Safari Gains Favicon Support in Tabs on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave

Apple at its WWDC keynote on Monday previewed iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, both of which feature Safari 12.

safari favicons
The latest version of Apple's web browser adds long-awaited support for favicons, which are the tiny icons that appear to the left of website page titles, in tabs and the bookmark bar. In many cases, a favicon is a website's or brand's logo.

Microsoft was first to support favicons with Internet Explorer in 1999, and Chrome and Firefox have displayed favicons for many years as well, so this was a long time coming for Safari. Apple confirmed the feature on the What's New in Safari page of its website, alongside a handful of other improvements.

Favicons may seem like a trivial new feature in Safari 12, but as John Gruber noted last year, many people used Chrome or other alternatives explicitly because Apple's web browser lacked support for the tiny icons.

I really can't say this strongly enough: I think Safari's lack of favicons in tabs, combined with its corresponding crumminess when displaying a dozen or more tabs in a window, is the single biggest reason why so many Mac users use Chrome.

Favicons are useful because they make tabs more visually distinguishable, especially for users with several tabs open at once. And, in bookmark bars, it is possible to simply display favicons instead of having lengthier website names, allowing for many more bookmarks to fit within the viewable area.

Favicons are not displayed by default, so the feature must be enabled in the browser's preferences on Mac or via the Settings app on iOS devices.

Mac:

  • Open Safari.

  • Click on Safari > Preferences in the Menu bar.

  • Click on Tabs.

  • Check the box beside "show website icons in tabs."

iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch:

  • Open the Settings app.

  • Tap on Safari.

  • Toggle on Show Icons in Tabs.

Safari 12 is preinstalled on iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, available now in beta for registered Apple developers. It will also be available to download on the latest versions of macOS High Sierra and macOS Sierra in the fall.

Tag: Safari
Related Forums: macOS Mojave, iOS 12

Top Rated Comments

decksnap Avatar
56 months ago
This is oddly written. Safari always supported favicons in various ways. They just don’t use them on tabs.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coolfactor Avatar
56 months ago
I believe they supported it up until El Capitan or so. It's not like Safari never had support for favicons. It did, they removed it, and now it's back.
Favicons have always been supported, as others have mentioned already. The Safari team had just changed the browser to only display them in certain contexts. I think they were aiming for a clean, clutter-free appearance of Safari, something that is opposite to the direction other browsers were going in.

They were really trying to avoid Safari becoming a headache this, but clearly they went too far, and displaying the favicon is useful after all.



Attachment Image
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
flyinmac Avatar
56 months ago
Wow.... they introduced a feature everyone else had a decade ago.

A feature so common that I never even actively think about it.

Glad Apple figured out how to do this. Always late to the party. But given enough time, Apple will get around to figuring out how to get where everybody else has been.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
trusso Avatar
56 months ago
Glad it's optional. I don't need my tab-bar looking like Halloween.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ProwlingTiger Avatar
56 months ago
Wow.... they introduced a feature everyone else had a decade ago.

A feature so common that I never even actively think about it.

Glad Apple figured out how to do this. Always late to the party. But given enough time, Apple will get around to figuring out how to get where everybody else has been.
I believe they supported it up until El Capitan or so. It's not like Safari never had support for favicons. It did, they removed it, and now it's back.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Codify Avatar
56 months ago
Finally!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

apple watch ultra hammer test

YouTuber Tests Apple Watch Ultra Durability With a Hammer: Table Breaks Before the Watch

Sunday September 25, 2022 2:27 pm PDT by
A YouTuber has put Apple's claims for the durability of the Apple Watch Ultra to the test by putting it up against a drop test, a jar of nails, and repeated hits with a hammer to test the sapphire crystal protecting the display. TechRax, a channel popular for testing the durability of products, first tested the Apple Watch Ultra by dropping it from around four feet high. The Apple Watch...
tim cook spring loaded event

Six Major Products to Expect From Apple in 2023

Sunday September 25, 2022 10:57 am PDT by
As we approach the end of a busy product release season for Apple with only new iPads and Macs left to be announced over the next month or so, we're also setting our sights on 2023. Apple is rumored to have several major products in the pipeline for next year, including new Macs, a new HomePod, a VR/AR headset, and so much more. Other than new iPhones and Apple Watches, which are expected...
apple watch ultra deuglify 1

Apple Watch Ultra User Mods Titanium Casing to 'Deuglify' Design

Tuesday September 27, 2022 8:05 am PDT by
An Apple Watch Ultra user has modified their new device's casing to add a brushed finish and remove the orange color of the Action Button in an effort to make it more visually appealing. The Apple Watch Ultra offers the first complete redesign of the Apple Watch since the product line's announcement in 2014, and while the design has been met with praise from many users, some have criticized...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Some iOS 16 Users Continue to Face Unaddressed Bugs and Battery Drain Two Weeks After Launch

Monday September 26, 2022 7:34 am PDT by
Today marks exactly two weeks since Apple released iOS 16 to the public. Besides the personalized Lock Screen, major changes in Messages, and new features in Maps, the update has also seen its fair share of bugs, performance problems, battery drain, and more. After major iOS updates, it's normal for some users to report having issues with the new update, but such reports usually subside in...
iPhone 14 Pro Sports Scores Dynamic Island

iPhone 14 Pro Features Live Sports Scores in Dynamic Island on iOS 16.1

Monday September 26, 2022 7:52 am PDT by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that iOS 16.1 will enable a new Live Activities feature that allows iPhone users to stay on top of things that are happening in real time, such as a sports game or a food delivery order, right from the Lock Screen. On the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, Live Activities also integrate with the Dynamic Island. Premier League match in Dynamic Island via Paul Bradford ...
iPhone 14 Pros in Hand Black Background Feature

Verizon iPhone 14 Pro Customers Reporting Cellular Connection Issues

Monday September 26, 2022 6:23 am PDT by
iPhone 14 Pro customers on the Verizon network in the U.S. are reporting issues with slow and unreliable 5G cellular connections and calls randomly dropping. Several threads on Reddit (1,2,3) and the MacRumors forums chronicle issues faced by Verizon customers and Apple's latest iPhone. According to user reports, signal strength on the iPhone 14 Pro is unreliable and weak, while other...
Tim Cook Apple Event

Gurman: New iPads and Macs May Be Announced Through Press Releases, No October Event

Sunday September 25, 2022 6:50 am PDT by
Apple may decide to release its remaining products for 2022, which include updated iPad Pro, Mac mini, and 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models, through press releases on its website rather than a digital event, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. In his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman said that Apple is currently "likely to release its remaining 2022 products via press releases,...
Stage Manager Extension Thumb 1

New iPadOS 16.1 Beta Expands Stage Manager to Older iPad Pro Models, Delays External Display Support

Tuesday September 27, 2022 10:24 am PDT by
The most recent beta of iPadOS 16.1 expands the controversial Stage Manager feature to older iPads, allowing it to work with iPad Pro models that have an A12X or A12Z chip, according to information Apple provided to Engadget. The beta also removes the external display support from Stage Manager for the current time, with the feature set to return in a later iPadOS 16 update. Apple's...
iOS 16

Everything New in the Latest iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 Betas: Stage Manager Expansion, Wallpaper Tweaks and More

Tuesday September 27, 2022 11:36 am PDT by
Apple today released new betas of iOS 16.1 and iPadOS 16.1 to developers, tweaking some of the functionality that's been introduced in prior betas and in the case of iPadOS 16.1, adding a major new feature to Stage Manager. We've rounded up everything new in both betas below. Wallpaper Updates Apple has updated the Wallpaper section of the Settings app to allow users to swap between...
john meyer ultra

Apple Watch Ultra Praised by Watch World Tastemaker John Mayer

Monday September 26, 2022 4:42 am PDT by
Apple Watch Ultra has been endorsed by American musician and famous watch collector John Mayer, who has been showing off the new device on his Instagram account. "Been wearing the Apple Watch Ultra for a week... and it's great," writes Mayer over a photo of the watch. "The first Apple Watch that excited me as a mechanical watch collector." "It's loaded with capability and what I call...