Customize your Safari Start Page on Mac

One of the most interesting features with macOS Big Sur is the improvements to Safari. With a redesigned tab toolbar, new translation feature, and a privacy report for website trackers, you’ll enjoy these great enhancements. Another improvement to Safari, that was released ahead of Big Sur, is the ability to customize your Safari Start Page.

If you’ve switched away from the Start Page for new tabs and windows, the customization options may just have you switching back. Let’s take a look at the options and go through how to customize your Safari Start Page on Mac.

Customize your Start Page in Safari

Before you can take advantage of the customization options, make sure that you have updated Safari to version 14.0 or later. Click the Apple icon in your menu bar. When the About This Mac window opens, click Software Update. If you have an update for Safari, you’ll see it there.

Select the sections you want to see

When you’re ready to begin customizing, open Safari to your Start Page. On the bottom right, click the Settings icon.

You’ll see a list of items that you can display on your Start Page; just check the boxes for those you want to use. You can also pick a Background Image which we’ll explain further below.

  • Favorites: Websites and folders from your Favorites Bar
  • Frequently Visited: Sites you visit on a regular basis, right-click to view as icons or thumbnails
  • Privacy Report: A snapshot of the Privacy Report you can click for details
  • Siri Suggestions: Websites Siri finds in Mail, Messages, and other apps
  • Reading List: Items at the top of your Safari Reading List, click Show More on the top right corner of the section to see more
  • iCloud Tabs: Sites you have open in Safari on your synced devices like iPhone and iPad

Safari Start Page Section List

Change your Start Page background

Another nice addition to the Safari Start Page is that you can use a background image. Apple gives you almost 10 to pick from or you can choose an image of your own.

Pick a wallpaper

Click the Settings icon on your Safari Start Page, check the box for Background Image, and pick one of the wallpapers. You can view them all by scrolling through them to the right.

Start Page Background Images

Use your own image

To use a picture or other image on your Mac, click the plus sign on the left of the wallpaper choices. Locate the image you want to use, click Choose, and your new Start Page wallpaper will appear.

Choose Your Own Safari Start Page Background Image

Drag from Photos

Prefer to use a photo? You can grab one directly from the Photos app! Open Photos, select the picture, and drag it onto your Safari Start Page. You’ll see the background image change immediately.

Drag and Drop a Safari Start Page Background Image From Photos

Choose a different image

If you use one of your own photos or images and want to change it later, it’s easy. Hit the Settings icon on your Safari Start Page and click the tiny X on the upper left corner of the image you picked. The background will be removed and you can click the plus sign to pick a different one, select one of the built-in options, or leave the background gray.

Remove a Photo as Your Start Page Background

Use shortcuts to change your Start Page

The Settings icon that displays is obviously an easy way to customize your Start Page. But if you want to move a little quicker, here are a few shortcuts for those customization options.

Right-click for the shortcut menu: If you right-click a blank spot on your Safari Start Page, you’ll see a shortcut menu open. This lets you quickly check or uncheck the sections you want to see as well as choose or clear a background image.

Safari Start Page Shortcut Menu

Drag and drop a background image: You can also use the drag-and-drop method mentioned above for the Photos app with images in other locations on your Mac. Just drag the image you want to use to an empty spot on your Start Page.

Set your Start Page for tabs and windows

Remember, your Safari Start Page is different than the Homepage that you can configure in your Preferences. And if you did make a switch away from your Start Page for new tabs and windows, and want to change it back, here’s a reminder for how to do it.

1) Open Safari and click Safari > Preferences from the menu bar.

2) Select the General tab.

3) Choose Start Page in the drop-down boxes for New windows open with and/or New tabs open with.

Set Your Safari Start Page New Tabs and Windows

Wrapping it up

If you’re like me and love options to customize your apps, then you’ll enjoy these ways to personalize your Safari Start Page on Mac.

How do you feel about the customizations for the Start Page in Safari on Mac? Will you take advantage of them and if so, which are you happiest to see? Let us know!