How To Set Your Mac Safari Homepage

You can set your Safari home page to any page on any site. However, this won't actually affect much unless you also set other options in your Safari Preferences. Even then, when you quit Safari and relaunch it, you'll probably just see the same pages you had open previously, unless you close all of Safari's windows before quitting.

Video Transcript
A common question Mac users ask online is how do you set your homepage in Safari. The Homepage is the page that's kind of the default. It's when you launch Safari and there's nothing else going on and you open a new window. That's what loads. It's very useful to put something that you go to everyday there so that you don't actually have to go to that page. Just starting Safari or opening a new window goes directly to that page. So let's look at how to set that.

You set it in Safari, Preferences. Safari Preferences has a lot of different tabs at the top. Click on the General tab if it's not already selected. Then you have a bunch of different options here all of which have to do with setting the Homepage. Right away you may jump to Homepage and here's where you can actually set what it is. You can type whatever you want there. For instance if you wanted Goggle to be your Homepage you can just type goggle.com.

But it won't exactly change the functionality unless you also pay attention to the two options above it. The two options above it are New windows open with and New tabs open with. You can set these to be what you want. You can see now they are both set to Top Sites. Setting my homepage to goggle.com won't actually do anything. But if I select these and say I want New windows to open with my homepage and New tabs to open with my homepage, now that actually has an effect. So like here when I go and say New Tab you can see it goes directly to Goggle. Also if I say New window that goes to Goggle as well.

Now there are a lot of other options in there so it may be useful to look at those. You can choose to have your Favorites all show up. You can choose to have Top Sites show up which is the default usually and Empty Page, some of us prefer that, instead of it automatically loading something it doesn't bother loading anything until you request something. Or the Same Page that was there before. So, for instance, if I do Same Page here for a new window and say I go to Wikipedia and I say File, New Window, that's going to open Wikipedia. That's what that does.

So you have the same options for New Tabs. You also have a handy Set to Current Page button here. Instead of typing if you happen to be at the page that you want to use as your homepage, like say Wikipedia here, you can go to Settings, General, and say Set to Current Page and it will actually change it to the current page.

So that's how you set your Homepage and actually get it to work. Now keep in mind that the way Safari works is that if you're not opening a new window or a new tab it's going to stay where it is. So, for instance, if I were to go to apple.com here and say I have two tabs, a blank tab and Apple. If I quit Safari and then run Safari again it's going to reopen those same pages. It's not actually going to load my homepage until I do a New Window or a New Tab.

Now you can change how that works one of two ways. One way is instead of quitting Safari you Option Quit which is quit and close all windows. Or manually close the windows before you quit Safari. The other is to go into System Preferences and under General is the option here to Close windows when quitting app. So if you do that and that works not just for Safari but for all apps, it closes the window so it starts off new.

Comments: 6 Responses to “How To Set Your Mac Safari Homepage”

    RH
    7/2/18 @ 12:31 pm

    hi Greg, on my safari prefs general tab, I also have a ‘Safari opens with’ line with options of ‘a new window’, ‘a new private window’ and ‘all windows from last session’. This is not visible in the video? I assume you’d be on the latest macOS.
    another feature I’d like to have would be to setup multiple homepages as is available on FF and I have ‘feedback’ to apple about it several times but no luck!!

    7/2/18 @ 2:25 pm

    RH: It depends what you have set for System Preferences, General, “Close windows when quitting app.” Toggle that checkbox and the “Safari opens with” option goes away. So you probably have that set.
    What would the difference be between having multiple homepages and just having bookmarks? Or, top sites? Or, pinned tabs?

    RH
    7/4/18 @ 1:11 pm

    GR: oh, I hadn’t observed that relation between Sys Prefs>General and the ‘Safari opens with’. Thanks. Regarding multiple homepages, they would open whenever I started Safari/FF so don’t have to do it manually, since there are some pages I view almost daily for e.g. APOD, SCIAM, NGphotos!

    7/4/18 @ 1:34 pm

    RH: If your goal is to open several tabs, then you can use New Windows Open With and “Choose Tabs Folder.” Then choose a bookmarks folder with multiple bookmarks.

    Bob Powell
    7/7/18 @ 11:23 am

    I followed your instructions: homepage, homepage, and then typed google.com. When I hit return it becomes http://www.apple.com/startpage/. When I open page to google.com and push SET TO CURRENT PAGE it remains on the apple site.
    Help???

    7/7/18 @ 11:26 am

    Bob: Not sure why it isn’t working for you. Maybe try a Safari restart?

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