Safari Website Preferences in High Sierra

Preferences in the Safari browser in High Sierra will remember important settings on a per-site basis. You can stop videos from autoplaying, set zoom levels, enable plug-ins, and turn on Reader view for a website and it will remember those settings for the next time you visit the same site. It is easy to review and manage these settings.

Video Transcript
So a change in High Sierra is how Safari deals with Preferences. So let's look first at Sierra. This is how it used to work or if you're still using Sierra this is how it works for you. Under Preferences in Safari, for instance, in Security you can set plugin settings say for Flash Player for individual websites. You can see the ones you're viewing currently and you can turn it to Ask or On or Off. You can set it for a Default for others. You can also set things across all of the web for any website you visit.

But it works differently now in High Sierra. High Sierra gives you a lot more options including the ability to control automatic playback of video. So here in High Sierra Safari looks a little different. If we go to Security you can see fewer options. The same thing with Privacy.

But we have a new section here called Websites. Everything for all different websites is combined here. So you can, for instance, go to AutoPlay and this determines whether or not the video autoplays when you go to a page on that site. You can see here for the two sites I have open here in two tabs, it shows Stop Media with Sound, Allow All AutoPlay, or Never AutoPlay. I can set that for the websites that are visible and it will remember that. So every time I go back to the website it's going to use that setting. For all other websites I can set it to a Default.

Then I have these other options as well. For instance I can go to Reader and say, yes, I always want to automatically switch to the reader view. I can go to Content Blockers if I have some installed like an ad blocker I can set it up for Yes always use it on this site but don't use it on this other site. Even things like how much to zoom in on the pages are remembered. Camera settings, microphone settings, whether or not your location is shared, whether or not Notifications are allowed. Then any plugins like Flash or Shockwave down here. So it's this one section here in High Sierra when I can define everything on a per website basis.

In particular a lot of people are going to be interested in that video autoplay setting. So here I'm back in Sierra and I'm going to go to a page that I've created where I set the video to autoplay. You can see the video starts playing right away with sound and everything on that page. Now if I go over to High Sierra and go to that same page you can see the video loads but it doesn't autoplay. If I go to Preferences here, if I go to Preferences you can see for Autoplay there's the site I'm testing and it's set to Stop Media with Sound. I can set it to say Allow Autoplay and now when I reload this page it will autoplay as before.

Let's look at another setting. Let's look at the Reader setting. So let's go to Wikipedia and let's just pick a random article. You can see I can go into Reader view for this article and I can exit. But I can also go to Preferences, under Websites, under Reader, I can set Wikipedia to always go to Reader view. So now you can see it automatically does that there.

Let's go back to the main Wikipedia page and search for something else. You can see it jumps to that page and automatically goes into reader view. So let's say we'll turn that off and we'll try the Page Zoom. We can say we always want Wikipedia to be zoomed in to 125. Now it will always do that for Wikipedia. So we can close this tab here, open another tab, go to Wikipedia and search for something there and you can see it zoomed in at 125. So it's always going to do it for this website. So if there's a site that you visit where the text if too small for you all the time you can set it up like that and not worry about it again.

Comments: 11 Responses to “Safari Website Preferences in High Sierra”

    9/21/17 @ 9:29 am

    Nice explanation as always Gary. Thanks. Concerning preferences, where did Bonjour go? I use it a lot and it used to be set in the preference page. I cannot find it anywhere in the new Safari.

    9/21/17 @ 9:33 am

    Mike: I haven’t used Bonjour in many many years. What did you use it for in Safari?

    Douglas Brace
    9/21/17 @ 3:18 pm

    I believe some of the features are available in Safari 11 even for macOS Sierra. I do not think you have to have macOS High Sierra for all of them.

    9/22/17 @ 6:38 am

    Thanks for the reply to my question. Leave it to me to be “old school”. I used Bonjour for logging into my WiFi router and to reset same (remotely) occasionally and my wireless range extender. Also my printers (3). All of which I can still do by using IP addresses (and create shortcuts) but with Bonjour there was a simple “drop down” where all those devices were listed for me. I clicked that nearly daily, hence the reason I noticed it being gone so quickly. Again, many thanks for your tutelage.

    9/22/17 @ 5:24 pm

    Is “Content Blocker” automatically turned on? I am not running any extensions like “AdBlock” but when I go to the Safari Menu and select “Settings for this site” it always shows a check mark in “Enable content blockers.”

    9/22/17 @ 5:26 pm

    Shirley: Content Blockers only works if you have one installed.

    10/3/17 @ 9:42 am

    These new Safari Website Preferences are also available in Sierra, not just in High Sierra.

    10/3/17 @ 9:44 am

    Chris: I don’t have any machines left running Sierra to test. Which version of Safari do you have running? Are ALL of these preferences, including the website-specific ones, available? Some of these are supposed to be High Sierra-only.

    10/24/17 @ 3:14 pm

    Re:Bonjour: with printer/scanners’ IP addresses subject to change and not all network printers reporting supply levels through the OS, the removal of Bonjour in Safari means I have to walk around the office, print network configuration reports, then manually type in IP addresses to get the same settings, info I used to get with a click on the toolbar.

    10/24/17 @ 3:18 pm

    David: I don’t have this problem with my Wi-Fi printer that never used Bonjour. Perhaps look through all of the configuration options with those printers and set them up again. Or, why not set the printers to have static local IP addresses? Should be configurable through your network router (map MAC addresses to IP slots).

    12/7/17 @ 1:28 pm

    Bonjour being MIA from Safari is painful. Now I have to buy a network utility to scan my subnets manually to look for devices which have a web management interface. Seriously annoying. Why not remove Continuity or HandOff or a number of other Apple tech that is flakey. Bonjour in Safari was rock solid and useful. Ah… that’s why they removed it. They have Microsoft stooges undermining the macOS system now.

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