How to enable the hidden Develop menu in Safari on Mac

By , Jul 1, 2016


Your Mac’s Safari web browser is loaded with features that aren’t enabled out of the box. One of them is the hidden Develop menu that packs a number of features that even regular Safari users could benefit from.

In this tutorial, we’ll show you how to enable it, and we’ll discuss some of the useful features that are packed within Safari’s Develop menu.

What is Safari’s Develop menu?

Safari Develop Menu Bar

Safari has a hidden menu labeled “Develop” that is typically disabled from your Menu Bar by default. On the other hand, it’s easily enabled by the user.

From this menu, which seems to be mostly made for Web developers, you can do a variety of things related to web development, but there are also some things that I, as a regular Safari user, find useful on occasion for minor troubleshooting or other reasons.

Safari Develop Menu

The features that I think come in handy the most for me are the following:

  • Opening the current page with another web browser on your Mac
  • Changing the user agent to see how the page loads in another Web browser
  • Emptying your Safari caches
  • Disabling caches, images, styles, JavaScript, extensions, hacks, and more

The ability to see a web page in another web browser makes it so you can easily see why a page isn’t loading correctly for you. Although in most cases this is a feature a developer will use to test a website he’s building, it’s also useful for regular users who want to know if the page they’re visiting that isn’t loading properly isn’t compatible with Safari.

When it comes to emptying caches, this is a feature that comes in handy when you have a problem with a website rendering properly. You can empty your cache to make your web browser forget everything it knows about loading a specific website, and hopefully it can render it correctly the second time around.

Lastly, the ability to disable certain features of your web browsing experience can help drastically with security, data usage, and speed. You can disable images to make a website load quicker or use less data, and you can disable JavaScript and hacks to keep your security top-notch.

There are many other options available in the menu, but I do think these are less useful to regular Safari users than those who actually do web development for a living or as a hobby.

Enabling the Develop menu in Safari

So… if you agree with the usefulness of some of the options discussed above, here’s how to enable the Develop menu in your Mac’s Menu Bar when Safari is open:

1) Launch Safari on your Mac if it’s not already open.

2) Go to the Menu Bar and click on Safari > Preferences.

Safari Preferences Menu Bar

3) When the preferences pane for Safari opens up, open the Advanced tab.

Safari Advanced Develop in the Menu Bar

4) Put a check mark in the Show Develop menu in Menu Bar checkbox.

And you’re done! Now the Develop menu will appear in the Menu Bar whenever you have Safari open on your Mac and you can open it to reveal all of the options we talked about earlier, and more.

Wrapping up

If you’re looking for some additional tidbits of functionality from Safari on your Mac, but haven’t been sure where to find it, then the Develop menu is a great place to start. Inside, you’ll find lots of troubleshooting and other potentially useful features that even regular users could take advantage of.

Also read:

Are you keeping the Safari Develop menu enabled on your Mac? Share in the comments!

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  • Bill

    Thanks! I was just looking for this the other day, for some reason I thought I needed to press the Command button on the keyboard for it to show up when clicking the ‘view’ button. But there it is. Cheers