How to Snap Back to Your Search Results When Browsing in a Safari Tab

by

Say you want to look up a topic online, so you type a search word or phrase into Safari's address bar. The first link in the returned results looks promising, so you click it. On the site you're sent to, you see another link about a related topic, so you click that, too.

Moments later another link grabs your attention, and you check it out. Soon you're distracted by some other tangential subject, and before you know it you've fallen down a rabbit hole of clicks and links without finding out much about what you were actually looking for in the first place.

safari snapback 1
If that sounds familiar, Safari SnapBack can help you. It's a long-standing feature of Apple's desktop web browser that's often overlooked, but saves having to tediously click the previous page button multiple times to return to your original search results, or start rooting through your web history to locate where your latest online meander began.

You can find it in Safari's menu bar, under History -> Search Results SnapBack, or even better, use its Command-Option-S keyboard shortcut. As the name suggests, SnapBack instantly takes you back to your original search results, although the function's availability depends on a couple of conditions.

safari snapback 2
First, SnapBack only works if your wayward browsing occurred in the same tab that you used to initiate the search, so if a link you clicked on opened a new tab and you continued browsing in that, the SnapBack menu option will be grayed out. Second, the search needs to be performed from Safari's address bar or from the website of the search engine that Safari is set to use.

safari snapback 3
To change the browser's default search engine, select Safari -> Preferences... from the menu bar, click the Search tab, and choose one from the Search engine: dropdown menu. Your options are Google, Yahoo, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. Next time you use the search engine you select and get lost in myriad clicks, SnapBack will be available to help get you back on track.

Top Rated Comments

JSt83 Avatar
36 months ago
Great tip, thanks! Never knew of this one.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Xenc Avatar
36 months ago
This used to be an orange back arrow in classic Safari.

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
36 months ago

Very cool! I was wondering where this feature went after Steve Jobs demoed it.

This is the kind of post I wish I could just like. Instead I have to write a comment. Would love a like feature MacRumors!

You could thumbs up the original post.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
orbital~debris Avatar
36 months ago

Today I learned DuckDuckGo is a search engine that exists. I also learned Safari has a SnapBack feature that I will find very handy.

I think this is an example of where Apple’s quest for absolute GUI simplicity can have negative consequences.

The SnapBack feature used to have much more visibility when it was introduced; as noted above there was an orange icon indicating the ability to do something in the URL bar (which can lead a user to experiment).
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
fhamadeh Avatar
36 months ago
Thank you! I thought this feature had been completely removed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
36 months ago

I wonder if having a like button at the bottom of the article itself would be useful. I don’t think the majority of users know to view the forum thread first to like it.

I agree. I think that would be useful.

Thank you! Didn’t know that! I’d like the thumbs up next to the comment button on the main page!

It would be a nice addition.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

lg wing

LG Considering Exit From Smartphone Business, Halts LCD Production for iPhone

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:38 am PST by
LG is considering exiting the smartphone business entirely amid declining shipments and accrued losses of $4.5 billion over the past five years (via The Korea Herald). LG CEO Kwon Bong-Seok cautioned staff earlier today that the company is re-evaluating its presence in the smartphone industry: Since the competition in the global market for mobile devices is getting fiercer, it is about...
google maps detailed street level e1611052089473

Google Maps Gains Enhanced Street-Level Detail in Four Major Cities

Tuesday January 19, 2021 2:34 am PST by
Google Maps has quietly been updated to include significantly more detailed street-level information in a handful of key cities around the world. Upon zooming in, Google's maps for Central London, Tokyo, San Francisco, and New York now benefit from shapes and widths that match the scale of roads more accurately. Meanwhile, enhanced graphical representations of sidewalks, crosswalks,...
2019 mac pro side and front

Tim Cook Gifted Donald Trump 'First' 2019 Mac Pro

Wednesday January 20, 2021 5:45 pm PST by
Apple CEO Tim Cook gifted former United States President Donald Trump with the first 2019 Mac Pro that came off of the assembly line in Austin, Texas, according to a financial disclosure report that was released today (via The Verge). "Mac Pro Computer, the first created at the Flex Factory in Austin, Texas," reads the entry, which values the machine at $5,999, the base price for a Mac Pro....
airpods max sim ejector

AirPods Max Headband Removable With Just a SIM Ejector Tool, Hinting at Interchangeable Headbands

Tuesday January 19, 2021 8:25 am PST by
It is possible to remove the headband of AirPods Max with just a standard SIM card ejector tool, hinting at the possibility of interchanging headbands to achieve a different colorway. Image via Prelook In December, MacRumors revealed the large variety of AirPods Max ear cushion color combinations when it became clear that they were magnetically attatched and available for sale separately....
iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iphone 12 vs iphone 12 mini

Apple Shifting Some Production From iPhone 12 mini to iPhone 12 Pro to Meet Demand

Wednesday January 20, 2021 8:12 am PST by
Apple has reportedly cut production of the iPhone 12 mini by two million units to create more manufacturing capacity for the iPhone 12 Pro, according to a new Morgan Stanley investment note seen by PED30. Apple is believed to have made the switch for the first quarter of 2021 in an effort to combat continuing lead times for the more popular iPhone 12 Pro. iPhone 12 Pro lead times remain ...
Apple VR Feature

Bloomberg: Apple's First AR/VR Headset 'Pricey, Niche Precursor' to More Ambitious AR Glasses and Could Launch Next Year

Thursday January 21, 2021 3:27 am PST by
Apple's first virtual reality headset will be a "pricey, niche precursor" to a more ambitious augmented reality product, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. As a mostly virtual reality device, it will display an all-encompassing 3-D digital environment for gaming, watching video and communicating. AR functionality, the ability to overlay images and information over a view...
shot on iphone 12 apple

Apple Highlights Photos Shot by iPhone 12 Users: Portraits, Cityscapes, and More

Tuesday January 19, 2021 6:05 am PST by
Apple today shared a gallery of photos shot by customers using the iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, with scenes including cityscapes, landscapes, portraits of people, and more at day and night. Shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by "NKCHU" in China (top) and shot on iPhone 12 Pro Max by Rohit Vohra in India (bottom) iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 models have a dual camera ...
Apple and Hyundai feature

Apple Car Production Again Linked to Kia Motor's US Plant in Georgia

Tuesday January 19, 2021 4:19 am PST by
Hyundai intends to transition the company's Apple Car involvement to its Kia brand as part of an internal arrangement that could see production move to the U.S., according to a new report today. On Sunday, Korea IT News reported that Apple and Hyundai are seeking a partnership agreement for the upcoming Apple Car by March, and that the electric vehicles could be made at a Georgia factory...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature

iPhone 13 Rumored to Feature Smaller Notch, Pro Model Cameras to Use Larger Image Sensor

Thursday January 21, 2021 1:38 am PST by
Apple's iPhone 13 series will feature a redesigned Face ID system that will allow for a smaller notch at the top of the screen, according to a new report today. The rumor comes via hit-and-miss Taiwanese industry publication DigiTimes, whose supply chain sources also claim that the ultra wide-angle lens in Apple's next-generation iPhones is due for an upgrade. The next-generation iPhones'...