Jun 12, 2020 Every Mac comes with Apple's Safari web browser installed on it, and lots of people use it. Safari is far from the only browser you can use on a Mac, however. While the built-in option has benefits, you may want a different program, like Google Chrome. Here's how to put Google's browser on your Mac. Download the latest version of the Vivaldi browser for Windows, Mac or Linux. Browse your way with a fully customisable browser packed with advanced features.
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The fortunes of browsers rise and fall, but recent versions of Safari are looking good. With positive reviews in terms of speed and security, many have looked to the browser for an alternative to other tools they’re losing faith in. Is Safari as good as it seems, or is it still the poor cousin of other, flashier apps?
A fast, secure browser for all iOS devices
Good looks, security, and speed in a browser
Safari hasn’t traditionally made the top of the list when it comes to popular browsers. For many years, it was just what Mac users had to put up with, considered by many to be the price you paid for choosing Apple. Is that about to change?
The first thing you notice when you open Safari is that it’s a slick, attractive browser that looks fresh and modern. It takes its color scheme from your system settings, so if you have Dark Mode enabled, Safari looks cool. If you have Light Mode enabled, it will have a traditional light silver Mac appearance.
Your first steps with Safari will be familiar and easy. You can do everything you’d expect: set it as your default browser (or not), add your favorites, import your bookmarks, and check the settings to make sure everything is as you like it. You’ll also have the option to import the settings and bookmarks from your old browser and the process is easy.
Safari has a few interesting features. It’s particularly nicely integrated with Apple Pay and Apple Wallet, so if you use these apps you’ll find using Safari a smooth experience. It also has extensive security and privacy options, allowing you a tailored in-browser experience without having to turn to extensions or 3rd party apps.
Another favorite is the Reading List, which allows you to save articles to read later, even if you’re offline. The Reading List also offers you a setting that converts articles into an easy-to-read, ad-free version which is great if you’re an avid reader.
Even though Safari was originally intended for the Appleverse, it works fine on other sites, even ones like Google Docs. Testing shows the browser to be light and fast. In tests, it’s not the fastest but average users won’t notice. The start-up takes only seconds and load time for even content-heavy pages feels fast with no noticeable lag. Being an Apple product, Safari also has excellent support and documentation available should you ever run into problems.
Where can you run this program?
This version of Safari is for Mac and iOS. You need Mac OS Sierra or higher.
Is there a better alternative?
Whether or not there is a better alternative to Safari for Mac is hard to answer. There are certainly faster browsers that you can customize more, like Chrome and Firefox. Where Safari is strong, however, is that it is built for the Apple universe. If you operate almost entirely on Mac, it makes sense to use its purpose-built browser. Safari is also good on security and for this reason alone, many would rate it ahead of Chrome.
Safari is a solid browser that can match the competition on nearly all fronts. It’s attractive, reasonably fast, and does pretty much everything that you’d expect from a browser. It also offers a few advantages in terms of Apple-specific features and security, which is nothing to sneeze at. It’s not the fastest (that would be Firefox), or the most customizable (that’s Chrome), but it’s fast enough and, for many, that’s all that’s needed.
Should you download it?
Yes, download Safari if you want a solid browser that’s purpose-built for Mac. If you need more speed or move between iOS, Android, and Windows, you may want to look at Chrome, Firefox, or new kid on the block, Brave.
We built Safari to be the best browser for your Mac, iPhone, and iPad. Built-in privacy features keep your browsing your business. You can stream and search smarter with handy tools that help you save, find, and share your favorite sites. Apple Pay in Safari lets you shop safely and simply. Safari for Mac is faster and more energy efficient than other browsers. And thanks to iCloud, Safari works seamlessly with all your devices.
Defending your online privacy and security.
Privacy and security aren’t just something you should hope for — they’re something you should expect. That’s why features to help protect your privacy and keep your Mac secure are built into Safari.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention.
Remember when you looked at that green mountain bike online? And then saw annoying green mountain bike ads everywhere you browsed? Safari uses machine learning to identify advertisers and others who track your online behavior, and removes the cross‑site tracking data they leave behind. So your browsing stays your business. And Safari keeps embedded content such as Like buttons, Share buttons, and comment widgets from tracking you without your permission. We know you’ll like that.
Sandboxing. Built-in protection for websites.
Sandboxing provides a safeguard against malicious code and malware by restricting what websites can do. And because Safari runs web pages in separate processes, any harmful code you come across in one page is confined to a single browser tab, so it can’t crash the whole browser or access your data.
When you’re online, the characteristics of your device can be used by advertisers to create a “fingerprint” to follow you. Safari thwarts this by only sharing a simplified system profile, making it more difficult for data companies to identify and track you.
Protection from harmful sites.
Safari helps protect you against fraudulent websites and those that harbor malware — before you visit them. If a website looks suspicious, Safari prevents it from loading and warns you.
When you use Private Browsing, Safari doesn’t remember the pages you visit, your search history, or your AutoFill information. You can also use DuckDuckGo, a built-in search engine that doesn’t track you, to make your web searches private, too.
More secure and convenient passwords.
Safari works hard to make sure your passwords are robust and unique by automatically creating and storing strong passwords for you. Once stored, your passwords will autofill in websites across all your Apple devices and in apps on iOS and iPadOS devices. In Safari preferences, passwords that have been used more than once are flagged so you can easily update them. And one-time security codes sent over SMS are autofilled right in the password field as soon as they appear in Messages. Security has never been so user friendly.
Surf seamlessly across all your devices.
Not only does Safari come on every Mac, it comes on all your iOS and iPadOS devices. And thanks to iCloud, your passwords, bookmarks, history, tabs, and Reading List are always up to date no matter which device you’re using.
iCloud Keychain securely stores your user names, passwords, and credit card numbers and keeps them up to date on your trusted devices. So you can easily sign in to your favorite websites — as well as in apps on iOS and iPadOS — and quickly make online purchases. And everything is protected with robust 256-bit AES encryption.
With Bookmarks in Safari, your favorite sites are always close at hand. Bookmark a web page on your Mac, and it automatically appears on all your iCloud-connected devices.
With Tab view, the last websites you had open on your Mac are available in Safari on your iOS and iPadOS devices — and vice versa. So you can go from one device to another without having to search for the web pages you were reading.
Save web pages you want to read later simply 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.
The fastest way to browse on a Mac. And faster than any Windows browser, too.
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Safari vs. Windows 10 browsers
Search more. Stream more.
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Safari is optimized specifically for Mac, so it’s more efficient than other browsers on macOS. And Safari plays HTML5 video — the format used by your favorite streaming services — whenever it’s available. So you can explore the web for up to three hours longer and stream video for up to four hours longer than on any other browser.2
browsing compared to Chrome and Firefox
streaming videos compared to Chrome and Firefox
The best browsing experience.
Features in Safari help you surf smarter and easily manage and share what you find.
Pay easily and securely with Apple Pay. Apple Pay is the easiest and most secure way to pay when shopping in Safari. Look for Apple Pay on your favorite shopping sites, then complete your purchase with Face ID or Touch ID on your iPhone or iPad. You can also use Touch ID on your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, or double-click the side button on your Apple Watch. Your credit card details are never shared when you use Apple Pay, and your transactions are protected with industry-leading security.Learn more about Apple Pay
Updated start page. Easily and quickly access your favorites and frequently visited sites. And Siri suggestions surface bookmarks, links from your reading list, iCloud Tabs, links you receive in Messages, and more.
Desktop-class browsing on iPad. Safari now shows you a website’s desktop version that’s scaled for the large iPad display and automatically optimized for touch input. Faster and more fluid scrolling makes browsing feel better than ever. And a new download manager means you can easily download and share files right in Safari.
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Stop auto-play videos. Safari prevents unexpected and unwanted videos with audio from automatically playing while you browse. Just click the play button if you want to view them. Have a favorite site where you always want videos to play? Use per‑site settings in Safari to enable media auto-play.
Turn on website icons in tabs in Preferences to easily see what you have open. Pin your favorite sites and they’ll reappear in tabs every time you open Safari. You can also mute the audio on any tab right from the Smart Search field — perfect for stopping the music without having to hunt for where it’s coming from or, if you prefer, silencing all the audio from your browser at once.
Personalize your browsing experience in Safari with settings for individual websites, like page zoom level, location services, and content blockers. So each website appears just how you like it.
Automatically use Reader for every web article that supports it, so you can read without ads, navigation, and other distractions. Customize your view by selecting your font size and style, and choose Sepia and Night themes.
List Of Browsers
Play video from a web page to your TV with Apple TV — without showing everything else on your desktop. Just click the AirPlay icon that appears on compatible web videos and you can watch your video on the big screen.
Float a video window from Safari over your desktop or a full-screen app on your Mac or iPad. Play the video in any corner of the desktop and resize it to see more or less of what’s behind it. So you can watch videos while you browse photos. Or catch up on your favorite show while you catch up on email.
With Spotlight built into every Mac, you’re never far from the information you want. As you type in the Smart Search field, you’ll see Safari suggestions from sources like Wikipedia, news sites, Maps, movie listings, flight status, weather, stocks, and sports.3
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Share anything you come across on the web without leaving Safari. Just click the Share button, then choose how you want to send it off. Use Mail, Messages, or AirDrop or add it to a note.
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 Catalina includes optimizations and support for additional web standards that enable even richer browsing experiences.
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Safari Extensions are a great way to customize your browsing experience on macOS. Find and add your favorite extensions from the Mac App Store.