5/24/229:00 am How To Make the Safari Start Page Super Useful The Start Page in Safari is often ignored, but it can be a very useful tool. By removing some items from it and actively maintaining others, it can be your go-to screen in Safari. Video Transcript: Hi, this is Gary with MacMost.com. Today let's look at making your Safari Start Page super useful. MacMost is brought to you thanks to a great group of more than 1000 supporters. Go to MacMost.com/patreon. There you can read more about the Patreon Campaign. Join us and get exclusive content and course discounts. So do you use your Safari Start Page? It can be really useful but a lot of people just ignore it. If you take the time to customize it to fit your needs then it can become your default Home Page really. To get to your Safari Start Page there are many different ways. We're going to look at some of those later. But for now just use Bookmarks, Show Start Page. This takes you to it. Now you can highly customize this and it includes a lot of things that really clutter it up and kind of make it less useful. So let's customize by going here and then let's turn a bunch of this stuff off. First we're going to start off Frequently Visited. Chances are your Favorites are going to be the pages you want to go to most and Frequently Visited is just going to repeat those. Now let's turn Off Shared With You, Privacy Report (which really doesn't have much you can take an action on and you can always get to your Privacy Report on any webpage at the top.) Let's get rid of Siri Suggestions but we're going to keep Reading List and we're going to keep iCloud Tabs. Now you can get rid of the background image if you want or you can customize that as well. That may be one of the first things you want to do. Pick a background image that kind of fits your mood. You can, of course, click here and then select anything that you want, any graphic that you want or simply Drag and Drop to select something. So, for instance, I'm going to drag a photo here just from my collection of photos and now this is my background. So it could really be anything that you want. So now you've really got your Start Page setup for just three things: Favorites, Reading List, and iCloud Tabs. Let's take a look at Favorites first. Now Favorites normally is your Bookmarks Folder that's called Favorites. You can see it right down here. Now Favorites is also used in the Favorites Bar. Turn that on and you can see it up here. So you're going to see the same things here as you do here. But you don't have to. If you go to Safari Preferences and then go to General you can change Favorite Shows to something else. So we can actually create something new in Bookmarks. Let's go to Bookmarks, Edit Bookmarks, and let's create a new folder here and let's call this Start Page like that. Now we can add different things into it. So, for instance, let's go to some different sites and then I'm just going to do Add Bookmark and I'm going to select the Start Page folder that I created. I'm going to shorten the names of things to make it a little more compact and continue to add a bunch of different sites. So now when I look at Bookmarks I can see the Start Page has a different things in here but I can continue to add more by adding a Folder. So let's do that. I want to create a new folder and it is going to be a subfolder of the Start Page folder. If not you can just drag it in. I'm going to do something like News and then under there we can add some new sites. So now when I look at Bookmarks I've got Start Page. I've got some sites here and I have a Folder with more sites in it. So you can continue to add more things that you commonly go to. Now when you go into Safari Preferences here and setup Favorite Shows choose that Start Page. Now Show Start Page will show these items here still labeled as Favorites. But it's going to show the things in the Start Folder. Meanwhile if I turn on the Favorites Bar it's still going to show the Favorites Folder. Now the Folders are great here because if you click on a folder it actually digs down in the folder and it has a little Back button. So you don't need to put 60 items here in Favorites. You could just organize things in folders and subfolders and subfolders of that as well. Now you also have some very powerful features if you bring up the Context Menu which you can by Control Clicking, two-finger clicking on a trackpad or right clicking on a mouse. You can do that and you see you can open up in a new tab or new window or use tab groups. You can also Rename right from here. You can edit the address right from here, Copy the URL, or you can Delete right from here. You don't have to go into Edit, Bookmarks really to adjust these things. Here's a handy tip: Say you've got a website that doesn't have one of these cool icons here and you don't just want to have this letter right there. You can have this entire thing just littered with first letters. A trick is you can go in and Rename and I'm going to use an Emoji character as the first character because it doesn't care that it is a letter or not. It's just going to take the first character. I'm going to use Control Command Space and I'm going to choose an Emoji character like that. You can see there now that it is the first character there it will use that here instead of the letter D. Of course there are a ton of emoji's that you can choose from so you can really customize this. Another cool thing you can do is use a folder like this. Let's go and say Edit Bookmarks. I'm going to begin Start Page here. I'm going to add a new folder and I'll call this Research. Now when I go to the Start Page I can see this Research folder here. Any page I go to that if I want to add to this folder it's really easy to do. I just go in here and I Bookmark. Quick Command D. It's going to go to the last folder I was in. So I'll just go Research this first time and Add. But I can continue to do it like that. You can see it remembers Research. So a quick Command D and Add or Return and now I've got this Research folder started right here. I can go in and see the different pages I've added and it's easy to Control Click and then Delete anything from here as I go through things. I could also rearrange these. So I could Drag and Drop. This works inside of folders and here at the main level as well. Easy to rearrange without having to go into the Edit, Bookmarks screen. Now the second section here, Reading List, is super useful in that you can add things here that are only temporary. The idea is Favorites are permanent or semi-permanent in the case of a folder like this. But Reading List is just temporary. An article you want to get back to soon. You don't have time right now. The idea is you get back to it and you read it and you're done with it. So you have Reading List, of course, as a Sidebar here but it can be handy to access it right here from the Start Page. To add something to the Reading List let's go into a page like this. All you need to do is just Add to Reading List, Shift Command D. It adds it in. Now you'll find it on the Start Page right there and you have control with the Context Menu as before to be able to remove the item. Note you're only going to see the nine top Reading List items here but you can click here to expand it. If your Reading List is empty you're not going to see this at all. Now the last section here is the iCloud Tab section. So this allows you to see the tabs of your other devices. In this case I've got a MacBook Pro and there are two tabs open in Safari there. I've got an iPhone.There's two tabs open there. So if you're looking at something on the iPhone and then later on your Mac and you just want to jump right to that you know you've got that tab open on your iPhone. You could use this section to jump to it. Super handy! Plus you can also control your other devices from here. If you Control Click on this you can close the tab. It won't only get rid of it here but that actually closes the tab on your other device. That's a really handy way to cleanup say all the tabs open on your iPhone if you do it on your Mac. So now all we have left is how to get to this Start Page easily. So the one thing you're going to want to do is go to Preferences and then General. Set New Windows Open With Start Page and New Tabs Open With Start Page. So anytime you create a new tab like this it goes to the Start Page instead of a blank page or a specific Home page. Anytime you open a new window it goes to the Start Page. So, it kind of really becomes your Home page here although you can't actually set your Home page to the Start Page. Which is fine. You never actually need to use the Home page functionality. Now, of course, you've got this Menu item here, Show Start Page. But there's no keyboard shortcut for it unfortunately. You can change that by going to System Preferences and then Keyboard and then Shortcuts, App Shortcuts. Click Plus. Instead of All Applications let's just do Safari. We have to type the exact Menu item. So Show Start Page and then the keyboard shortcut. Shift Command H is Home so let's do Option Command H. Now in Safari I can be somewhere else and you can see here there's the keyboard shortcut so I can just use Keyboard Shortcut like that. Now there are also two ways to get a button at the top for the Start Page. One is just by simply turning On the Favorites Bar. Then you have this button here that goes to the Start Page. So I can click that and it goes there to the Start Page. But let's say you don't want to have the Favorites Bar. Then there is no button. You can add one by going to View, Customize Tool Bar, Drag the Start Page button up here. You may also want to drag iCloud Tabs there for easy access to that. Now I can get to the Start Page with a button in any situation. There's actually another way to get to the Start Page. It's by clicking here in the Address Bar. But it won't work here because we're already at the Start Page. But if we go to another page, like this, and I click here I get a mini-version of the Start Page with all of the items I've setup. So there's Favorites, Reading List, and iCloud tabs. I can even dive down into a subfolder like that. But I can't Control Click on things to bring up the Context Menu. You don't have that ability here. So it is kind of a quick access way to get to something on the Start Page. So if you're here you don't need to go to the Start Page in any way or open up a new tab. You can simply click there and then you can get to anything that's already on your Start Page. Of course this works across all of your devices. If you go to the Start Page and click here you'll see this option, Use Start Page On All Devices. This way this Start Page is the same Start Page you'll see on your other Macs, your iPad, and your iPhone as well. Any Things you add to this Favorites area will be added to the other Start Pages. Even any way you've customized the Start Page that will also appear on all your other devices. So you can maintain it anywhere you want and use it anywhere you want. So I hope you found this all useful. Thanks for watching. Related Subjects: Safari (139 videos) Related Video Tutorials: 20 Ways You Can Use Web Page Links On A Mac Comments: 15 Responses to “How To Make the Safari Start Page Super Useful” Ken 2 years ago Gary, I always learn something new or interesting from your videos. I was setting my start page from bottom corner (1:21 in video) and I cannot find iCloud tabs. I checked my phone and everything is turned on for this feature, but I cannot seem to find a setting for it on my MacBook M1. It isn't listed with all the other options. Thanks, Ken Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Ken: Make sure you have Safari turned on in System Preferences Apple ID, iCloud. If it still doesn't show up, try restarts. If still nothing then you'll need to call Apple Support so they can troubleshoot. Bent 2 years ago Same situation as Ken. "iCloud Tabs" is not there. If you find out Ken, please spread the knowledge. Another thing: I have a MacBook Pro (Safari version 15.5) and an iPhone (XS, iOS 15.5) attached to the same Apple ID. Use iCloud, but the Bookmarks (and therefore Favorites Folder) do not sync to iPhone. Safari is turned on in the iPhone's Apple ID settings. Use Start Page on All Devices is checked on. Gordon 2 years ago On iCould Tabs... I have 3 devices iMac, iPad Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro. iMac could see iPad tabs but not iPhone, iPad could see iMac Tabs but not iPhone. iPhone could see no tabs. On iPhone Turned off Safari in Apple ID iCloud settings. I told it to keep cloud info on iPhone. Force Restart iPhone, Turn Safari back on in Apple ID iCloud settings, I told it to merge existing settings. Now all devices see the Safari Tabs for all the other devices. tom 2 years ago This was very useful. I haven't been a Safari user until recently when I began forcing myself to use it. Tips like this are affirming my choice of Safari. I found the Start Page much more useful than the sidebar with bookmarks. Elizabeth 2 years ago This was awesome. So helpful. Thank you! John Russell 2 years ago So many browsers, so little time. This was actually fascinating to watch—had no idea about the Start Page functionality. For me the bookmark list at the side is easier, but I do appreciate knowing about all of this so I can advise others on its use. Thanks, as always! Peter 2 years ago As always, terrific content. Just wanted to chime in with others that there seems to be some wonkiness with iCloud tabs. It showed up for me as an inability of the MBPro on which I set up my start page (Monterey 12.4, Safari 15.5) to see--or even display as a menu choice from the MBPro's start page--my phone's Safari tabs (Iphone 12, iOS 15.4.1). Eventually, it did. Until it didn't again. Still, when it works it's a great feature. nick 2 years ago Hi Gary, great idea, I love uncluttered desktops, and this fits with that theme. I cleared the iCloud tabs from other devices and that feature now disappeared from my Start page. It's not even showing as an option in the Start page customization settings in the lower right corner. I'm wondering if I actually deleted that option, or if I cleared the Tabs, then there's nothing to show? nick 2 years ago Never mind, sorry should have tested it first. Option came back after I went to one of my devices and opened a page J. Peter Alba 2 years ago Gary, what great informative information, however, is it just me at 74 years old, and still alert with a pulse, that the delivery, of this video, was just a bit too quick......? Love your videos! Ira Abramowitz 2 years ago Question about absence of some icons on the startup page. My sites show icons in the Favorites and Startup folders, but many (not all) of these icons do not show on the Startup Page (or Favorites Bar). I have tried refreshing startup--but cannot figure how to really do this. Thanks Gary Rosenzweig 2 years ago Ira: That's nothing you can control. it depends on which icons the websites have made available. Hans FR in GER 2 years ago @Gordon same situation as you had with your three devices. Your tipp with the iPhone works for me too. I created my new organisation of bookmarks in „Startseite“ on an iMac. So I had later changing the settings of iPhone and iPad from „Favorites“ to „Startseite“. 👍 Hans FR in GER 2 years ago @Gary: It's always great what valuable tips you bring to our "bread and butter" programs! If you could speak a little slower, it would be helpful for those who aren't native speakers of English. The others can increase the speech speed via YouTube settings. Thanks for the great tips! Comments Closed.