How to personalize your Safari start page on macOS Big Sur

MacBook Pro Touch Bar
(Image credit: Apple)

In macOS Big Sur, Apple has added new features for the 'Safari' app start page. Most of the new tools are designed to make it quicker to find your favorite web content. Apple also added a background feature.

First introduced with Mac OS X Panther way back in 2003, Apple's native web browser on macOS continues to receive software updates each year. In macOS Big Sur, the list of new features was much longer than other recent updates, however. 

Safari general settings on macOS Big Sur

(Image credit: Future)

Safari page settings

In recent macOS releases, the 'Safari' start page seemed more like an afterthought than actually helping you be productive. Things have changed in macOS Big Sur. You can now customize the 'Safari' start page by adding a unique background image and adjusting which sections are shown. You can also rearrange the sections to suit your tastes better. 

Your 'Safari' homepage isn't the same as the start page. The former is an external webpage you select like ''. The latter is the one Apple created that includes links to your most visited and favorite websites, and more, which you can adjust. 

You can set the homepage and start page by going into the 'Safari' app, then click 'Safari' on the menu bar. Choose 'Preferences' in the pull-down menu.  By default, your start page is the page that's selected every time you open a new window or tab. If you rather not use the start page, you can adjust both settings to use another page or no page. Add your homepage at the same location.

Safari start page on macOS Big Sur

(Image credit: Future)

Safari adjust start page

Go into the 'Safari' start page to make changes. Click on the slider at the bottom right of the page. From here, check the items you wish to show on the start page. Options include 'Favorites', 'Frequently Visited', 'Privacy Report', 'Siri Suggestions', 'Reading List', 'iCloud Tabs', and 'Background Image'.

When 'Background Image' is checked, you can use one of the template backgrounds or select your own. Drag sections in the slider to change their locations on the start page. 

Other new Safari features

A revised start page isn't the only thing new about the 'Safari' app in macOS Big Sur. The update also includes improved battery life and efficiency when web surfing, Favicons in tabs, website previews, language translations, and more. 

Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe is a staff writer at TechRadar, iMore, and wherever Future can use him. Though his passion is Apple-based products, he doesn't have a problem using Windows and Android. Bryan's a single father of a 15-year-old daughter and a puppy, Isabelle. Thanks for reading!