Almost all web browsers show quick access links on the new tab page. This helps to quickly open sites from your previously visited history or bookmarked items. However, the problem comes when it intrudes your privacy and shows private or confidential pages that you do not want others to see. Imagine a situation that you are in a video conference call with office colleagues and launching Safari browser to show something. It will be embarrassing if all the participants can see the site icons on your new tab page. If you are annoyed with various sections in Safari Start Page, here is how you can customize on your Mac.
Safari Start Page
Apple uses a page called Start Page as the new tab page in the latest Safari version in Mac. This so called Start Page shows the following sections:
- Bookmarks and Favorites folders items
- List of frequently visited sites
- Privacy Report showing the trackers blocked by Safari
- Sites from your Reading List
- Tabs from other devices synced in iCloud
- Tabs shared from others and suggested by Siri.
Frankly, this is too much on a single page and the large preview under “Frequently Visited” section will literally show the screenshot of the sites you have visited.
Customizing Start Page in Mac Safari
You have lot of options to get rid of the items on the Start Page or disable the page completely and use a blank new tab page.
1. Deleting Frequently Visited Items from Start Page
Safari will show the sites under “Frequently Visited” section from your browsing history. If you just want to delete few icons showing on the Start Page, then simply right-click on the icon and select “Delete” option. This will remove the site icon from the list and delete its history.
If you want to delete all the items from the list, go to “History” menu and select “Clear History” option. Select “all history” from the dropdown and confirm your action by clicking “Clear History” button. This will permanently delete all your browsing history and remove the site previews showing under “Frequently Visited” section.
Remember, this will not affect any other sections like Favorites or Reading List in the Start Page.
2. Disabling Unwanted Sections from Start Page
If you feel the Start Page is cluttered, Safari offers an option to remove the sections that you do not want to see.
- Click the customization icon showing on the bottom right corner of the Start Page.
- Turn off the switches against the sections to disable them.
You can anytime toggle the switches to enable them back on the Start Page. It is also possible to change the background color or image from here.
3. Remove iCloud Tabs and Safari Syncing
As mentioned, Safari will show the tabs from other devices logged in with the same iCloud account. This happens when you sync the bookmarks and tabs across devices using iCloud sync. Unfortunately, the sync includes everything like bookmarks, reading lists, tabs and you can’t only disable tabs. You can check this article to learn more about disabling Safari iCloud sync which is probably not a good idea when you want to share bookmarks/reading list across devices. Alternate option is to disable “iCloud Tabs” section from the customization pop-up as explained above. This will remove the “From <your_other_device>” section in Start Page without affecting the sync.
Note: Handoff is different function to pick up tabs across devices without syncing.
4. Disable Siri Suggestions
Follow the below steps if you do not like to see automatic recommendations and suggestions from Siri on Safari Start Page.
- Go to Apple logo menu and select “System Settings…”.
- Open “Siri & Spotlight” section and click on “Siri Suggestions and Privacy…” button.
- It will show a pop-up with list of items and select “Safari”.
- Turn off the switch against “Show Siri Suggestions in application” option.
5. Replace Start Page with Empty New Tab Page or Home Page
In case if you fed up with the Start Page, it is also easy to completely get rid of it without using any third-party extension.
- Open Safari and go to “Safari > Settings…” menu.
- You will see the dropdown against “New tabs open with:” is set as “Start Page. Click that dropdown and select one of the other options like Empty Page, Homepage or Same Page (last visited page).
- Likewise, select the option for “New window opens with:” option also and enter the homepage URL in the “Homepage” text box, if you have selected “Homepage” option.
Safari Start Page contains too many sections and you may not need all of them. Fortunately, you can disable the sections selectively or delete the site icons form the list. You can also use empty or home page as your new tab page to completely get rid of Start Page in Safari.
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