Customizing your Safari Toolbar


There are some things that I do quite often in Safari on my MacBook Pro and other things that really don’t interest me.

Customizing your toolbar to simplify doing some things in Safari is quite easy.

To customize your toolbar, open Safari and select View —> Customize Toolbar

view toolbar

Safari lets you customize your toolbar to include numerous actions that you may typically do. Below is a summary of each one along with a little bit of editorializing it terms of what I find useful or not useful.

safari toolbar icons

Back/Forward – Pretty self-explanatory. Go back or go forward. Unless you only want to visit your bookmarked sites, it is pretty imperative to have this.

Reading List – Save web pages to read offline. I am rarely read offline so I don’t use this very often.


iCloud Tabs – If you have any mobile iOS devices, this is a pretty nice feature. If you add it to your toolbar and click on it, it will show the last few webpages visited by each device. I find this to be pretty helpful when switching between devices and my laptop.

Share – This gives you several options for sharing the current webpage:
• Add to Reading List
• Add Bookmark
Email this Page
• Message
• Facebook
• Twitter

This is another one of my favorites. I use this quite often.

Top Sites – This displays your top 12 sites. While it sounds like a really good idea, I never got into the habit of using this.

Home – This takes you back to your home page. Since my home page is in my Bookmarks Bar, I never had a need for this.


New Tab – One way to open a new tab. Another way, which I use, is Command – T.

Bookmarks – Lists your bookmarks in a format similar to iTunes. I have never used this.

Add Bookmark – A quick way to add a bookmark. I don’t add bookmarks that often so I don’t feel the need for this to take up real estate in my toolbar.

Bookmark Bar – Toggles the Bookmark Bar for hidden to visible and back. I pretty much exclusively use the sites in my Bookmark Bar so I never had a need to hide it.

AutoFill – AutoFill completes webpage forms using information from your Contacts card or from web forms you completed previously. Something I don’t routinely have a need for.

Zoom – Decreases or increases the font size. A nice feature if you need it.

Open in Dashboard – Lets you save a portion of the current webpage to the Dashboard. I have never used this.

Mail – A quick way to email a website URL. I always use ‘Share’ instead.

Print – A quick way to print a webpage. Pretty handy if you do a lot of webpage printing.

Address and Search – This is the whole purpose of a browser — going to a particular website or searching for a specific item or phrase. Hiding this could actually serve as a ‘parental control’ tool since only those websites already bookmarked could be visited.

TWCi – Navigate to The Weather Channel’s website for your local forecast.

To add an item, drag it to your toolbar.  Once you have all of the icons that interest you, you can drag and drop them to rearrange them,  To get rid of an icon in your toolbar, drag it to the toolbar window (View – Customize Toolbar…).

As you can see, Safari lets you customize your toolbar to meet your specific needs. The items that I can’t live without, besides that fairly obvious Address and Search as well as Back / Forward, are iCloud Tabs and Share.

About the Author

Judy Novotny

Judy is a computer veteran with 30 years of experience. She has owned everything from a TRS-80, Apple IIe and various Windows-based PCs. She is currently living in her Apple ecosystem at home consisting of an iPhone, iPad, iMac, MacBook, Apple TV, iPod nano and two Time Capsules. She is a fan of all things mobile since she got her first Palm Pilot in 1999. Check out her iPad app, Number Wizard, in the App Store. Follow her on Twitter @junovotech or at Junovo.com.