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

Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
80 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
80 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
80 months ago
Thank you! I thought this feature had been completely removed.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gixxerfool Avatar
80 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)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 CarPlay Feature

iOS 18 Adds These 5 New Features to CarPlay

Thursday June 13, 2024 7:44 am PDT by
Apple did not mention CarPlay during its WWDC keynote this week, but iOS 18 includes a handful of new features for the in-car software. Overall, there is not a whole lot new for CarPlay on iOS 18, with changes seemingly limited to the Messages and Settings apps so far. Below, we recap everything new for CarPlay on iOS 18. New for CarPlay on iOS 18 1. Contact Photos in Messages App...
iOS 18 Wallet Feature

Here's What's New in Apple Wallet on iOS 18 for Event Tickets and More

Friday June 14, 2024 7:32 am PDT by
iOS 18 includes a handful of enhancements to the Wallet app on the iPhone, with new features for Apple Pay, Apple Cash, event tickets, and more. Below, we outline everything new for the Wallet app on iOS 18, based on information from Apple's press release and a WWDC 2024 coding session. Redesigned Event Tickets Event tickets have an all-new design in the Wallet app on iOS 18, complete...
apple watch series 9 display

Kuo: Apple Watch Series 10 to Get Larger Screen and Thinner Design

Monday June 17, 2024 1:20 am PDT by
This year's Apple Watch Series 10 will be thinner and come in larger screen sizes than previous models, according to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo. In his latest industry note -10-and-98075c44ce92">shared on Medium, Kuo said the screen size options on the next-generation Apple Watch will increase from 41mm to 45mm, and from 45mm to 49mm, while being encased in a thinner design. For reference,...
maxresdefault

First Look at Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

Thursday June 13, 2024 11:29 am PDT by
Apple has been gradually expanding its suite of satellite connectivity features for iPhone, and iOS 18 brings a significant new one in the form of Messages via satellite. The feature allows users to send and receive iMessages and SMS texts, including emoji and Tapbacks, while out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi networks. CNET met up with Apple's senior director of platform product marketing,...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

You Can Give Siri a New Name With iOS 18's Vocal Shortcuts

Friday June 14, 2024 4:33 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 18 added a Vocal Shortcuts accessibility feature, and now that iOS 18 is available in a beta capacity, users have figured out that this option can be used to give Siri a new wake word. With Vocal Shortcuts, you can assign a custom phrase that Siri can understand to launch shortcuts and complete "complex tasks," and one of the shortcuts you can set up is an alternative for "Hey...