How to pin tabs in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Safari has a Pin Tab feature that allows you to ‘pin’ frequently visited websites that always stay in place, letting you access them quickly. These tabs remain pinned even if you open a new Safari window or quit and relaunch Safari.

In this tutorial, we show you how to pin and unpin Safari tabs on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

iPhone screenshot showing seven pinned tabs in Safari

Pin tabs in Safari on iPhone or iPad

You have two ways to pin tabs in Safari running iOS 16 or later.

  1. Open Safari and visit the website you want to pin.
  2. Tap and hold the address bar and choose Pin Tab.
Pin tab in Safari on iPhone by pressing the address bar

Another method is equally easy and takes just a few taps.

  1. Go inside Safari and tap the tabs button to see all open tabs.
  2. Tap and hold the tab and choose Pin Tab.
Pin Tab in Safari by seeing all open sites

Access pinned tabs

Tap the tabs button, and you will see your pinned tabs at the top.

See pinned tabs in Safari on iPhone

Unpin pinned tabs

If you no longer need to keep a tab pinned, go to that tab, then tap and hold the address bar and choose Unpin Tab.

Alternatively, you can tap the tabs button, tap and hold the pinned tab strip, and pick Unpin Tab from the popped-up menu.

Unpin Tab in Safari on iPhone

Pin Safari tabs on Mac

Method 1

  1. Open Safari and visit the website you want to pin.
  2. Click Window from the top menu bar and choose Pin Tab.
Pin Tab in Safari on Mac by clicking Window from top menu bar

Method 2

  1. Make sure the site you want to pin is open in Safari.
  2. Right-click or hold the Control button and click once over the address bar. Choose Pin Tab from the menu that appears.
Pin Tab in Safari on Mac by right-clicking in address bar

Note: This may not work if you have selected Separate tab layout in Safari Preferences and have just one tab open.

Irrespective of Separate or Compact tab layouts, you can right-click and choose to pin tab if you have at least two tabs open.

Separate tab layout in Safari on Mac

Method 3

  1. Ensure you have two Safari tabs open if you use the Separate tab layout. If you use the Compact tab layout, one open tab is enough.
  2. Place the pointer over one of the tabs bars and drag it left until the tab shrinks into a small square.
Pin tab in Mac's Safari by dragging it leftPinned tab in Safari on Mac

Duplicate pinned tab

Once you have pinned a tab in Safari on Mac, right-click over its pinned tab icon and pick Duplicate Tab.

Duplicate Tab in Safari on Mac

Unpin pinned tabs

No longer need pinned tabs in Mac’s Safari? Drag it to the right, and it should unpin. In case dragging doesn’t work for you, right-click over the pinned tab icon and choose Unpin Tab.

Alternatively, select the Close Tab option if you no longer need this site to be open.

Unpin Tab in Safari on Mac

Opening links inside pinned tabs

Most links on a web page are of two types – one that opens in the same tab (like this one) and another that automatically opens in a new tab (like this one).

Irrespective of what the website administrator has set, any external website link you visit in a pinned tab always opens in a new, separate tab.

For example, suppose you pinned an iDB post in Safari. Now, if you visit any other iDB link from that pinned post, it will open in the same tab (unless the iDB author has set that link to automatically open in a new tab). However, if that pinned post has a link to some other site, like Apple.com, and you tap it, that other site will always open in a new tab, irrespective of whether the iDB author has set that link to open in the same tab or a new tab.

In other words, a pinned website stays pinned unless unpinned. Therefore, a link to a different website from a pinned tab always opens in a new tab.

To check:

  • Visit this Apple.com link, and it will open in the current tab.
  • Next, use the back button to come back here and pin this iDB post in Safari.
  • Now, click the same Apple.com link above, and it will automatically open in a new tab. This way, iDB always stays pinned even when you visit another website via it.

Pinned tabs stay even if you quit and reopen Safari

Once you have pinned a site, it will remain pinned even if you close Safari and reopen it later or restart your device.

Pinned tabs stay even if you open a new window

After you have pinned a website, it appears as a pinned tab even if you open another Safari window on Mac or iPad. However, tabs already pinned in a standard window won’t appear if you open a private Safari window.

Pinned tabs in private Safari window

You can pin tabs in private Safari windows. But there are a few things to note.

On Mac

I found that if you pin a site in a private Safari window, it appears pinned even if you open another private window. However, once you close all private windows or quit and reopen Safari, tabs pinned in the private window are gone. In short, pinned tabs in a private Safari window on Mac stay only for that particular private session.

On iPhone

Unlike Mac, I witnessed a different story in Safari on iOS. Sites I pinned in a private session in Safari on iPhone stayed pinned even after I went out of private browsing or quit and relaunched Safari.

Pinned tabs don’t sync over iCloud

Unlike bookmarks, Favorites, and other settings, pinned tabs in Safari don’t sync to your Apple devices. That means if you pin a site in Safari on your Mac, it doesn’t appear as a pinned site on your iPhone, iPad, or other Mac.

Pinned tabs in Tab Groups

With iOS 16, you can even pin tabs inside Tab Groups. The steps are the same as above. Create a new Tab Group, and you can pin sites here. Anytime you return to this Tab Group, your pinned sites will be there for you.

Pinned tabs in Tab Groups in Safari on iPhone

This is how you can pin tabs inside Safari on your Apple devices. Besides pinning, you can also bookmark important sites to save them for later reference. And for even quicker access, consider adding sites as favorites!

Other Safari tips: