How to show website icons in Safari tabs

How to show website icons in Safari tabs

Last updated: January 14, 2019 

Apple released Safari 12 to the world on September 17, 2018. The updated browser includes new features like Password AutoFill and site-specific pop-up blocking. Safari 12 also focuses on improving security, privacy, and performance. For example, it blocks content from tracking cross-site browsing (Intelligent Tracking Prevention), suggests strong passwords, and alerts you if you happen to re-use a password. Safari also disables extensions that harm performance, and only supports legacy extensions reviewed by Apple.

Apple also added one previously glaring omission to the browser’s feature set: the ability to show website icons in Safari tabs. The standard term for “website icons” is favicons. It may seem trivial, but the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) standardized favicons last century in December 1999. This was three full years before Safari debuted at Macworld San Francisco in January 2003. Fine, so it took Apple over 15 years to add this feature to Safari. Yet, favicons are still not visible by default. If you find such a visual aid helpful and useful, here is how to show website icons in Safari tabs in both macOS and iOS.

Show website icons in Safari tabs in macOS

1. Launch Safari.

2. With Safari in focus, select Safari > Preferences in the menu bar.

Safari preferences

3. Select Tabs, then check the Show website icons in tabs box.

Show website icons in Safari tabs

4. Open a website in Safari and notice the favicon display in its tab.

example of a website icon in tab

Especially with multiple tabs open in the same browser window, favicons allow users to locate the page they’re looking for much faster and easier.



Show website icons in Safari tabs in iOS

1. Open iOS Settings and tap Safari.

Show website icons in Safari tabs

2. Scroll down Safari settings and toggle Show Icons in Tabs to the On position. Make sure you toggle Show Tab Bar to the On position too.

iOS Safari show icons in tabs

3. Open a website in Safari and notice the favicon display in its tab.

Show website icons in Safari tabs

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