9 advanced tips and tricks for Safari

Make the most out of Apple's browser

9 advanced tips and tricks for Safari

Safari is packed with features that make your experience of browsing the web much better. From the Smart Search Field to Safari Reader to private browsing mode, everything is geared towards making your browsing faster and more enjoyable.

In the following nine expert tips you'll discover exactly how to search smarter, read text on pages easily, sync tabs across devices, manage your privacy and security and more.

1. Spotlight suggestions

When you click the search field and type, Safari gets suggestions from your chosen search engine. It also lists matches from your favourites and bookmarks, plus Spotlight suggestions – news stories, Wikipedia articles, maps and contact details relevant to your keywords.

It all adds up to a speedier search experience.

2. Quick Website Search

When you use a site's built-in search, Safari learns how the address of its search page is constructed. Next time, type the site's address followed by keywords in the Smart Search Field to get a shortcut that immediately submits your keywords and goes directly to search results.

3. Read pages easily

When you visit a page with lots of body text, a paragraph-like icon appears at the left of the search field. Click it for Safari Reader, which strips away extraneous content for a cleaner view of the body and images.

Adjust the text size using the A characters at the top left.

4. iCloud Tabs

Click the Show All Tabs button in the toolbar, and look below the graphical previews of tabs open on your Mac. Here you'll find lists of tabs left open on your other Macs and iOS devices signed into the same iCloud account.

5. Private browsing

To create a window in which visited pages, searches and form data are not saved, go to File > New Private Window. Such windows are distinguished from normal ones by a dark search field.

They remain separate if you choose Window > Merge All Windows.

6. Privacy options

In Safari's preferences, click Privacy. The first set of options determines whether sites save cookies – often used by advertisers, but also for other purposes.

At the bottom, you can ask not to be tracked, but sites aren't actually obliged to honour this.

7. Cover your tracks

You can quickly cover your browsing tracks from the last hour, today, or today and yesterday by choosing History > Clear History and Website Data… and the relevant entry.

8. Manage website data

Also in Privacy preferences, click Details under 'Remove All Website Data…' to review what sites have saved on your Mac: cookies, plug-ins and other local data may be used for legitimate functionality, but you can come here and delete data for a site you no longer trust.

9. Manage plug-ins

Safari uses clever techniques to stop plug-ins sucking up resources and battery power. You can check plug-ins and manage each one's availability, to sites you've already visited and any others you may visit in future, at the foot of Safari > Preferences > Security.