6 tips to personalize your Safari Start Page on Mac

Discover ways to customize the Safari Start Page on your Mac by selecting just the sections you want to see, using a personal background image, and more.

Uncustomized and personalized Safari Start page on Mac

Note: The tips here work on Mac running macOS Big Sur or later.

Related: How to customize and personalize Safari on iPhone and iPad

1. Select the sections you want to see on Safari Start Page

1) Open Safari, and you should be on its Start Page. If not, open a new tab to see the Start Page.

2) Click the Settings icon from the bottom right.

3) 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:

  • Favorites: Important websites you have marked as your favorites and folders you might have created to manage your favorite bookmarks.
  • Recently Closed Tabs: Web pages you were viewing earlier but closed recently.
  • iCloud Tabs: Sites you have open in Safari on your other devices like iPhone and iPad.
  • Frequently Visited: Websites you visit on a regular basis.
  • Shared with You: Links people have shared with you in apps like Messages.
  • Privacy Report: A snapshot of the Privacy Report. You can click it for more 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 this section to see more.
  • Background Image: Explained later below.
Settings button on Safari Start Page on Mac

Note: In addition to using the settings icon, you can also right-click on a blank spot on your Safari Start Page and select or unselect the desired options.

2. Reorganize the Start Page sections

By default, Favorites is shown on the top of the Safari Start Page, followed by Recently Closed Tabs, iCloud Tabs, and so on. But you can easily change their position by clicking the settings icon and then dragging the options up or down.

Reorganize Safari Start Page items on Mac

3. Change the Start Page background

Another thing you can do to personalize the Safari Start Page is to use a background image. Apple gives you almost ten to pick from, or you can choose an image of your own.

Pick a pre-provided 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 or Finder

Open Photos or Finder, 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

4. Remove items from the Start Page

Suppose you don’t like one of the sites that appear under Recently Closed Tabs on your Safari Start Page. In that case, you can right-click over that site’s name and remove it. Similarly, you can easily remove items from Reading List or Favorites.

Remove Recently Closed Tab from Safari Start Page on Mac

5. View frequently visited sites as thumbnails

Frequently visited sites appear as icons, but you can right-click over this section and show them as big thumbnails.

View frequently visited sites as thumbnails in Safari on Mac

6. Set your Start Page for tabs and windows

Remember, your Safari Start Page is different than the Homepage that you can configure in your Safari Settings. 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 > Settings or 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.
Safari General settings on Mac to manage windows and tabs

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?

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