subject of Tabs, you can close a single tab just by hovering over the tab and clicking on the x that shows up in the corner of that tab.

It’s also possible to close all but one tab. Just hold down the Option/Alt key when you click on the x to get rid of all the other tabs that are open, except for the page on that tab.

How to tell which Safari tabs are playing audio

Not everyone wants to surf the web in silence though. There is lots of very worthy audio and video content available on the web and no doubt many surfers wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

The problem is when you have multiple web pages open and more than one of them is blaring out audio.

Luckily there is another Safari tip to fix that.

You can identify which of your open tabs is playing audio by the speaker symbol that appears in the far right of the Safari tab associated with that web page.

It’s possible to mute the audio with a single click on the speaker symbol without even opening the tab.

what is the safari web browser

And if more than one Safari webpage is playing audio you can choose to mute them all at once. Just click on the speaker symbol in the URL bar and choose Mute all Tabs.

Alternatively, you can Option/Alt-click on the speaker icon of the tab you do wish to listen to and mute the audio on all the other tabs.

what is the safari web browser

How to reopen all windows from the last session

Here’s another useful tip. You can easily reopen all the tabs you had open last time you were using Safari.

Click History > Reopen All Windows from Last Session to quickly recover all the windows you were recently looking at. You might also find this helpful: How to export bookmarks from Chrome to Safari

How to show the full URL in Safari

Another handy Safari tip. In Yosemite Safari stopped showing the whole URL – a feature designed to help avoid users being taken in by phishing scams, wherein the URL is obfuscated. In other words, if you’re visiting https://macworld.co.uk/this/page/that/page then all you’ll see in the address bar is macworld.co.uk.

If this isn’t what you want, perhaps you want to see the full URL of the article you are reading, you can change things so that the whole URL is shown.

Open Safari’s preferences dialog box (Cmd+,) then click the Advanced icon and put a check alongside Show Full Website Address.

How to change how you view websites in Safari

One of our favourite features in Safari 11 is the extra control we have over the web. You can tweak the settings of specific websites so that they suit you for example.

How to change the font size on a website

You can tweak your settings so that when you visit a specific site the images and text are bigger – perfect if you are frustrated to find that the text on a favourite website is a bit too small for your eyes.

Here’s how to enlarge (or reduce) the font size on a particular website so that it stays that size whether you visit:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences.
  • Click on the Websites tab.
  • Click on Page Zoom.
  • Find the site you want to customise (any site you have open or have recently visited will be listed here).
  • Choose a number bigger or smaller than 100% depending on how large you want the text and images to be.

You can do this on a per website basis, or if you frequently find that the text on websites is too small for you, you can choose to default to the percentage that suits you wherever you go on the web. Note that not all websites are created the same so some will naturally have larger type than others.

what is the safari web browser

To choose the zoom percentage for all websites, click in the drop down box beside “When visiting other websites”.

Another benefit of having access to these controls that allow you to change the way you view the web is that it enables you to stop seeing ads and auto-playing videos. We’ll look at that below.

How to stop ads and auto-playing videos in Safari

Another enticing feature of Safari is the way you can choose to adjust the settings so that you never see another ad or auto-playing video again. We’ll look at how to do that next.

How to stop autoplay audio and video in Safari

Perhaps you are frustrated by auto-playing video blaring out every time you visit a website.

With Safari 11 you can disable autoplay video, so you will never again have to hear voices while you are browsing the web. Here’s what to do:

  • Open the offending website.
  • Click on Safari > Settings for This Website (or right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website).
  • Allow All Auto-Play
  • Stop Media with Sound
  • Never Auto-Play

Stop Media with Sounds is the default option, and it will essentially stop any video from starting if the sound is set to be on. If the video is set to play silently it will still run but you won’t hear it, unless you choose to.

If you would rather not let auto-playing video play, you can choose Never Auto-Play.

Remember that if you adjust the settings this way it will only apply to autoplay videos on that website. If you’d like to never see an autoplaying video again follow these steps:

  • Go to Safari > Preferences and click on Websites.

And there is an option below to choose the same settings “When visiting other websites”.

We have a complete tutorial that explains how to use this feature here: How to stop autoplay video in Safari & Chrome on Mac .

We also cover how to stop Safari asking to use your location data here .

How to stop seeing ads on websites in Safari

While ads pay a part of our wage, we realise that some ads can really reduce the enjoyment of web browsing. Usually these are ads that have something wrong with the way they have been coded and aren’t behaving as intended, or even worse they are spam ads that have crept onto the ad networks. We are honestly as frustrated as you are!

One of the big changes Apple bought to Safari 11 was the ability to really manage the ads that you see – this was part of Apple’s effort to make the web work better. Effectively, if Apple can remove ads that aren’t behaving as intended and are jamming up page loading times and the like, then Safari will perform quicker, which means that the surfer has a better time surfing.

There are a few ways you can take advantage of these anti-ad related features in Safari 11.

One way is to choose to surf the web – or certain pages – in Reader mode.

what is the safari web browser

Reader mode is a way of viewing webpages that Apple introduced back in 2010 in Safari 5. Reader displays just the text and images from a webpage, without any of the other page furniture. We think it is a bit like reading a Word document or a PDF. The feature hasn’t changed much over the years, but in Safari 11 it’s became possible to choose for a site to always be viewed in Reader Mode.

First, here’s how to view a site in Reader mode:

  • Click on the stack of lines to the left of the URL bar.
  • This will automatically change the webpage to Reader view.
  • Click on the stack of lines to turn Reader view off.

It’s worth checking how a site appears in this mode before switching over to it because not all sites implement it particularly well (sometimes you will find that an article stops abruptly because only one page has been carried into Reader view). Some sites don’t have a Reader view at all (such as Apple, for example).

And here is how to customise your settings so that whenever you visit that site the pages are viewed in Reader mode:

  • Click on Reader.
  • Find the site you want to customise (any site you have open, or have recently visited will be listed here).
  • Toggle the drop-down menu beside that site to On.

A quicker way to do this is to right-click or control-click on the stack of lines beside the URL and choose Use Reader Automatically.

Or, as long as you are on the website you wish to change the setting for, you can click on Safari > Settings for this Website, and choose Use Reader When Available.

How to surf in private using Safari

Another useful feature in Safari is the option to use a private browsing window. This doesn’t just keep your browsing habits private from someone else who has access to your Mac, it also means that you are incognito – in other words even the websites you are visiting don’t have any information about you.

Go to Safari > File > New Private Window (or shift-cmd-n). You can tell if a window is private because the search bar will be grey. Any new tabs you open in this window will be private.

Alternatively, to open a Private Browsing window you can click shift, command and N.

You can tell it’s a private window because the URL field will be greyed out.

Hold down Option/Alt while picking Private Browsing to quickly switch it on and bypass the ‘Do you want to switch on Private Browsing?’ alert window if you happen to see it frequently. We have a complete guide to private browsing on Safari here .

For even more privacy, you can choose to always search with privacy-obsessed DuckDuckGo as your default search engine. Go to Safari > Preferences > Search, and click on the Search Engine. Then select Duck Duck Go from the Search Engine dropdown list. You can choose from Google, Bing, Yahoo or DuckDuckGo.

How to delete your histroy in Safari

If you didn’t search using a private browsing window you can still delete your history and evidence of what you were up to.

  • Click on History.
  • Scroll down and click on Clear History.
  • You can choose to clear history for Today, the last hour, today and yesterday, or all history.
  • You’ll see a warning that Clearing history will remove related cookies and other website data. Basically this is warning you that if you go ahead and Clear History you may find that you have to log onto websites, or shopping cart information may disappear.
  • If you are happy with that then click on Clear history.

We have a complete tutorial all about how to delete your browser history on a Mac here .

How to delete cookies in Safari

Another new feature that came in Safari 11 was the introduction of privacy protection, a feature that’ll stop those annoying Amazon adverts showing you products after you’ve bought them.

Safari actively tries to block the cross-site tracking data that powers targeted adverts. While it won’t completely stop it, it should have a noticeable effect when using the browser.

According to Apple this isn’t an attempt to block ads, but rather to protect your privacy.

This means that you should no longer need to delete cookies if you want to stop seeing targeted ads (cookies have also been known to affect the price for goods if you have previously shown an interest in a product so deleting cookies could avoid such practices).

If you want to go a step further regarding cookies in Safari 11 there are some preferences changes you can make.

  • Beside Website tracking click on Ask websites not to track me.
  • Beside Cookies and website data click on Block all cookies.

If you aren’t using Safari 11 you can still delete cookies.

  • Click on the Privacy tab.
  • Click on Remove All Website Data…

Here’s how to add your own background image to Safari.

Author: Karen Haslam , Editor

what is the safari web browser

Macworld editor since 2008, Karen has worked on both sides of the Apple divide, clocking up a number of years at Apple's PR agency prior to joining Macworld two decades ago. 

Karen's career highlights include interviewing Apple's Steve Wozniak and discussing Steve Jobs’ legacy on the BBC. Her focus is Mac, but she lives and breathes Apple.

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Safari browser review

Experience personalization at your fingertips with safari.

Website screenshot for Safari browser

TechRadar Verdict

After our careful evaluation, we found Safari to be one of the best apps Apple has ever launched. It's fast, responsive, and comes with tons of tab management features that make it easy for users to maintain an online workspace.

Optimized to load CSS and HTML pages super fast

Clean and navigable design that’s easy to understand

Lets you sync all your devices together for uninterrupted reading

The default security features are good enough to keep each session private

Not available for all operating systems, such as Android and Windows

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

  • Ease of use
  • Competitors
  • Final verdict

Safari is a popular web browser launched by Apple in 2003. In the past few years and through multiple upgrades, Safari has transformed into a power-packed, privacy-centric browser that aims to give you the best web experience in every session.

It's faster compared to many popular browsers such as Firefox and Chrome, is highly reliable, and comes with a million customization options that make you feel a little at home every time you log in. It might not be the top leader of the browser industry, but it surely has a massive user base of more than 1 billion people.

So if you’re planning to set Safari as your next default browser, read our guide till the end and find out what you can expect.

Safari browser: Features

Safari’s best-known feature is “Intelligent Tracking Prevention,” which protects you from online trackers. Such malicious software have countless ways to keep following you across the web. Thankfully, Safari’s dynamic system is not only capable of tackling their current tricks, but it can also adapt and counter any hack they might develop to steal your data.

If you’re working on multiple projects at the same time, grouping the tabs together might be an efficient way to work faster and reduce the clutter. You can also label these tab groups, with each category leading you to a certain set of sites. To take it a step further, you can also add Focus Modes to these Tab Groups. This way, when a user opens the Safari browser with a certain Focus active, only those tab groups that are attached to it will show up.

Safari’s intuitive auto-fill feature will save you tons of time. For starters, it connects to your passwords saved on iCloud or other third-party password managers and auto-fills while logging. It also extracts information from your Contacts, Calendars, Credit Card, and other saved documents to auto-fill empty fields of forms and registration pages on your behalf. For sensitive information such as credit card details and passwords, Safari uses a special 256-bit AES encryption.

Safari also helps you create stronger passwords the first time you’re signing up for an account. You can either opt for traditional passcodes with a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols or go for advanced face ID or touch ID for better security. 

To minimize spamming from websites, Safari provides a unique feature called “Hide My Email” in collaboration with iCloud. Under this, instead of suggesting your actual email, it’ll suggest an alias to the website you’re signing into. This will help you recognize the spammers, and you can cut them off by simply deleting the alias email address.

Safari claims that it takes minimal battery power. Compared to Firefox and Chrome, Safari offers up to 3 hours of additional browsing and 4 hours of additional video streaming.

Safari browser: Privacy

Safari offers a decent level of privacy. It may not completely stop data collection from third parties, but it minimizes the transfer of user data to a great extent. On top of that, users get access to all its privacy settings by default, ensuring they’re protected from the get-go.

You can also modify the privacy settings if you want. For example, you can adjust how often you want your web history deleted or tell websites not to track your information, such as location or contact details.

We recommend adding a VPN to your arsenal, which, along with Safari, will prove to be the security you’ve always wanted on your device. 

Safari browser: Ease of use

Safari is pretty easy to use. The address bar is at the top of the screen, and you’ll find the open tabs stacked right below it — much like Google Chrome.

What sets apart Safari’s user interface is options such as Bookmarks, History, and Edits are placed above the address bar. 

Our favorite thing about its user settings is that it lets you get the complete overview of your tabs on a much higher level. If you have multiple tabs open at once, this feature lets you zoom out and check them all at once.

The only thing we didn't like about Safari was some of the features, such as Tab Grouping, were slightly hidden on its Mac Version. You’ll have to click on the Page Icon for a panel to appear before you can use the grouping feature. 

Safari browser: Competitors

Safari’s biggest competitors are Chrome, Edge, and Firefox. But thanks to its features and outstanding performance, it’s not too far behind them in the race. 

For starters, a speedometer test by Safari revealed that it's almost 1.4 times more responsive than Chrome and Firefox. 

Another series of tests found that when the macOS is used for animation rendering and Javascript, Safari is 2 times and 1.4 times faster than Chrome and Firefox, respectively. 

With such outstanding performance, it's no wonder that millions of users are flocking to Safari every year.

Another benefit of Safari is that it's lightweight and doesn't take up too much battery power. In fact, compared to other browsers, Safari gives you at least 3 to 4 hours of additional battery life.

Also, unlike Edge, Safari lets you pick and put any picture you want as the browser's background. While Edge and Chrome let you experiment with multiple themes, Safari goes a step ahead and lets you personalize it.

Managing tabs with Safari is easier than most browsers. You can group them together, label them for quick searches and attach them to a particular Focus Mode to reduce the crowd of tab groups. No other renowned browser offers this feature.

Safari browser: Final verdict

After our careful evaluation, we found Safari to be one of the best products Apple has ever launched. It's fast, responsive, and comes with tons of tab management features that make it easy for users to maintain an online workspace.

Compared to Chrome and Edge, Safari is much more serious about user privacy and data leaks. After all, it has developed a whole new technology (Intelligent Tracking Prevention) just to combat that. 

It also comes pre-installed on every Apple device, be it an iPhone or Mac. If you’re a proud Apple device owner, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try Safari since there’s no trouble downloading and setting it up.

Also check out our roundup of the best anonymous browsers .

Desire Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website builders and web hosting when DHTML and frames were in vogue and started narrating about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium.

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Safari: A Beginner’s Guide for iPhone or iPad Users

Safari can be intimidating to learn when you first start using it, but this guide will help you get used to it.

On Apple devices, the default web browser is called Safari. It shares a lot of similar features to other common browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. But if you’re new to using Safari, you may feel a little lost because the interface is slightly different to the others.

So, here’s a beginner’s guide on how to use the Safari app to browse the web on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Search for Content in the Safari App

google search on iphone safari app

As with all web browsers, you’ll need to first enable your iPhone’s mobile data or connect to a Wi-Fi network to access the internet.

Then, to search in Safari, simply type a term, phrase, or URL into the Smart Search bar at the bottom of the screen and tap Go on your keyboard. The Smart Search bar is a combination of the address bar and search bar. As you type, you’ll see search suggestions based on your keyword as well as results from your bookmarks and browsing history.

How to Navigate a Webpage in Safari

Once you obtain your search results, you tap on a link you’re interested in. Now let’s look at how you can navigate the webpage once it’s loaded.

How to Jump Back to the Top of Webpage

After swiping to scroll down a long article, you may want to go back up to access the website’s menu. To instantly jump back to the top of the webpage, just tap the topmost edge of your screen.

How to Go Backward (or Forward) a Webpage

After tapping on a link, perhaps the webpage isn’t quite something you’re looking for. To go back to your search results, swipe from left to right from the edge of your screen.

To go forward on a webpage, swipe from right to left instead.

Related: Essential Safari iOS Tips & Tricks for iPhone Users

How to Reveal the Safari Address Bar

Your Safari address bar is automatically hidden away when you’re scrolling down a webpage. To bring it back, tap the bottom edge of the screen that shows the website’s main URL.

How to Work With Multiple Tabs in the Safari App

Having multiple tabs opened in Safari can help you to compare information between webpages and search for new content without having to close your current webpage. Here’s how to work with multiple tabs in Safari on your iPhone or iPad.

How to Open a New Tab

To open a new tab, select the Tabs icon in the bottom-right corner, which looks like two overlapping squares. Then tap the Plus (+) to open a new tab.

How to Switch Between Tabs

Again, hit the Tabs icon. You’ll see a gallery of all your opened tabs in Safari. Select a tab to visit the webpage you want.

opened tab on iphone safari app

Since the release of iOS 15, Apple introduced a new feature in Safari: tab groups. Many of us are probably guilty of having way too many opened tabs. Therefore, organizing tabs into groups makes them more manageable. Learn more about how to use tab groups in Safari on your iPhone .

How to Open a Link in a New Background Tab

When you read long articles, you’ll likely come across a link or two within the content that sparks your interest. To avoid disrupting your reading process, you can make Safari open the link in the background, in a new tab. To do so:

  • Go to the Settings app.
  • Select Safari .
  • Scroll down and tap Open Links .
  • Choose In Background .

iphone settings app

Next time you want to open a link, long-press it. Then, select Open in Background . When you want to visit that link, select Tabs to view all your opened tabs and choose the loaded webpage.

Saving and Sharing Webpages in Safari

The internet gives you access to a whole new world of information. Save a webpage to refer to it later, or share it with your family and friends.

How to Bookmark a Safari Webpage

To bookmark a webpage to read later, tap the Share icon in the middle of the bottom of the screen (it looks like an arrow coming out of a square) and select Add Bookmark . Type in a bookmark name.

To access your bookmarked webpage later, tap the Bookmark icon (an opened book) and browse through your bookmarks, reading list, and history to find what you’re looking for.

bookmark safari webpage on iphone

Besides the bookmark option, you’ll also notice that you can add a webpage to your favorites or reading list. Marking a webpage as a favorite will make it show up on your Safari home page. It’s useful if you visit the website often.

To learn more about reading lists, you can visit our guide on the differences between a bookmark and a reading list .

How to Share a Link From the Safari App

Stumble upon an interesting DIY project? A promising recipe you’d like to share with your family? You don’t have to bookmark and remind yourself to show the webpage to them later. You can share the link directly from the Safari app.

Tap the Share icon. You can then select the receiver’s name from the horizontal list of recent contacts, or choose your preferred communication app to send the Safari link to them.

Erasing Your Digital Footprint in Safari

If you’re an aspiring crime writer, having a friend notice your crime-filled search history when they peer over your shoulder is inevitably awkward. Hence, there are some things we’d prefer to keep private and erase all traces of once we exit a web browser.

Safari has a few features to help you with this.

How to Close a Tab

If you don’t close your tabs, old webpages will just auto-load again the moment you head into Safari. Having too many opened tabs affects your browsing speed as well.

Closing a tab is simple. You just need to tap the Tabs icon and then tap the Close (x) button in the corner of the tab.

how to private browse on safari

How to Browse Privately in Safari

Similar to Google Chrome’s Incognito Mode, Safari has a feature called Private Browsing Mode. Your autofill information and browser history won’t be saved when you use this function. Here’s how to use it:

  • First, tap the Tabs icon.
  • Select the center Tabs button with an arrow next to it.
  • Choose Private .
  • To open a new private tab, tap the Plus (+) button.

how to private browse on safari app

Whenever you’re in doubt about whether you’re in Private Browsing Mode, just check the Smart Search Bar. It will be dark grey instead of white when you’re browsing privately.

How to Clear Your Safari Browsing History

If you forgot to use Private Browsing while searching for confidential information, don’t worry. You can still clear your history in Safari. Just follow these steps:

  • Tap the Bookmarks icon.
  • Select History (the clock icon).
  • Tap Clear .
  • Choose the time length from which you want Safari to clear your history.

bookmarks on iphone safari

Use the Safari App to Surf the Internet on Your iPhone

The Safari app has all the features you need for a seamless browsing experience. Once you’re familiar with these basic functions, you can check out and download Safari extensions from the App Store to enjoy more helpful features while surfing the internet on your iPhone or iPad.

  • 4.2 • 45K Ratings

Screenshots

Description.

Explore the web with lightning-fast speed, powerful privacy protections and robust customization options. With Safari you can browse sites, translate web pages, and access your tabs across iOS, iPadOS, and macOS. Features • Passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs and more seamlessly sync across iPhone, iPad and Mac • Private Browsing mode doesn’t save your history and keeps your browsing your business • Intelligent Tracking Prevention prevents trackers from following you across websites you visit • Tab Groups let you save and organize your tabs and access them across iOS, iPadOS and macOS • Profiles help keep your browsing history, website data, and more separate between topics like work and personal • Shared Tab Groups help you share tabs and collaborate with family and friends • Extensions allow you to personalize Safari and add even more functionality to the browser • Reader formats articles for easy reading without ads, navigation, or other distracting items • Privacy Report shows known trackers that have been blocked from tracking you • Reading List easily saves articles for you to read later • Voice Search lets you search the web using just your voice • Web page translation converts entire webpages into other languages right in the browser • Handoff effortlessly passes what you’re doing in Safari from one device to another • Add to Home Screen allows you to quickly launch a website or web app from your Home Screen

Ratings and Reviews

45K Ratings

This new layout is better IMO, but there are a few other problems that kinda bug me

Unpopular opinion, but this new layout is better. I don’t even remember the old layout since I’m not even a long-time iOS user (this is my first iPhone). I looked up the old layout or the “cascade” layout and it looks more painful to me than the new one. By the looks of it, it’s definitely easier to miss a tab you’re looking for in the older version, and then you will have to spend like 10 more minutes scrolling to find the tab you’re looking for. Sure, it may be “faster”, but it’s definitely harder to find the certain tab you’re looking for if most of the tabs are only viewable by a little area at the top. This app is mostly fine except for a few problems I get from time to time. Today I’m having a problem where I was trying to look at some Google images and then I tried to look at more but it was just stuck on loading. It wouldn’t even finish loading. This happened only on like 2 searches thankfully though. I’d probably give it a 95% since it has some minor lags and problems.

Your Underrated Prince, Safari

In my humble opinion, Safari is the underrated king among multiple web browsers on the market. I was a PC devotee from ‘95 to ‘16, since then, it’s been all Tim Cook 🍎 all the time. My only regret is not purchasing a smartphone back in ‘07 from Steve Jobs. Presently, I own an iPhone 6s Plus in rose gold (2016), iPad Mini (2016), iPad Pro (2019) & MacBook (2018) in rose gold with matching Beats By Dre headphones. All four are set up with Safari, not Chrome, TOR, Brave, Edge, or DDGo. I love the ability to quickly save favorites, add to reading list & share content to other platforms. My favorites are alphabetized for quick reference & the reading list keeps all articles & pages in chronological order for quick recall. Also, I learned Safari quickly because it’s extremely user friendly. The browser helped my navigation of Apple when switching from PC. I’ll admit, learning MacBook isn’t easy, but, Safari keeps things familiar for me on the desktop. When lost, just go back to Safari & start over. It’s surprising no one in tech media mentions Safari more often as a go to source for navigating the internet. Chrome is the reigning king of, Land Of Browsers, without an heir apparent. I nominate Safari as the prince with future king potential. Citizens of Land Of Browsers don’t like their chrome-plated dirty laundry aired, sold or tracked.
I have been using this for years and had no problems with it. I ran over my phone with my lawn mower and was without my phone for over a year due to having to fight with the insurance company. However when I finally got a lawyer involved the insurance company finally replaced it for me. I DID not lose anything and I mean anything. I like the cards better because they are easier to clear out. You have to back everything up to your cloud every day or every other day so that you don’t have to worry about losing anything. As I always make sure that I back everything up just in case. It is not apples fault if you lose your any of your information it is yours for not backing up your phone to your cloud. So most of the people who write bad reviews either don’t back up or they just don’t or they just don’t care. Apple doesn’t charge a lot to add more space to your cloud so there is no reason why you can’t back you things. This is better than anything that google has. By far. If you want your information used by third parties then use google’s and quit complaining. You can change your browser in safari so that you don’t have to use them get with it you bad reviews and learn how to use safari.

App Privacy

The developer, Apple , indicated that the app’s privacy practices may include handling of data as described below. For more information, see the developer’s privacy policy .

Data Linked to You

The following data may be collected and linked to your identity:

  • User Content
  • Identifiers

Data Not Linked to You

The following data may be collected but it is not linked to your identity:

  • Browsing History
  • Diagnostics

Privacy practices may vary, for example, based on the features you use or your age. Learn More

Information

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  • Privacy Policy

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The best web browsers for 2023

Mark Coppock

All web browsers have the same basic function, and yet, the choice between them has always been one of the most contentious in tech history. You have more options these days than ever before, whether you’re looking for the best web browser for privacy , the best for speed, or perhaps something a bit more adventurous.

To help you decide on the best web browser, we grabbed the latest browsers and put them through their paces. Even if some could use a complete overhaul, these options are your best chance for a great online experience.

The best web browser: Google Chrome

Chrome is ubiquitous — and for good reason. With a robust feature set, full Google Account integration, a thriving extension ecosystem (available through the Chrome Web Store), and a reliable suite of mobile apps, it’s easy to see why Chrome is the most popular and the best web browser.

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Chrome boasts some of the most extensive mobile integration available. Served up on every major platform, keeping data in sync is easy, making browsing between multiple devices a breeze. Sign in to your Google account on one device, and all Chrome bookmarks, saved data, and preferences come right along. Even active extensions stay synchronized across devices.

Chrome’s Password Manager can automatically generate and recommend strong passwords when a user creates a new account on a webpage. Managing saved passwords and adding notes to passwords is even easier. The search bar, or Omnibox, provides “rich results” comprised of useful answers, and it now supports generative AI capabilities. Favorites are more accessible as well, and they’re manageable on the New Tab page. And it’s now easier to mute tabs to avoid unwanted sounds.

Other updates have included a Dark Mode for Windows and MacOS , better New Tab customization and tab group creation, tab hover cards, and an in-browser warning if your password was discovered in a data breach. There’s a price tracking feature that can help locate the best deals. Android users will appreciate the Phone Hub for linking and monitoring their phones. There’s also the ability to quiet notifications, so websites don’t bombard you with requests to enable in-browser notifications.

What’s the bottom line? The Google Chrome browser is fast, free, and even better looking than before. With a thriving extension ecosystem, it’s as fully featured or as pared-down as you want it to be. Everything is right where it belongs, privacy and security controls are laid out in plain English, and the browser just gets out of your way. While it can be a little RAM-hungry at times , Google is working to make it more efficient — like Microsoft’s Edge, Google can now hibernate tabs in the background to stop them from using too many resources.

Overall, Chrome remains the best web browser download for the average user.

And, things are looking to get even better. Google announced some significant upgrades to the browser that haven’t gone live yet, to celebrate Chrome’s 15th birthday . A Material You design language will allow users to customize Chrome’s look and feel and attach themes to profiles to make it easy to tell them apart. The menu system will be revamped to provide easier access to a variety of settings and features including Extensions, Password Manager, Translate, and others. The Chrome Web Store will be redesigned using Material You to be easier to use, and AI will help identify useful extensions. And finally, Safe Browsing will now work in real time to protect against threats.

The best Chrome alternative: Microsoft Edge

In response to the market’s rejection of its original home-grown Edge browser, Microsoft rewrote Edge using the open-source Chromium web browser engine. The new Edge launched on February 5, 2020 , as a separate, stand-alone browser that replaced the integrated version. It became part of Windows 10 with the May 2020 update, although you can still download it for Windows 10 builds prior to version 2004. Of course, it’s the default web browser for Windows 11.

At first glance, the new Edge browser looks and feels like Google Chrome. It prompts you to import Chrome’s bookmarks toolbar and other settings. This is great if you hated the old Edge browser and want to give Microsoft’s new browser another shot. It also supports Chrome extensions , though the browser leads you to the Microsoft Store for add-ons. You must manually load the Chrome Web Store to install anything not listed in Microsoft’s repository.

However, it’s not Chrome with a Windows 11 theme. Microsoft reportedly disabled many features, including Google’s Safe Browsing API, ad blocking, speech input, Google-centric services, and more. In return, the company worked to optimize Edge and reduce its footprint while continuing to add new, Microsoft-oriented features. As of January 2023, Edge is the most efficient browser in terms of memory usage. It also allows sleeping tabs, to let tabs release their resources when they haven’t been used for some time.

Features launched since its release have included the new Edge Sidebar that provides easy access to various tools, more flexibility in managing how Edge starts up, Citations to make it easier for students to cite sources, and various other updates to make the browser more productive. Edge Workspaces lets users organize tasks into dedicated windows, and Microsoft has continuously tweaked various features, like the Edge Sidebar, to make them more user-friendly.

Microsoft Edge also provides simpler privacy settings and security updates. Microsoft Edge uses a graphically friendly interface that displays three security levels: Basic, Balanced, and Strict. With Balanced set as the default, many sites request you to disable your pop-up blocker even though one isn’t manually installed. All in all, we’re very optimistic that Edge is on its way to challenging Chrome as the best web browser.

The best Chromium alternative: Mozilla Firefox

Firefox is the best browser that’s not based on the Chromium browser engine. Mozilla has taken real strides to make its browser a truly modern way to surf from site to site, thanks to efforts like its upgrade to Firefox Quantum , its VR alternative Firefox Reality , and password-free browsing .

It wasn’t too long ago that Mozilla rebuilt the browser’s interface, offering a cleaner, more modern take on what a web browser should be. The changes weren’t just skin-deep, however. There’s some impressive engineering going on behind the scenes.

For example, Firefox Quantum is designed to leverage multicore processors in ways that its competitors just aren’t doing. It was not designed to make a huge difference in your day-to-day browsing, but Mozilla hopes this design will give Firefox Quantum an edge moving forward. By engineering for the future now, Firefox Quantum is in a better position to take advantage of quicker processors as they emerge.

Some Firefox strengths include privacy protections with SmartBlock anti-tracker support, improved password syncing across devices, enhanced readability, integrated breach alerts, and a Protections Dashboard that provides a summary of how Firefox protects your privacy behind the scenes. WebRender improves the graphics performance on Windows PCs with Intel and AMD CPUs.

Recent updates include easier download management, captions, and subtitle support on YouTube, Prime Video, and Netflix videos watched in picture-in-picture mode, HDR support in MacOS, and the ability to edit PDFs with text, drawings, and signatures. Firefox can also recognize text from an image, which is copied to the clipboard when selected. Finally, Firefox Colorways provides new options for optimizing how Firefox looks on-screen.

Beneath those changes, Firefox remains a comfortable, familiar standby. It’s a capable browser with a deep catalog of extensions and user interface customization. While managing settings across platforms isn’t as seamless as Google Chrome , the mobile browser app lets you share bookmarks between devices when using a free Firefox account.

There’s a bit of a fringe benefit, too. Since it’s been around longer than Chrome, some older web apps — the likes of which you might encounter at your university or workplace — work better on Firefox than they do on Chrome. For that reason, it never hurts to keep it around.

Overall, Firefox is more privacy-centric than Chrome and comparably fast, but its feature set isn’t quite as expansive elsewhere. If you like the sound of this, download the Firefox browser today.

The most innovative web browser: Opera

Another venerable browser and popular alternative, the Opera browser shares much of Chrome’s DNA and deserves its place as one of the best web browsers. Like both Edge and Chrome, Opera is built on Google’s open-source Chromium engine and, as a result, they all have a very similar user experience. Both feature a hybrid URL/search bar, and both are relatively light and fast.

The differences appear when you look at Opera’s built-in features. Where Chrome relies on an extension ecosystem to provide functionality users might want, Opera has a few more features baked right into the browser itself. It introduced a predictive website preload ability, and an Instant Search feature isolates search results in their separate window while the current page fades into the background, letting users more easily focus on the research task at hand.

You can install extensions from the Opera Add-ons store , which are just like Chrome extensions. Similar to Google’s browser, you’ll find useful tools like Giphy, Amazon Assistant, Avast Online Security, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more. If Chrome’s wide variety of extensions is important to you, then Opera becomes an intriguing alternative. It might just be one of the best browsers for quickly navigating web pages.

Opera also features a built-in “Stash” for saving pages to read later. There’s no need to sign up for a Pocket or Evernote account to save a page for later reading. Similarly, Opera features a speed-dial menu that puts all your most frequently visited pages in one place. Google Chrome also does this, but only on a blank new tab. Finally, Opera has a built-in unlimited VPN service, making it a more secure browser option.

The biggest changes came with Opera 60 and Reborn 3, a complete revamp that brought a new borderless design, Web 3 support, and a Crypto Wallet, allowing users to prepare for blockchain-based sites. With version 69, Opera became the first browser with a built-in Twitter tool, and the company has added others as well including Instagram and TikTok. Just click the icon on the toolbar, log in to your account, and tweet away right from within the slide-out menu.

Other recent advancements include Lucid Mode, which sharpens video playing on a variety of platforms, supports emojis instead of web links, and other enhancements. The Opera Sidebar adds new functionality much like Edge’s Sidebar, allowing quick access to various Opera features. And Opera Aria adds new generative AI capabilities built right into the browser.

You can see that we’re well into hair-splitting territory, which is why it’s important to remember that your choice of browser is, more than any other service or app you use each day, entirely dependent on your personal preferences — what feels most right for you. The Opera web browser has a unique look and feel, and it combines some of the best features of Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Alternative browsers

While the preceding browsers will meet most users’ needs, other alternatives exist for anyone looking for something different. This section is for those who have a more niche preference in web browsers  or want to try something new.

Apple Safari

If you use Apple devices exclusively, Safari is already your default browser. It’s also significantly faster than in the past, surpassing Chrome in its quickness. It’s integrated into iOS, iPadOS, and MacOS, and you’ll likely get better battery life thanks to Apple’s in-house optimizations and the underlying hardware.

Safari also focuses a great deal on privacy and security. If you want to minimize how you’re tracked and whether Big Brother is looking over your shoulder, then Safari is a good choice. If you also use an iPhone and/or an iPad, then using Safari on your Mac will make for the most seamless transition between platforms. Open websites on an iPad or iPhone are carried over to MacOS.

Safari is not offered outside the Apple ecosystem.

Vivaldi Browser

The Vivaldi browser is truly unique. No two Vivaldi users will have the same setup. When you run it for the first time, you’re guided through a setup process that lays out your browser in a way that makes sense for you. You choose where your tabs and address bar go and whether you want browser tabs displayed at the top of the page or in a separate side panel. This is a browser built from the ground up to deliver a unique user experience, and for the most part, it succeeds. Vivaldi 2.0 enhanced the customization features and made them easier to access.

This browser excels at customization, and you can choose from a variety of tasteful themes that don’t feel dated or out of place on a modern PC, in addition to the aforementioned UI choices. It also has some standout privacy-enhancing features, like its team-up with DuckDuckGo to make the non-tracking search tool the default option when in privacy mode.

Finally, recent updates added more powerful tab management, enhancements like Web Panels that make for smarter browsing, and (as mentioned) even more powerful customization options. Other new updates include a built-in ad blocker, a built-in tracker blocker, a clock in the Status Bar, a new Notes Manager, and a Break Mode for pausing the internet while keeping the browser open.

Brave Browser

One of the most unusual browsers around is Brave — or, perhaps, it’s Brave’s business model that’s the strangest. Brave blocks all ads on all web pages by default, which makes it arguably the fastest browser around. Ads are a huge portion of how many websites make money — block these ads, and suddenly the most important web financial tool is eliminated.

That’s where the Brave Rewards program comes in. Users receive Basic Attention Tokens (BATs) when they view alternative ads that Brave places in the browsing stream. Users can pass along a portion of their tokens to publishers. As of January 2021, there were over 70,000 websites that supported BAT-based transactions through the Brave browser, including Wikipedia, The Guardian, WikiHow, MacRumors, and more.

What’s in it for users? Simply put, if you’re not waiting for ads to download along with website content, then your web experience will feel much faster. Brave performs no user tracking, making it ideal for private browsing as well.

Tor Browser

The Tor Browser is a version of Firefox that serves one very specific purpose: A simple entry point for The Onion Router, or Tor .

Tor is software combined with an open network aimed at making you invisible by routing your traffic through several anonymous servers. While it’s not foolproof, it’s very difficult for someone to identify you when you’re properly configured and using something like the Tor Browser to surf the web — especially if combined with a VPN .

There are many legitimate uses of the Tor Browser and the Tor network. It’s a good choice for people who live in countries with repressive governments, as well as journalists and activists. The dark web is also one of the destinations for people using Tor, which includes many nefarious and illegal sites.

In any event, if you want to remain completely anonymous while surfing the web, the Tor Browser and network are for you. If you want a more mainstream alternative, Opera includes a VPN component, but it’s far less private.

Avast Secure Browser

Avast Secure Browser first arrived as the Opera-based Avast Safezone Browser in 2016 as part of the Avast Antivirus paid bundle. It was revised and rebranded in 2018 as a free stand-alone product based on Chromium. Originally the “SafeZone” aspect kicked in when users visited websites to make purchases or manage money.

Avast Secure Browser provides several built-in tools to protect your data and privacy. These include an anti-phishing module, fingerprinting and online tracking prevention, an ad blocker, and a Webcam Guard tool to control which websites can access your camera. The Hack Check tool will determine if your info was leaked in a data breach.

Avast Secure Browser is a stand-alone download for Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS. The desktop version doesn’t include an integrated VPN but instead directs users to download the company’s separate SecureLine VPN software. The listed Bank Mode — part of the Avast Free Antivirus client — flips on when users load a banking website.

Best web browser features — what to look for

Benchmark tests.

Notice we don’t include Safari in our main comparison. Apple’s Safari web browser is unavailable on Windows, Android, or Chrome OS, so we removed it from our primary list.

Most browsers are compatible with web standards and handle performance with relative ease. A casual user probably won’t notice a difference in the rendering speed between today’s modern browsers, as all six are much faster and leaner than those of a few years ago.

We ran the following benchmarks on a desktop with an AMD Ryzen 7 5800X processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe solid-state drive, and Windows 11. All browsers were clean installs of the most current production versions as of January 2023, and all were run at their default settings.

First, JetStream 2 is a JavaScript and WebAssembly benchmark. It tests how quickly a web browser can start and execute code, and how smoothly it runs. Higher numbers are better.

Notice how all three Chromium-based browsers outperform Firefox. In fact, there’s very little difference between them, while Firefox’s performance is quite poor by comparison.

The next test we ran was Speedometer 2.0 . It measures how responsive a browser is to web applications by repeatedly adding a large number of items to a to-do list. Higher numbers are better.

Here, Opera led the pack, with Chrome and Edge running nearly neck to neck. Firefox came in last here with a relatively low score.

Finally, we tested how much RAM each browser uses, both with no tabs open and then with 10 tabs open accessing the same popular sites. We made sure that each browser had no extensions running, and we let each browser settle in before looking at its memory use. For the test with 10 tabs open, we averaged memory use when all the tabs were opened and then five minutes later to account for any variability.

It’s not a scientific test, but it should be sound enough to give you an idea of which browsers are the most and least efficient in terms of taking up your RAM. We found Opera to use the least amount of RAM when first opened, barely ahead of Edge, while Chrome used the most. Edge used the least with all 10 tabs loaded by a significant margin, a third or less than the other browsers. Chrome used the most with all 10 tabs open, and Firefox and Opera weren’t far behind.

Security and privacy

The most valuable tool for secure and private browsing is user discretion, especially when you consider that every web browser has encountered security breaches in the past. In particular, Internet Explorer and Chrome’s reputations for protecting users’ security and privacy credentials are spotty at best.

Chrome, Safari, Vivaldi, Opera, and Firefox all rely on Google’s Safe Browsing API to detect potentially dangerous sites. Thanks to constant updates, Mozilla, Chrome, and Opera all make constant security improvements. Microsoft disabled this API in Edge.

All browsers offer a private session option, too. Private sessions prevent the storage of browsing history, temporary internet files, and cookies. Browser support for Do Not Track remains spotty.

Mozilla made some strides in differentiating itself from others with a real focus on privacy in recent years. It even debuted a Facebook Container  in 2018 to make it harder for the social network to harvest user information.

Frequently asked questions

Do you need to use a VPN when browsing the web? 

You do not have to use a VPN when browsing the internet. However, a VPN can be a good tool to use as it protects your privacy and data by creating a secure and encrypted data tunnel between your browser and a VPN server. In turn, that server creates a secure and encrypted connection between it and the target website.

As a result, the website can’t identify you personally, nor can it see your true geological location or internet address. Not even your ISP knows where you’re surfing or the device you use with a VPN enabled. Some VPN services are free while others require a subscription. We have a list of the current best VPN services .

Which browser is most used in the world? 

Google Chrome leads the web browser market with a 64.68% share, according to Statcounter . Apple Safari follows with 18.29%, Edge at 4.23%, Mozilla Firefox at 3.01%%, and Opera at 2.25%. Internet Explorer is still in use with 0.81%, while Microsoft Edge “Legacy” is fading out at 0.32%.

What are the best ad blockers to use for your browser? 

We have a guide on the best ad blockers for Google Chrome , but here’s a short list:

  • AdBlock and AdBlock Plus
  • AdGuard (Chrome only)
  • CyberSec by NordVPN
  • Poper Blocker (Chrome only)
  • Stands Fair AdBlocker (Chrome only)
  • uBlock Origin (Chrome and Firefox only)

What is browser fingerprinting and how can you prevent it? 

Websites want to know everything about you: Your tastes, your habits, and where you like to surf. When you load a website, it quietly runs scripts in the background that collect information about you and your device. The operating system, the web browser, all installed extensions, your time zone — all of this information is strung together to create a “fingerprint,” which in turn can be used to trace you across the internet via cross-site tracking.

Avast provides a detailed explanation and outlines various forms of fingerprinting. For example, the “canvas” method forces the browser to draw an image or text in the background, without the user knowing, to determine the operating system, web browser, graphics card, installed drivers, and the current font style. Device fingerprinting determines all internal and external device components.

As your fingerprint is tracked across the internet, this “profile” can be sold to data brokers, who then resell the data to advertisers. It’s a more silent means of gathering information about you versus using cookies that require your consent. The problem is, browser fingerprinting is still perfectly legal.

The best way to prevent browser fingerprinting is by randomizing and generalizing data. Third-party software like Avast AntiTrack does this by inserting “fake” data when website scripts try to collect your information. However, this tool allows scripts to continue running in the background so the website doesn’t “break.”

Many browsers offer some type of anti-fingerprinting protection. These include Avast Secure Browser (see above), Brave Browser (randomization), Mozilla Firefox (blocks fingerprinting scripts), and Tor Browser (generalization).

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It's been difficult to justify packing dedicated AI hardware in a PC. Nvidia is trying to change that with Chat with RTX, which is a local AI chatbot that leverages the hardware on your Nvidia GPU to run an AI model.

It provides a few unique advantages over something like ChatGPT, but the tool still has some strange problems. There are the typical quirks you get with any AI chatbot here, but also larger issues that prove Chat with RTX needs some work. Meet Chat with RTX Here's the most obvious question about Chat with RTX: How is this different from ChatGPT? Chat with RTX is a local large language model (LLM). It's using TensorRT-LLM compatible models -- Mistral and Llama 2 are included by default -- and applying them to your local data. In addition, the actual computation is happening locally on your graphics card, rather than in the cloud. Chat with RTX requires an Nvidia RTX 30-series or 40-series GPU and at least 8GB of VRAM.

Given how powerful some of the Apple Vision Pro’s features are, you might find yourself wanting to share your headset with someone else so they can experience all it has to offer. But doing that is easier said than done, and there are a few settings you need to change if you want to enable another person to use your Vision Pro.

Microsoft appears to finally be putting its foot down on how far back it's willing to go when it comes to supporting older hardware. As of the upcoming Windows 11 24H2 build, Microsoft will require that your processor supports the POPCNT instruction. If you're wondering what that is and whether this will affect you, you're not alone.

This new addition was spotted by Bob Pony on X (formerly Twitter). According to the user, if the CPU doesn't support the POPCNT instruction or it's disabled, Windows won't work at all. Multiple system files now require this instruction, starting with the Windows 11 kernel. Long story short -- no POPCNT, no Windows 11 24H2.

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The Top 10 Internet Browsers for 2024

Get peace of mind and ease of use with our list of the safest, fastest, and most-secure web browsers for PC, Mac, and mobile users

what is the safari web browser

  • Western Sydney University

While most devices come with an internet browser, a variety of free browsers offer a more secure user experience, better function, and increased privacy than standard issue browsers.

Here's our ultimate web browser list featuring 10 of the best internet browsers for all platforms, including Windows 11, Windows 10, Mac, and Linux computers to Android devices and iPhones.

Best All-Around Web Browser: Firefox

Massive library of extensions.

Available on all major operating systems.

Full support for Windows Hello authentication.

Frustrating update process.

Scrolling not smooth.

Limited direct support.

Mozilla's Firefox is one of the most popular alternatives to Chrome , Edge, and Safari browsers in part because it's been around since 2002, but mostly because of its frequent updates.

The Firefox internet browser updates regularly with bug fixes, speed improvements, security enhancements, and new features. However, these updates can be frustrating when they automatically start installing when you open the app. Then you have to wait several minutes for the new version to download and install.

Firefox is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android and lets you sync your data between each version through the use of a free Firefox account. The Android, Linux, Mac, and Windows versions of the Firefox browser support a vast library of extensions. The Windows version also supports Windows Hello authentication for enhanced security on compatible websites.

Best Private Browser: DuckDuckGo

Strong security and privacy.

Quickly erase all app data.

Simple settings screen.

Limited cloud sync features.

Lack of history can be inconvenient.

DuckDuckGo is a private internet browser with both mobile and desktop apps. By default, it blocks all forms of online tracking and doesn't upload your search history to anyone's servers. If you're still concerned about your privacy, you can clear all your tabs and data by tapping the flame icon in the main menu.

One particular feature that privacy-conscious folks will appreciate is the security rating that appears next to the current website's address at the top of the screen. Sites are rated from D to A on their encryption levels and the number of trackers detected. Tapping on this rating opens a full-screen report card, which features an impressive amount of information on how they reached the score.

The browser has light and dark themes and a lock setting that requires Touch ID , Face ID, or passcode to use the app.

Best Browser for Windows 10 or 11: Microsoft Edge

Built-in Cortana integration.

Bookmarks and browsing history sync between devices.

Windows Timeline support.

Browser can freeze on ad-heavy pages.

Slow to load embedded videos.

Needs a powerful computer to open many tabs.

Microsoft Edge is the successor to the classic Internet Explorer browser and comes pre-installed on all new on Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices. This browser is heavily integrated into the operating system and is the default app for opening not only web pages but ebooks and PDF files as well.

This web browser also features built-in inking tools for taking screenshots of pages and Cortana for looking up words and phrases. You can also use its voice dictation to have Edge read articles and other web content to you.

Microsoft Edge also saves your bookmarks and browsing history to the cloud. This data can sync to the iOS and Android app versions for consistent user experience and is compatible with Windows Timeline.

Best Internet Browser for Apple Users: Safari

Built-in support for ApplePay and Touch ID.

Available on all Macs and iOS devices.

Syncs bookmarks and browsing history.

Unavailable for modern Windows computers.

No app on Android smartphones and tablets.

Limited customization.

Safari is Apple's first-party web browser for all of its hardware, from Mac computers and laptops to its iPhones, iPads, iPod touches, and Apple Watches . The browser comes pre-installed on all of Apple's devices and is the default app for opening web pages.

Much like Edge on Windows 10 devices, Safari works well on Apple devices because the same company makes it, and it's designed from the ground up to run on a specific set of hardware. Safari supports all major Apple features, such as Apple Pay and AirDrop , and can also perform Touch ID and Face ID tasks on compatible Apple devices.

By using iCloud, Apple's Safari browser can sync browsing history, bookmarks, and passwords between devices. This feature is only useful if you have a lot of Apple devices, though, as there's no Safari browser for Windows or Android devices.

Most-Functional Browser: Google Chrome

Loads Google services quickly.

Massive library of browser extensions.

Available on a variety of devices.

Incognito mode doesn't completely hide your activity.

Browser updates have a history of raising privacy concerns.

Some extensions collect data.

Google Chrome launched on Windows in 2008 but has since expanded to Mac and Linux computers as well as iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

One of Chrome's strongest points is its availability on a multitude of platforms because you can sync your browsing history and other data across different devices. All you have to do is log into your Google account.

This internet browser is also extremely fast, especially when it comes to loading websites owned by Google such as Gmail and YouTube . While other browsers may take a while to load a YouTube video, Chrome usually starts playing the video almost immediately when on a good internet connection.

Most Secure Web Browser: Brave

Robust privacy and security features.

Alternative way to support online creators.

Beginner-friendly introduction to cryptocurrencies.

Affects websites' revenue models.

Inconvenient update methods.

Limited extensions.

Brave is a web browser with a strong focus on privacy and security. By default, this internet browser blocks advertising, cookies, phishing, and malware and provides you with advanced options for enabling HTTPS Everywhere and preventing browser fingerprinting.

All of these security options should help give you peace of mind if you're the type of person to worry about online privacy. These security measures also make web pages load much faster than on other browsers.

What sets Brave apart from other web browsers is its cryptocurrency , the Basic Attention Token (BAT). The Brave browser has an integrated software wallet for storing BAT tokens. You can use these tokens to financially support website owners or online creators when you view their content in the browser. Users can also earn BAT by enabling Brave-run ads during a browsing session.

Brave is available on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers in addition to iOS and Android smartphones and tablets.

Best VPN Web Browser for Mobile: Aloha

Optional integrated VPN functionality.

Built-in support for VR videos.

Uses less traffic than other browsers.

In-browser ads.

VPN isn't automatically on.

Lacks iOS password integration.

Aloha is a free web browser designed for iOS and Android tablets and smartphones. It has a built-in VPN service in addition to its own Incognito Mode , both of which provide enhanced security and privacy protection. This VPN service also compresses traffic, which means your smart device uses less data while surfing the web.

This mobile internet browser features a fresh visual design with clear, easy-to-understand icons and settings with the option to customize the app's appearance with a variety of free themes. Aloha also has built-in ad-blocking that stops banner ads and popups from loading on websites.

A couple of VPN settings, such as the ability to use the feature in other apps as well, are hidden behind a paid upgrade, which costs $24.99 annually. The app has ads for the Aloha Premium service; you can remove them by signing up. The ads don't detract too much from the user experience, though.

Best Internet Browser for Multitasking: Vivaldi

Add any website to the toolbar.

Numerous customization options.

Supports Google Chrome Extensions.

Not available for iOS.

Not always user-friendly.

Inconsistent window sizes when selecting links.

Vivaldi is a free web browser that was created in 2016 by some of the minds behind the Opera browser. The program is built on the same Chromium-based technology that powers Google Chrome, which allows you to install almost any extension from the Chrome web store.

The main appeal of Vivaldi is its comprehensive options that let you customize its look and functionality to a degree not seen in rival browsers. First, you can change the browser's UI colors anytime you want. You can also move the toolbar can to the top, bottom, or sides, and pin web pages to the side for simultaneous browsing. The latter feature is particularly useful if you like to watch YouTube videos or check a social media site while browsing the web.

Vivaldi is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux computers.

Best Browser for Saving YouTube Videos on iPhone: Documents by Readdle

Allows files usually blocked on iOS.

Manages local and cloud files.

Supports PDF and ZIP files.

UI can be confusing.

Some functionality requires upgrade.

Can run slow on older iPhone and iPad models.

Documents by Readdle is a powerhouse of an iOS app designed for both iPhone and iPad users. In addition to featuring web browser functionality, Documents by Readdle also works as a PDF reader, a ZIP file unzipper, a file manager, a media player, an ebook reader, and a one-stop-shop for all of your various cloud storage accounts.

What makes Documents by Readdle a must-download for any iOS user is its ability to download files from the web that other iOS browser apps would block. Documents by Readdle is the perfect app for downloading video files and other media. You can even use it to save YouTube videos to your Camera Roll .

Something advanced users may appreciate is the option to select the browser agent when using the web browser. This setting lets you tell websites which version of a web browser you're using. Then, if you ever need to test a website in one of those browsers, you don't have to switch between apps manually.

Most Diverse Web Browser: Opera

Opera USB is a unique idea.

Extensive library of add-ons.

Custom wallpapers.

Can load slowly.

Many extra features feel redundant.

The Opera web browser launched on Windows in 1996 and is now available on Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and even Java phones.

The desktop versions of Opera support a wide range of add-ons that bring extra functionality to the browser beyond browsing the web. Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp can run within a pinned taskbar on the left side of the screen, and the browser features built-in screen capture functionality as well. How much you use these functions depends on your operating system and preferred apps. If you usually check Facebook Messenger using its app or on your phone, for example, you likely won't find this feature in Opera very useful.

Of particular note is Opera USB, a fully functional version of the web browser that can be run off of a USB drive on any Windows computer running Windows 7 and up. This rather ingenious creation is perfect if you have access to a computer at work or while traveling that doesn't allow for the installation of extra programs.

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VPNoverview.com Internet Safety Secure Browsing Safari vs. Chrome in 2024: Which is the Safest Web Browser for Mac?

Safari vs. Chrome in 2024: Which is the Safest Web Browser for Mac?

Chris Bluvshtein

Safari vs. Chrome are two of the most popular browsers in use today. The question is: which one values your privacy more ? To understand where each browser stands, our review team at VPNOverview tested both, specifically focusing on four key areas:

  • Performance
  • Ease of use
  • Data privacy

The results were tighter than you may have thought. While there’s obviously a very subjective element to this, we put each browser through its paces and tried to be as objective as possible.

Whether you prefer Safari or Chrome for daily use, using a VPN can make your browsing experience safer and more private. We recommend  NordVPN as the best VPN, and it works just as well with both Safari and Chrome.

For a full understanding of the tests we performed and the features we looked at, check out our Safari vs. Chrome comparison below!

In the age of digital warfare, where your every click and scroll can be a battleground, choosing the right web browser is more crucial than ever. Safari and Chrome are two of the most commonly used browsers today.

As privacy concerns mount and data breaches become increasingly common, we pit these two titans of the browsing world against each other, examining their strengths and weaknesses to help you confidently navigate the treacherous online landscape.

Which is the best browser for Mac? Which is the safest web browser between the two? The results might just surprise you.

Safari vs. Chrome: Functionality and Feature Comparison

Safari vs. chrome: which browser is more secure.

It’s important to have a browser that keeps you secure online. An unsecured browser can expose you to keyloggers, malware, and other online threats.

With this in mind, the first stop in our Safari vs. Chrome comparison was to look at security. We considered points including:

  • The frequency with which both Google and Apple fixed security flaws
  • Whether each browser can help you to detect and avoid security risks
  • How each browser managers your passwords and other credentials
  • Any other added functionality, such as dark web monitoring

So, let’s look at how each browser can help to keep you secure.

1. Malicious website detection

Safari and Chrome both make use of Google’s Safe Browsing database . Think of this database as a dictionary of malicious web resources. Safari and Chrome reference the database to check whether you visit a safe website.

If you navigate to a website listed in the database, you’ll see a warning . While you can choose to continue, we recommend you follow the recommendations and steer clear. These websites can use social engineering tactics, like phishing, or install keyloggers and other malware onto your device.

Both Safari and Chrome also indicate when a website is HTTPS secured. Look for the little padlock icon in your browser’s URL bar. With all of the above in mind, Safari and Chrome are essentially tied on security at this point .

2. Password management

Dedicated password managers are a great solution because they can be used on multiple devices. But both Safari and Chrome have a built-in way to manage your passwords. On Safari, you can access Apple’s Keychain, while on Chrome, you can use Google Password Manager.

Like the best password managers , Safari’s Keychain integration remembers and stores your passwords so that you don’t have to remember them all.

When you visit a website or app, Keychain suggests and auto-fills your credentials. Google Password Manager effectively has the same functionality offered by Keychain, so we’re still at a tie between Safari and Chrome .

3. Security and vulnerability updates

While browsers are designed to be secure, hackers routinely exploit security vulnerabilities that make it through the QA process while releasing a new update.

Thankfully, security researchers are usually fast to identify these issues and flag them to Apple or Google. Both Apple and Google also offer generous bug bounty programs, rewarding users for identifying security flaws.

While both Apple and Google regularly patch security vulnerabilities and update their browsers, Chrome tends to do so more frequently. Chrome pushes out updates, on average, every couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, Safari’s updates tend to come bundled with macOS or iOS updates, making them more infrequent. So, it’s Google Chrome that takes the crown here .

This is subjective, because pushing out less security updates doesn’t always indicate better security. In some cases, it also reflects the overall security stack of Safari.

4. Support for security-focused extensions

Web extensions can completely personalize your experience with a browser. The best extensions for privacy and security significantly boost your privacy. These include VPN extensions, ad-blockers, anti-tracker tools, and cookie auto-delete software.

Bear in mind that certain extensions are only available on certain browsers. Thanks to the less-stringent rules around third-party applications, Chrome tends to have a broader selection of extensions, which may expose you to certain privacy risks of browser extensions .

Safari is the winner here , as Apple supports Safari extensions to iOS on mobile. Remember, we’re talking about using Chrome on iOS or macOS, and Apple doesn’t support Chrome extensions for its products.

5. Private browsing modes

Private browsing modes in internet browsers offer increased security compared to “regular” browser windows. Both Safari and Chrome offer a private browsing function, but you should know about the data collection policies between normal and private mode .

Safari Private Browsing is Apple’s private mode, which will not save your search or browsing history . That said, it has its limitations. Websites can still see your IP address , and your ISP (internet service provider) can still see your search history .

Chrome offers Incognito Mode , which has the same benefits and drawbacks as Safari’s private mode. Chrome sees your IP address, even in Incognito Mode.

However, even if you’re using a VPN , Chrome will also let web services see your activity and your identity if signed into a web service like an email account. Chrome also remembers your location .

In effect, if you want true privacy, you need to be using one of the best VPN services — but remember our warning about Chrome. While this was a close competition, Safari wins here owing to Chrome’s increased scrutiny of your online actions, even in private mode.

What is the most secure browser?

In terms of security and privacy, Safari tends to offer the most secure experience. This is partly why macOS users typically suffer fewer malware infections than their Windows counterparts.

Safari picked up an additional win over Chrome, with better private browsing, but Apple also generally ensures a pretty watertight product all-around due to development restrictions.

However, Safari and Chrome are both very much everyday consumer products. If you want maximum security, check out our list of the best web browsers for privacy .

Security winner banner, Safari browser

Safari vs. Chrome: Which Browser is Faster?

Speed is important when it comes to browsing. We compared Safari vs. Chrome in a speed and general performance test. This included looking at aspects like:

  • How each browser responds under heavy use
  • How each browser handles graphics-intensive websites

To test the performance between Safari and Chrome, we used three applications: JetStream 2, MotionMark, and Speedometer. We ran these applications on a MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and a 1.8 GHz Dual Core Intel Core i5 CPU. Our results are below.

1. Javascript performance testing with JetStream

Javascript is a programming language that handles most script processing behind the scenes on most webpages. This includes content changes, user interactions, mouse pointer movements, and more.

JetStream runs a suite of tests to see how well a browser performs during periods of high Javascript activity. In the JetStream test, a larger score means better performance. Here’s how the two tests measured up:

Chrome’s score of 96.774 puts it just slightly ahead of Safari, scoring 93.217. This suggests that Chrome should perform better when running sites or apps with complex Javascript functions, though the gap is only marginal.

2. Graphics performance with MotionMark

The more complex a webpage, the slower it loads, as your browser has to render every element on the page. MotionMark is a tool that checks how well your browser handles intense tasks that use your browser and the device’s graphics capabilities.

Chrome scored 357.01 in the graphics performance tests. Meanwhile, Safari managed to surprise us, scoring 425.67. Regarding user experience and the responsiveness of complex applications, Safari should provide a smoother experience.

3. Responsiveness with Speedometer

Speedometer simply measures the responsiveness of web applications. The tool simulates user interactions, timing how long these actions take to complete. In these tests, which cycle 480 times, the tool creates a to-do list, adds multiple items, checks them off, and loops back to the beginning.

We started with Chrome, which scored 91.4 with Speedometer. But when we moved over to Safari, it was immediately obvious that the test was struggling. Safari scored just 66.7 by comparison, with Chrome coming out on top.

Memory Saver in Chrome

If you’re running a lot of tabs, you may have noticed a performance dip. The browser consumes more RAM, eating more memory and slowing down your computer. In Google Chrome, a feature called Memory Saver can help you avoid this sluggish performance, even though Chrome is notorious for hogging RAM.

Screenshot of Memory Saver Chrome

If you leave a tab open but don’t interact with it for a while, Chrome puts it in a rest state. This frees up CPU memory to perform other tasks. But you can still return to that tab later and continue where you left off.

What is the fastest browser?

The results of our Safari vs. Chrome performance and speed tests speak for themselves. Chrome performed better than Safari when it came to performing complex, fast-paced actions and general responsiveness. Moreover, with features like Memory Saver, Chrome can help keep you working faster.

While Safari outshone Chrome with graphics performance, Chrome is the overall winner . This is why power users who use multiple different Google apps will often choose it over Safari.

Speed and performance winner banner, Chrome browser

Safari vs. Chrome: Which Delivers the Better User Experience?

Ease of use is difficult to analyze and compare, as it’s often quite subjective. Die-hard Apple fans will probably get on well with Safari, as it’s more familiar. The same applies to Chrome and Google fans.

To gauge user experience, we looked at the following points:

  • Multiple tab and window management
  • Cross-platform support from desktop to mobile
  • User settings and customizations

1. Working in multiple tabs

Opening multiple tabs is common when you need to do research or work. Problem is it can be easy to get lost when you’re using multiple windows. So, we looked at how tab management works in Safari and Chrome .

Tab management in Chrome using Tab Groups

When opening multiple tabs in Chrome, we found that things can get a bit messy . The more tabs you have open, the harder it becomes to find your place. Everything gets sort of squished together, until you can only see the site’s logo.

Screenshot of open tabs, Chrome

However, you can add tabs to groups for better organization , which lets you cluster related tabs together. You can easily switch between groups to focus on one particular task simultaneously. This works differently depending on whether you’re using a computer or a mobile device.

On Chrome for desktop, set up tab groups by following the below steps:

  • Hold “ Ctrl ” and right-click on a tab.
  • Hover over “ Add tab to group ” and click “ New group .”
  • Name the group and choose a color.
  • Click “ Enter ” to save the group.
  • Click on the group to collapse or expand all tabs.

Screenshot of Chrome tab groups

If you want to group tabs on Chrome mobile , tap on the “Tabs” button in the upper-right corner of your screen. Long-press one tab and drag it on top of another to group them.

Tab management in Safari

Safari isn’t getting left behind by Chrome here. You can also group tabs on Safari for desktop — but only if you’re up to date with your operating system software.

This feature was introduced by macOS Monterey, and released at the end of 2021. Upgrading to this version isn’t always possible for people with older devices or low memory .

  • Open Safari on a computer.
  • Click on “ File ” while you have Safari open.
  • Click “ New Tab Group with X Tabs ,” where X represents the number you currently have open.

You can follow the same logic on iPhones. On mobile, the latest version of iOS sees Safari stack all tabs like a deck of cards. Unless you set up Tab Groups, you’ll have to scroll through them all to find what you’re looking for.

  • Open Safari on the app.
  • Long-press a tab until a menu appears.
  • Select “ New Tab Group .”

Screenshot of mobile device view, VPNOverview tab group

  • Now, you can click the Tab Group name at the bottom to swap between groups .

Navigating between tabs

Both Safari and Chrome offer additional options for keeping on top of your tabs. In Safari, you can search through tabs by clicking “ View ” then Tab Overview for a grid view with a search bar. In Chrome, type “ @tabs ” into your URL bar, and click the “ Search tabs ” button and run your search.

All in all, both browsers offer useful ways to manage your various browser windows. So, we really had to look closely to pick a winner or draw a tie. In the end, Chrome takes the lead here .

Apple’s tab grouping functionality relies on you having the latest iOS software, plus you can’t set them up as quickly by simply Ctrl-clicking on a tab.

2. Working across multiple devices

Integration between devices is continuously improving, making it extremely easy to switch from your desktop to mobile and carry your work along. This is more evident when using other products in the Apple or Google ecosystems. With multiple Apple devices, you can quickly pick up and continue work on one device from another.

If you’re an iPhone user, then you’ll be right at home with Safari , as it integrates with the Apple ecosystem. If you’ve got an iPhone or iPad, you can easily pass your desktop Safari tabs to your mobile device and continue browsing.

Apple Pay can also be used cross-platform, and you can verify purchases made on a desktop with your mobile phone’s biometrics.

When you have multiple tabs open, passing tabs between devices is simple. Enable Handoff on your Mac and mobile device first to make sure this works:

  • Open “ Settings ,” then “ General ” on your mobile device.
  • Click “ Handoff ” and ensure it’s switched on.
  • Now, go to “ System Preferences ” and then “ General ” on your Mac.
  • Again, find the checkbox to “ Enable Handoff .”

Screenshot of iPhone, handoff tabs

  • You’ll see an option to pull the tabs from your Mac.
  • If you want to move tabs in the other direction, look for the mobile icon on the Safari app in your dock.

That said, there are benefits to Chrome that are lacking in Safari. While iPhones are hugely popular, more people own Google Home devices — and streaming devices like the Google Chromecast — than those who own Apple’s smart home device. Apple’s foray into the smart home market never really took off in the same way.

This is where Google Chrome shines. If you have a Chromecast or Google Nest, you can cast videos or entire webpages to your big screen by simply right-clicking anywhere within the window.

Cast from Chrome example screenshot

And it’s for all of these reasons that we have to declare a tie for this section . The best browser for Mac in this particular situation comes down to your existing devices or the ecosystem you use.

If you have an iPhone or iPad, you’ll find the experience on Safari far more seamless. If you use an Android smartphone or want to make the most of your Chromecast, Google Chrome is excellent.

3. Support for multiple languages

Sometimes, you might want or need to visit a website not intended for your country. Aside from potentially needing a VPN, there may well be a language barrier in these cases.

This is common among people who like to stream online with a VPN but can’t work out what anything on the website says. Remember, do check if streaming is legal or not before you access different sites.

We’re just going to say it outright: Google Chrome is generally superior in supporting multiple languages, thanks to the power of Google Translate. Both Safari and Chrome can translate webpages from one language to another. But Google is miles ahead in the translation space.

Screenshot of Chrome on Mac, Chinese translate

To put this to the test, we got a Chinese IP address with Intego Privacy Protection, one of the best VPNs for mac . We then loaded up several popular Chinese shopping websites we had no hope of understanding. While Google Chrome offered to translate the page, Safari did not.

4. Pop-up advert blockers

Pop-ups are not just annoying, but sometimes they can be malicious too. Safari has native pop-up blocking built into the software. You can enable it by opening Settings or Preferences , then blocking some or all pop-up adverts.

Chrome is configured to block pop-up adverts by default. It’ll indicate when this happens with a small icon in the address bar. If, for any reason, you want to enable pop-up adverts, you can simply go into Settings , Permissions , then Pop-ups and redirects .

This is a fairly simple and standard feature, but it’s good to see that each developer has included it natively. So, it’s a tie in this section .

What is the most user-friendly browser?

For general ease of use, Chrome won over Safari in more sections . But as we mentioned, usability is subjective and largely influenced by the other devices you already own.

People who use Apple’s products may find Safari easier to get on with. Not to mention, you could miss out on features by using Chrome, including Handoff and Apple Pay integration.

User experience winner banner, Chrome browser

Safari vs. Chrome: Which Offers Better Data Privacy?

There’s big money in data, so companies will often collect as much user information as they can get away with. But giving away your data can come with privacy risks, which is why we’re huge advocates of using a VPN to encrypt your data .

With this in mind, we wanted to understand the following:

  • How much data Safari and Chrome gather
  • How they protect your data

1. Personal information collected by Chrome and Safari

Under the guise of “improving your future browsing experience,” Safari has been known to gather certain information about you and your habits. This includes:

  • Browsing history
  • Browser cache
  • Download history
  • Login credentials via cookies

Safari also offers a feature known as Privacy Preserving Ad Measurement. When enabled, this feature essentially supports advertising. Marketing agencies will be sent data relating to adverts you’ve interacted with, but all identifiable information is stripped out.

Chrome also has Do Not Track for tracking protection. But while Apple gathers limited data, we found Google tends to gather more specific data . Google is well-known for gathering a lot of data through its various services, and Chrome is one of its most prolific apps. Some of the data gathered by Chrome includes:

  • Your IP and location
  • Search and browsing history
  • User identifiers
  • Product interaction data

What’s more, unlike Safari, Firefox, and Edge, Chrome is said to tie this data to individuals and devices . As a result, we have to declare Safari the winner on this front .

2. Protection of your personal data

While Safari can see your IP address, even in Private Browsing mode, it isn’t shared. Safari has built-in Intelligent Tracking Prevention that uses machine learning to prevent trackers.

It also has a feature that prevents cross-site tracking and limits ad trackers from working. In their privacy policy, Apple says that they may share your personal data with Apple-affiliated companies, partners, developers, and publishers.

According to their privacy policy, Apple has never allowed government agency access to personal data and never will.

While Google follows data privacy legislation, your data does tend to be used more freely for advertising purposes. According to Google’s Safety Center, your data might be anonymized and used to drive targeted ads. This is partly why you’ll often see many online adverts for products you’ve recently discussed or looked at.

As a result, Safari wins here , though it’s partly a question of user experience and the annoyance that can come with ad bombardment.

What is the most private browser?

Both Google and Apple typically fight to retain user privacy. There have been numerous high-profile instances of these companies resisting requests for data from government and law enforcement agencies.

However, owing to Google’s reputation for data gathering and its use in targeted advertising, Safari wins overall on data privacy .

Privacy winner banner, Safari browser

Safari vs. Chrome: Final Thoughts

We looked at four main comparison areas in our Safari vs. Chrome review. In conclusion, each browser won on two sections, making for an overall tie.

This is reflective of our experience with Safari and Chrome. Both are good web browsers that offer a great user experience and strong privacy and security features.

That said, the caveat is that this is a highly subjective area . It also heavily depends on what devices you’re already using .

If you’ve got a Google Pixel, the full suite of Google smart home products, and a Chromecast, you might find Safari tough to get used to.

Similarly, if you’re a die-hard Apple fan with numerous Apple devices like a Mac, iPhone, and iPad, you’ll miss out on a load of cool features if you use Chrome as your main browser.

So, to summarize, we’ll leave you with this quick reference table that should help you make a choice. The table contains our browser recommendations depending on your situation.

Key Takeaways

  • Chrome generally performed better in our tests
  • Chrome offers superior multi-language support and device casting
  • Cross-platform use feels more seamless with Safari
  • Apple fans who use Chrome miss out on cool cross-platform features
  • Overall, Chrome beat Safari in more categories, making it the  best browser for Mac  in most scenarios

If you have questions about whether to choose Safari vs. Chrome, check out some of our previous answers below!

In our Safari vs. Chrome testing, Safari excelled in certain areas compared to Chrome. For example, Safari was better for general data privacy and processing activities with a high demand on graphics.

However, Chrome excelled in other areas, including user experience and overall performance.

You can use either browser on iPhone, but we recommend using Safari . One of the main reasons people choose Chrome is for its extensive extensions support.

However, Apple doesn’t allow you to install Chrome extensions on iOS . So, for an iPhone or iPad, Safari works best. There are other privacy-focused browsers you can pick too!

Safari and Chrome deliver a similar experience, with many shared features that lead to there being little different. Most of the differences come in the form of integrations with other Apple or Google products.

For example, if you use Safari, you can “Handoff” Safari tabs, passing them from one device to another. If you use Chrome, you can cast almost anything to a Chromecast .

Chris Bluvshtein

Chris Bluvshtein Author

Senior journalist.

Chris is a tech journalist with many years’ experience covering online privacy and cybersecurity. He’s also a published author and works as a Product Manager for some of the most innovative software development companies.

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Nothing against Safari other then its solely tied to Apple devices only. I am a multi-platform user so Chrome makes more sense seeing it can run on many different non Apple operating systems. WebKit is also going the way of Gecko with its own browser engine vs Chromium which is now the most used browser engine. If Apple didn't force IOS browsers to use WebKit and allow Chromium engine WebKit would be way less popular.

Hi John! Thank you for sharing. It's completely understandable that cross-platform users like yourself would choose Chrome over Safari. As you say, Safari is definitely great for Apple fans, but harder to use elsewhere.

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How to change the default web browser on iPhone or iPad

W hen you set up a new iPhone or iPad, you may notice that Safari is the default web browser. And while many users are fine with that, some others may prefer having a different default. Fortunately, with iOS and iPadOS 14, Apple started allowing users to change the default web browser. So, for example, if you're now running iOS 17 on an iPhone 15 Pro Max , you can change the web browser that the system defaults to when you click a link.

What's a default web browser?

As mentioned above, a default web browser is an app that iOS or iPadOS automatically directs to when you hit a link on your iDevice. Before OS version 14, users would have to copy the link and paste it into a third-party web browser if they were unsatisfied with Safari. So, now, after changing the default web browser, the OS will automatically launch and load the URL in the chosen app.

How to change the default web browser on iOS or iPadOS

To change the default web browser on an iPhone or iPad running OS version 14 or later:

  • Go to the App Store and click on the Search tab in the bottom right corner.
  • Tap the Search field on top and search for web browser .
  • View the list of results and choose the one that appeals to you the most.
  • Download it and wait for it to install on your iPhone or iPad.
  • Head to the Settings app and scroll down to the app you just installed. Close
  • Click on Default Browser App .
  • Choose the app you just installed.
  • Now, whenever you click a link, it'll automatically load in the newly set default web browser.
  • If you change your mind, you could always revert to Safari by following the same steps. Close

Changing the default web browser can save you a lot of time

Choosing a default web browser spares you from needing to copy and paste a certain link in the browser of your choice. This way, you just click on a certain link, and it launches the browser you prefer instead of defaulting to Safari. However, keep in mind that third-party iOS web browsers utilize Apple's WebKit engine, so they're essentially Safari with the developers' additional layers and features.

How to change the default web browser on iPhone or iPad

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Apple Releases Safari Technology Preview 188 With Bug Fixes and Performance Improvements

Apple today released a new update for Safari Technology Preview , the experimental browser Apple first introduced in March 2016. Apple designed the ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ to test features that may be introduced into future release versions of Safari.

Safari Technology Preview Feature

The current ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ release is compatible with machines running macOS Ventura and macOS Sonoma , the latest version of macOS that Apple released in September 2023.

The ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ update is available through the Software Update mechanism in System Preferences or System Settings to anyone who has downloaded the browser . Full release notes for the update are available on the Safari Technology Preview website .

Apple's aim with ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ is to gather feedback from developers and users on its browser development process. ‌Safari Technology Preview‌ can run side-by-side with the existing Safari browser and while designed for developers, it does not require a developer account to download.

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When we need any kind of information most of the time we get help from the Internet, and we get information. The Internet provides us with useful information easily. We use mobile phones, computers, and tablets. We search for a lot of things in our daily lives, so we get information about all over the world, but we can not get information by just only getting connected to the Internet. We need a platform where we can search for our questions. The platform that provides such kinds of services is called a web browser, without a web browser internet will not be able to provide information.

What is a Web Browser?

The web browser is an application software to explore www ( World Wide Web) . It provides an interface between the server and the client and it requests to the server for web documents and services. It works as a compiler to render HTML which is used to design a webpage. Whenever we search for anything on the internet, the browser loads a web page written in HTML, including text, links, images, and other items such as style sheets and JavaScript functions. Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari are examples of web browsers.

History of the Web Browsers

The first web browser World Wide Web was invented in the year of 1990 by Tim Berners-Lee. Later, it becomes Nexus. In the year of 1993, a new browser Mosaic was invented by Mark Andreessen and their team. It was the first browser to display text and images at a time on the device screen. He also invents another browser Netscape in 1994. Next year Microsoft launched a web browser Internet Explorer which was already installed in the Windows operating system. After this many browsers were invented with various features like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc. For more detail refer this article: History of Web Browsers

The choice of a web browser depends on the user’s preference and requirements. To know more about individual browsers please go through our Web Browser – A Complete Overview

How does a Web Browser Work?

A web browser helps us find information anywhere on the internet. It is installed on the client computer and requests information from the web server such a type of working model is called a client-server model.

what is the safari web browser

Client-server model

The browser receives information through HTTP protocol. In which transmission of data is defined. When the browser received data from the server, it is rendered in HTML to user-readable form and, information is displayed on the device screen. 

Website Cookies

When we visited any website over the internet our web browser stores information about us in small files called cookies. Cookies are designed to remember stateful information about our browsing history. Some more cookies are used to remember about us like our interests, our browsing patterns, etc. Websites show us ads based on our interests using cookies. 

Some Popular Web Browsers

Here is a list of 7 popular web browsers:

1. Google Chrome:

Developed by Google, Chrome is one of the most widely-used web browsers in the world, known for its speed and simplicity.

2. Mozilla Firefox:

Developed by the Mozilla Foundation, Firefox is an open-source browser that is known for its privacy features and customization options.

3. Apple Safari:

Developed by Apple, Safari is the default browser on Mac and iOS devices and is known for its speed and integration with other Apple products.

4. Microsoft Edge:

Developed by Microsoft, Edge is the default browser on Windows 10 and is known for its integration with other Microsoft products and services.

5. Tor Browser:

Developed by The Tor Project, Tor Browser is a web browser that is designed for anonymous web browsing and is based on Mozilla Firefox.

Developed by Opera Software, Opera is a web browser that is known for its speed and built-in VPN feature.

Developed by Brave Software, Brave is a web browser that is focused on privacy and security and blocks third-party ads and trackers by default.

These are some of the most popular web browsers, there are other browsers available such as Vivaldi, Waterfox, and so on. The choice of a web browser depends on the user’s preference and requirements.

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  • Edit or delete a recording
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  • Duplicate a recording
  • Check the weather
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  • View weather maps
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  • Use Weather widgets
  • Learn the weather icons
  • Find out what Siri can do
  • Tell Siri about yourself
  • Have Siri announce calls and notifications
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  • Set up Family Sharing
  • Add Family Sharing members
  • Remove Family Sharing members
  • Share subscriptions
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  • Set up a child’s device
  • Get started with Screen Time
  • Protect your vision health with Screen Distance
  • Set up Screen Time for yourself
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  • Set up Screen Time for a family member
  • Set up Apple Pay
  • Use Apple Pay in apps and on the web
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  • Use Savings
  • Manage payment cards and activity
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  • Connect to a display with a cable
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  • Share your internet connection
  • Make and receive phone calls
  • Use iPad as a second display for Mac
  • Use iPad as a webcam
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  • Hand off tasks between devices
  • Cut, copy, and paste between iPad and other devices
  • Stream video or mirror the screen of your iPad
  • Use AirDrop to send items
  • Connect iPad and your computer with a cable
  • Transfer files between devices
  • Transfer files with email, messages, or AirDrop
  • Transfer files or sync content with the Finder or iTunes
  • Automatically keep files up to date with iCloud
  • Use an external storage device, a file server, or a cloud storage service
  • Get started with accessibility features
  • Turn on accessibility features for setup
  • Change Siri accessibility settings
  • Open features with Accessibility Shortcut
  • Enlarge text by hovering
  • Change color and brightness
  • Make text easier to read
  • Reduce onscreen motion
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  • Hear what’s on the screen or typed
  • Hear audio descriptions
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  • Operate iPad when VoiceOver is on
  • Control VoiceOver using the rotor
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  • Write with your finger
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  • Adjust the top or Home button
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  • Control a nearby Apple device
  • Intro to Switch Control
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  • Select items, perform actions, and more
  • Control several devices with one switch
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  • Flash the LED for alerts
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  • Play background sounds
  • Display subtitles and captions
  • Show transcriptions for Intercom messages
  • Get Live Captions (beta)
  • Type to speak
  • Record a Personal Voice
  • Use Guided Access
  • Use built-in privacy and security protections
  • Set a passcode
  • Set up Face ID
  • Set up Touch ID
  • Control access to information on the Lock Screen
  • Keep your Apple ID secure
  • Use passkeys to sign in to apps and websites
  • Sign in with Apple
  • Share passwords
  • Automatically fill in strong passwords
  • Change weak or compromised passwords
  • View your passwords and related information
  • Share passkeys and passwords securely with AirDrop
  • Make your passkeys and passwords available on all your devices
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  • Sign in with fewer CAPTCHA challenges
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  • Create and manage Hide My Email addresses
  • Protect your web browsing with iCloud Private Relay
  • Use a private network address
  • Use Advanced Data Protection
  • Use Lockdown Mode
  • Receive warnings about sensitive content
  • Use Contact Key Verification
  • Turn iPad on or off
  • Force restart iPad
  • Update iPadOS
  • Back up iPad
  • Return iPad settings to their defaults
  • Restore all content from a backup
  • Restore purchased and deleted items
  • Sell, give away, or trade in your iPad
  • Install or remove configuration profiles
  • Important safety information
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  • Find more resources for software and service
  • FCC compliance statement
  • ISED Canada compliance statement
  • Apple and the environment
  • Class 1 Laser information
  • Disposal and recycling information
  • Unauthorized modification of iPadOS
  • ENERGY STAR compliance statement

Browse the web using Safari on iPad

what is the safari web browser

View websites with Safari

You can easily navigate a webpage with a few taps.

Get back to the top: Double-tap the top edge of the screen to quickly return to the top of a long page.

See more of the page: Turn iPad to landscape orientation.

Refresh the page: Pull down from the top of the page.

the Share button

View two pages side-by-side in Split View

Use Split View to open two Safari pages side-by side.

The screen shows two different webpages, separated by an adjustable divider. At the top of each webpage is the icon for the Multitasking Controls.

Open a link in Split View: Touch and hold the link, then tap Open in New Window.

the Safari Multitasking Controls button

Leave Split View: Drag the divider over the window you want to close.

Preview website links

Touch and hold a link in Safari to see a preview of the link without opening the page. To open the link, tap the preview, or tap Open.

To close the preview and stay on the current page, tap anywhere outside the preview.

A preview for a website. To the right of the preview is a menu that shows the options, including Open, Open in Background, Open in New Window, and more.

Translate a webpage

When you view a webpage that’s in another language, you can use Safari to translate it (not available in all languages or regions).

the Page Settings button

Manage downloads

To download a file, touch and hold the file or link you want to download, then tap Download Linked File.

the Downloads button

Tip: You can download files in the background while you continue to use Safari.

Add Safari back to your Home Screen

If you don’t see Safari on your Home Screen, you can find it in App Library and add it back.

On the Home Screen, swipe left until you see the App Library.

Enter “Safari” in the search field.

the Safari app icon

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what is the safari web browser

Special Features

Vendor voice.

what is the safari web browser

In its tantrum with Europe, Apple broke web apps in iOS 17 beta, still hasn't fixed them

Pwas demoted to owb: operating within browser.

Apple has argued for years that developers who don't want to abide by its rules for native iOS apps can always write web apps.

It has done so in its platform guidelines , in congressional testimony , and in court . Web developers, for their part, maintain that Safari and its underlying WebKit engine still lack the technical capabilities to allow web apps to compete with native apps on iOS hardware. To this day, it's argued , the fruit cart's laggardly implementation of Push Notifications remains subpar.

The enforcement of Europe's Digital Markets Act was expected to change that – to promote competition held back by gatekeepers. But Apple, in a policy change critics have called " malicious compliance ," appears to be putting web apps at an even greater disadvantage under the guise of compliance with European law.

In the second beta release of iOS 17.4, which incorporates code to accommodate Europe's Digital Markets Act, Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) have been demoted from standalone apps that use the whole screen to shortcuts that open within the default browser.

what is the safari web browser

This appears to solely affect users in the European Union, though your mileage may vary.

Concerns about this demotion of PWAs surfaced earlier this month, with the release of the initial iOS 17.4 beta. As noted by Open Web Advocacy – a group that has lobbied to make the web platform more capable – "sites installed to the home screen failed to launch in their own top-level activities, opening in Safari instead."

PWAs are supposed to make web apps (sites) function more like native apps on mobile devices. They're supposed to be capable (through access to APIs for file system access, media controls, app badging, and full clipboard support), reliable (by functioning in the absence of a network connection), and installable (launchable from a home screen icon in their own standalone window instead of within a browser tab).

But the debut of iOS 17.4 beta 2 on Tuesday suggests the breakage of PWAs is deliberate. The Register understands Apple's change will cause users to lose local data in existing web apps, because web apps and Safari have different storage locations, and it will also break notifications, because there's no way to enable notifications without app installation.

Mysk, an iOS development business and occasional security research firm run by Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk, claims that Apple, rather than repairing PWAs, has doubled down by adding a pop-up menu as part of the interaction.

"Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) are still disabled for EU users in iOS 17.4 beta 2," lamented Mysk. "But now there's a new pop-up. The pop-up somehow indicates that PWAs are disabled intentionally, rather than being a bug."

Mysk also posted a video illustrating the change.

The Register asked Apple public relations – which tends not to respond to the public – whether the situation is really as bad as it looks. We've received no response.

  • Apple Vision Pro has densest display iFixit's ever seen, and almost-OK repairability
  • Still no love for JPEG XL: Browser maker love-in snubs next-gen image format
  • Mozilla slams Microsoft for using dark patterns to drive Windows users toward Edge

Web devs fear Apple's iOS shakeup for Europe will be a nightmare for support

"We considered that Apple might try something like this, but dismissed it as too blatantly anti-competitive even for them," noted Alex Moore, executive director of Open Web Advocacy. "Apple could come out and say this is unfinished or it's a bug, but if this functionality ever makes it onto users' devices, it will show that Apple is actively seeking to block the web from ever competing fairly with their App Store."

A veteran web technology developer at a Fortune 100 corporation, who asked not to be identified for lack of clearance to speak to the press, expressed disbelief to The Register and hoped that Apple will clarify the situation.

"First take: this is shocking and brazen, but it makes a certain sort of sense as a last-ditch effort to comply based on extremely negative feedback from announced plans," the developer told us.

"Second take: this can't possibly be right; it must be a placeholder for some unannounced API that they feel backed into. Doing what this looks like would be a nuclear bomb.

This is shocking and brazen, but it makes a certain sort of sense as a last-ditch effort to comply

"Third take: I'm not sure that reading the tea leaves matters much; this is entirely self-inflicted … they gave [those porting code] no time, no support, and no clarity.

"If it's what it looks like, it's a direct assault on the web and they deserve to be hoist by their own petard if the goal is to deny porting browsers any ability to be on the home screen with a scorched-earth 'if we can't control it, nobody can have it' approach."

In a message to The Register , Mysk said Apple has made numerous changes in iOS 17.4 to comply with the DMA rules in Europe – such as allowing browser engines other than Safari's WebKit.

"Safari has always been the only browser that can run PWAs on iOS," the Mysk researchers explained. "Once a PWA is installed by tapping on 'Add to Home Screen,' they will run inside a Safari container or process, even if they were installed from a third-party browser."

Apple redecorates its iPhone prison to appease Europe

The Mysk crew said that when Apple first announced the changes to accommodate the DMA and released the initial iOS 17.4 beta, they were excited to see how PWAs perform on iOS with different browsers – something not previously allowed. But to their surprise, they found the PWA functionality had been removed for EU users.

"For PWAs to run, the browser has to create a component called a service worker," they explained. "It seems that Apple hasn't found a way to allow other browsers to create their own service workers without compromising the sandboxed nature of apps on iOS. And the only way to fulfill this DMA rule by the deadline in March is to disable PWAs for all browsers. And now all browsers are equal."

With the arrival of iOS 17.4 beta 2, PWA support is still disabled for EU users.

"Apple normally addresses the issues of temporarily removing features in beta releases in the release notes," Mysk stated. "The release notes of beta 1 and 2 didn't mention anything concerning PWAs, or web apps as Apple likes to call them. As the deadline of March 7 approaches, the chances that the feature gets re-enabled in time don't look good, but everything is open." ®

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what is the safari web browser

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what is the safari web browser

Safari is the best way to experience the internet on all your Apple devices. It brings robust customisation options, powerful privacy protections, and optimises battery life — so you can browse how you like, when you like. And when it comes to speed, it’s the world’s fastest browser. 1

Performance

More battery. less loading..

With a blazing-fast JavaScript engine, Safari is the world’s fastest browser. 1 It’s developed to run specifically on Apple devices, so it’s geared to make the most out of your battery life and deliver long-lasting power.

what is the safari web browser

Increased performance

We’re always working to make the fastest desktop browser on the planet even faster.

what is the safari web browser

Improved power efficiency

Safari lets you do more online on a single charge.

what is the safari web browser

Up to 4 hours more streaming videos compared with Chrome 3

what is the safari web browser

Up to 17 hours of video streaming 3

Best-in-class browsing

Safari outperforms both Mac and PC browsers in benchmark after benchmark on the same Mac. 4

  • JetStream /
  • MotionMark /
  • Speedometer /

JavaScript performance on advanced web applications. 4

Safari vs other Mac browsers

Safari on macOS

Chrome on macOS

Edge on macOS

Firefox on macOS

Safari vs Windows 11 browsers

Chrome on Windows 11

Edge on Windows 11

Firefox on Windows 11

Rendering performance of animated content. 4

Web application responsiveness. 4

4K video streaming

See your favourite shows and films in their best light. Safari supports in-browser 4K HDR video playback for YouTube, Netflix and Apple TV+. 5 And it runs efficiently for longer-lasting battery life.

what is the safari web browser

Privacy is built in.

Online privacy isn’t just something you should hope for — it’s something you should expect. That’s why Safari comes with industry-leading privacy protection technology built in, including Intelligent Tracking Prevention that identifies trackers and helps prevent them from profiling or following you across the web. Upgrading to iCloud+ gives you even more privacy protections, including the ability to sign up for websites and services without having to share your personal email address.

what is the safari web browser

Intelligent Tracking Prevention

what is the safari web browser

Safari stops trackers in their tracks.

What you browse is no one’s business but your own. Safari has built‑in protections to help stop websites and data-collection companies from watching and profiling you based on your browsing activity. Intelligent Tracking Prevention uses on-device intel­ligence to help prevent cross-site tracking and stops known trackers from using your IP address — making it incredibly difficult to learn who you are and what you’re interested in.

Privacy Report

Safari makes it simple to see how your privacy is protected on all the websites you visit. Click Privacy Report in the Safari menu for a snapshot of cross-site trackers currently prevented from profiling you on the website you’re visiting. Or view a weekly Privacy Report to see how Safari protects you as you browse over time.

what is the safari web browser

Customisation

Putting the you in url..

Safari is more customisable than ever. Organise your tabs into Tab Groups so it’s easy to go from one interest to the next. Set a custom background image and fine-tune your browser window with your favourite features — like Reading List, Favourites, iCloud Tabs and Siri Suggestions. And third-party extensions for iPhone, iPad and Mac let you do even more with Safari, so you can browse the way you want across all your devices.

what is the safari web browser

Safari Profiles allow you to separate your history, extensions, Tab Groups, favourites, cookies and more. Quickly switch between profiles for topics you create, like Personal and Work.

what is the safari web browser

Web apps let you save your favourite websites to the Dock on Mac and to the Home Screen on iPhone and iPad. A simplified toolbar and separate settings give you an app-like experience.

what is the safari web browser

Safari Extensions add functionality to your browser to help you explore the web the way you want. Find and add your favourite extensions in the dedicated Safari category on the App Store.

what is the safari web browser

Save and organise your tabs in the way that works best for you. Name your Tab Groups, edit them, and switch between them across devices. You can also share Tab Groups — making planning your next family trip or group project easier and more collaborative.

what is the safari web browser

Smart Tools

Designed to help your work flow..

Built-in tools create a browsing experience that’s far more immersive, intuitive and immediate. Get detailed information about a subject in a photo with just a click, select text within any image, instantly translate an entire web page, and quickly take notes wherever you are on a site — without having to switch apps.

what is the safari web browser

Notes is your go-to app to capture any thought. And with the Quick Note feature, you can instantly jot down ideas as you browse websites without having to leave Safari.

what is the safari web browser

Translation

Translate entire web pages with a single click. You can also get translations for text in images and paused video without leaving Safari.

Interact with text in any image or paused video on the web using functions like copy and paste, translate, and lookup. 6

what is the safari web browser

Visual Look Up

Quickly learn more about landmarks, works of art, breeds of dog and more, with only a photo or an image you find online. And easily lift the subject of an image from Safari, remove its background, and paste it into Messages, Notes or other apps.

what is the safari web browser

Surf safe and sound.

Strong security protections in Safari help keep you safe. Passkeys introduce a safer way to sign in. iCloud Keychain securely stores and autofills passkeys and passwords across all your devices. Safari also notifies you when it encounters suspicious websites and prevents them from loading. Because it loads each web page in a separate process, any harmful code is always confined to a single browser tab so it won’t crash the entire application or access your data. And Safari automatically upgrades sites from HTTP to the more secure HTTPS when available.

what is the safari web browser

Passkeys introduce a more secure and easier way to sign in. No passwords required.

Passkeys are end-to-end encrypted and safe from phishing and data leaks, and they are stronger than all common two-factor authentication types. Thanks to iCloud Keychain, they work across all your Apple devices, and they even work on non-Apple devices.

Learn more about passkeys

what is the safari web browser

Apple Pay and Wallet make checkout as easy as lifting a finger.

Apple Pay is the easiest and most secure way to shop on Safari — allowing you to complete transactions with Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad, with Touch ID on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or by double-clicking the side button on your Apple Watch.

Learn more about Apple Pay

With AutoFill, you can easily fill in your previously saved credit card information from the Wallet app during checkout. Your credit card details are never shared, and your transactions are protected with industry-leading security.

Same Safari. Different device.

Safari works seamlessly and syncs your passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs and more across Mac, iPad, iPhone and Apple Watch. And when your Mac, iOS or iPadOS devices are near each other, they can automatically pass what you’re doing in Safari from one device to another using Handoff. You can even copy images, video or text from Safari on your iPhone or iPad, then paste into another app on your nearby Mac — or vice versa.

what is the safari web browser

When you use Safari on multiple devices, your tabs carry over from one Apple device to another. So you can search, shop, work or browse on your iPhone, then switch to your iPad or Mac and pick up right where you left off.

Save web pages you want to read later by adding them to your Reading List. Then view them on any of your iCloud-connected devices — even if you’re not connected to the internet.

iCloud Keychain securely stores your usernames, passkeys, passwords and credit card numbers, and keeps them up to date on your trusted devices. So you can easily sign in to your favourite websites — as well as apps on iOS and iPadOS — and quickly make online purchases.

what is the safari web browser

Designed for developers.

Deep WebKit integration between Mac hardware and macOS allows Safari to deliver the fastest performance and the longest battery life of any browser on the platform, while supporting modern web standards for rich experiences in the browser. WebKit in macOS Sonoma includes optimisations that enable even richer browsing experiences, and give developers more control over styling and layout — allowing for more engaging content.

Make Safari your default browser

Customise your start page, view your browsing privacy report, monitor your saved passwords, use apple pay in safari, view your tabs across all your devices, read the safari user guide, get safari support.

Android Police

How to make google chrome the default browser on your phone or pc.

Tired of trying to remember your bookmarks? Make Google Chrome your default browser on every device

There are many browsers for web surfing, but not all offer the best experience. While Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge get the work done, Google Chrome outshines the others. It includes support for various languages, syncing across devices, tab grouping, and incognito browsing. Chrome is the default browser on most Android phones and Chromebooks . We show you how to make it your go-to browser on any device.

Why Google Chrome is a great choice for your default browser

Several elements of Google Chrome make it a great default browser. One advantage is that it's an essential part of the Google ecosystem. Chrome supports integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Drive, and other Google services. When you log in to your Google account on various devices, you can sync your bookmarks, apps, and extensions. Browsing updates you make on one device are reflected on other devices where you're signed in.

A Google Search page is open on an Android phone, iPhone, and Chrome browser.

It also supports cross-migration, allowing you to import settings from your previous default browser. You don't need to set up the browser from scratch. Depending on the web browser you're switching from, you can import your bookmarks, browsing history, homepage, search engines, and saved passwords .

Update Google Chrome

How to update Google Chrome to the newest version

Chrome is the default browser for affiliated Google products. Most Android devices and Chromebooks have Chrome set up. Make sure to update the application when an update is available. Windows PCs and other devices must download and install Chrome before setting it as the default browser.

If you feel Chrome isn't doing enough, extend its capabilities with extensions from the Web Store.

How to make Google Chrome the default browser on Android

Samsung's smartphones and Apple's iPhones are popular smart devices that don't feature Chrome as the default. Follow these steps to set Chrome as your default web browser on any Android device you own.

  • Go to Settings .
  • Scroll up and tap Apps .

selecting Apps option in Android settings menu

  • Tap Browser app .

Screenshot of the default apps menu in settings on Android

If you don't see the Choose default apps menu on your version of Android, use the following steps:

  • Go to Settings > Apps .
  • Tap Chrome from the list to open the app info.

Screenshot showing how to select Chrome from the Apps menu on Android

  • Select Chrome to make it your primary browser.

You've now set Chrome as the default browser on your Android smart device. You can follow the same steps to change to a different browser.

How to make Google Chrome the default browser on Windows

Windows 10 and 11 PCs have Microsoft Edge set as the default browser. Windows 8 and 7 use Internet Explorer as the default. However, Microsoft stopped support for those OS versions and Internet Explorer. Google made a similar move at the start of 2023 and now requires Windows 10 or higher to run Chrome. If you want to make Chrome your default browser, update your computer's OS.

How to make Chrome the default browser on Windows 11

Follow these steps to set Google Chrome as your default browser on Windows 11:

  • Download and install Chrome if you haven't.

Screenshot of the Windows 11 Start menu

This process sets Chrome as your default browser for your Windows 11 computer.

The Google Chrome logo against a blue and white background.

How to change the default Google account on a web browser

How to make chrome the default browser on windows 10.

Changing your default browser looks slightly different if you're running Windows 10 on your computer. Follow these quick steps to do so.

Screenshot of the Windows 10 Start menu

  • Click Default apps .
  • Scroll up and click Microsoft Edge under Web browser . If you see Chrome , it means Chrome is your default browser.

Screenshot of Windows 10 Default apps menu with Web browser options highlighted

Following these steps makes Chrome your default browser, whether your computer runs Windows 10 or 11.

How to make Google Chrome the default browser on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Apple devices have Safari as the default out of the box. You can change your default browser and email client to Google apps if that's your preference. This setting came with the release of iOS 14, despite the rivalry between Apple and Google.

Chrome is available for download on iOS 12 and higher. But only iPhones running iOS 14 and higher can set Chrome as the default app. MacBooks need macOS High Sierra 10.13 or a subsequent OS version.

Make Chrome your default browser on your iPhone or iPad

Setting Chrome as your default browser on an iPhone or iPad may feel strange, but it's hardly any trouble. Follow these steps:

  • Open Chrome .
  • Tap the three-dot icon in the lower-right corner of your screen to expand the app menu.

Screenshot of the Chrome app on iPhone

Chrome is now the default browsing app on your Apple smart device. When you launch a browser from a different app, your device uses Chrome.

Make Chrome the default browser on a MacBook or another macOS device

You can also make Chrome the default browser on your Apple computer. All it takes is a few simple steps.

  • Download and install Chrome on Mac . Run the app.
  • In the upper-right corner of your screen, click the three-dot icon to expand the app menu.

Screenshot of the Chrome browser menu on Mac with Settings option highlighted

  • Click Default browser .

Screenshot of the Chrome settings menu on Mac

Altering your default browser is easy whether you use Android, iOS, a PC, or a MacBook. You can change your mind later if Chrome isn't working out like you thought it would.

How to import data from a previous browser into Google Chrome

When switching your default browser, you'll likely want to bring your bookmarks, browsing history, and saved passwords from your old browser to Chrome. Here are instructions for importing data into Chrome from the most common desktop browsers (Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge):

Import bookmarks and settings from other web browsers to Google Chrome in Settings.

  • Select the desired browser from the drop-down menu.

Select a web browser and items to import to Google Chrome in Settings.

  • Click Import .

You'll need to install the browser you want to import data from on your system.

What to do if you can't make Chrome your default browser

You may need to update Chrome or delete your cache if you can't make it your default browser. If that doesn't work, reset the settings.

How to reset Settings on Chrome

Here's how to reset Chrome:

  • Click the three-dot menu in the upper-right corner.

Screenshot highlighting 'Settings' in Chrome

How to update Google Chrome

Using an outdated version of Chrome can lead to unexpected behavior. Here's how to update it:

  • Select Settings .

Screenshot highlighting 'About Chrome' in Chrome

How to delete cookies and cache

Screenshot highlighting 'Clear browsing data' in Chrome

  • Select All time .

Screenshot highlighting 'Clear data' in Chrome

Google Chrome's best features for browsing

Constantly copying and pasting links to your preferred browser can be frustrating. Setting your preferred browser as the default tool simplifies the web surfing experience. You can even set your favorite website as the default homepage .

Screenshot of the Google Chrome home page

Here are some of the best features that make Google Chrome the perfect default browser:

  • Speed : It often loads pages faster than its competitors thanks to optimizations like pre-rendering and its V8 JavaScript engine.
  • Simplicity : It has a clean, minimal interface. The streamlined tabs and Omnibox make navigating the web straightforward.
  • Extensions : You can customize Google Chrome with powerful extensions from the Chrome Web Store for productivity, privacy, and entertainment.
  • Sync : You can sign in to sync bookmarks, history, passwords, and settings across all your devices. Doing so makes it easy to access your browsing information anywhere.
  • Security : It offers leading security against malware and dangerous sites with Safe Browsing technology and sandboxing to isolate web pages and applications.
  • Updates : Because Google Chrome downloads updates in the background and applies the update upon restart, you always have the latest features and security fixes.
  • Compatibility : It works on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Android, and iOS. You can use the same browser experience on any device.

To improve your browsing experience, learn about Chrome's hidden features and tricks on the desktop version.

Make browsing easy with Google Chrome

Changing your default browser is easier than it sounds. You should import your browsing data from Safari, Firefox, or Microsoft Edge when switching to Chrome. Its clean and easy-to-use interface improves your browsing experience.

Google regularly pushes updates for the Chrome browser with new security features and other add-ons. However, there's always room for improvement. Level up your web browsing experience by installing some of the best Chrome extensions .

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