Modern versions of Safari for Mac include favicon (favorite icon) support, offering a visual indicator of webpages in the titlebar and tab bar of the Safari browser. Nearly every other web browser on the Mac (and other operating systems) has had favicon support for quite some time, but this is a relatively new addition to Safari and to show the website icons in Safari for Mac you must first enable favicon support in preferences as the feature is not enabled by default.
For some quick background, most websites have favicons that help to differentiate a website URL when a site is active in a browser, bookmarked, or favorited. The small favicon is next to the webpages name when shown in a tab or window of a web browser.
How to Enable Website Icons / favicons in Safari for Mac
- Open the Safari app on the Mac if you haven’t done so already
- Pull down the Safari menu and choose “Preferences”
- Choose “Tabs”
- Toggle the switch for “Show website icons in tabs” so that it’s checked and enabled
- Close out of Safari preferences
The website icons are immediately visible in any tabbed window in Safari or bookmark bar of Safari. Just look at the top of the tabs section of a Safari browser window to see the favicons.
Of course if you decide you don’t like favicons in Safari, you can hide them again just as easily as you enabled them.
How to Hide / Disable Website Icons / favicons in Safari for Mac
- Open the Safari app on the Mac
- Pull down the Safari menu and select “Preferences”
- Select “Tabs”
- Toggle the switch for “Show website icons in tabs” so that it is not checked, thereby disabling favicons in Safari
- Close out of Safari preferences and use the browser as usual
Hiding Favicons is the default setting in Safari, so this is just returning to that.
If you don’t find this feature available in your version of Safari it’s likely because it does not support favicons, as only modern releases of Safari support the display of website favorite icons. You can either update Safari to the newest version, or you can also download Safari Technology Preview which has the latest beta features available to it, including favicon support and other features that may appear in future releases (the tech preview is sort of like a public beta of Safari).
For anyone wondering, this works the same on the Safari final versions, as well as Safari Technology Preview and Safari Developer Preview builds as well.