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5 Hidden New Safari Features in macOS Sonoma

Safari is the default browser on macOS and one of the most popular browsers in the world. It is known for its speed, security, and privacy features.

With the macOS Sonoma update, Apple is adding a handful of new features to Safari that will make it even better, and this article will highlight the best new features that have been added to the web browser.

1. Separate Your Work and Personal Browsing With Safari Profiles

Safari finally supports profiles, which you can use to create separate browsing sessions for different purposes. This can help keep your work and personal browsing separate or split your browsing session for different websites or projects.

Profiles are also useful for keeping your browsing history, cookies, and other data separate, which can be handy if you share your computer with others or want to keep your browsing session private. You can create a new profile in Safari by following these steps:

Safari settings open with the option to create a new profile

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and go to Safari > Settings from the menu bar.
  2. Navigate to the Profiles tab and click the plus (+) button or Start Using Profiles.
  3. Select a new name, symbol, and color for the new profile and click Create Profile.

You can now switch between profiles by selecting File in the menu bar and choosing the desired profile.

2. Private Browsing Tabs Are Automatically Locked

Safari Private Browsing window open, which is locked and requires Touch ID/password to unlock.

In macOS Sonoma and iOS 17, Apple has added a new privacy feature to Safari that protects your Private Browsing tabs. Previously, Private Browsing tabs would simply allow you to browse the web without leaving any traces behind.

Once you update your Mac to macOS Sonoma, your Private Browsing tabs will automatically lock after a brief period of inactivity.

This means that even if someone else picks up your device, they won’t be able to see your Private Browsing tabs without unlocking them using Touch ID or your device’s password.

3. AutoFill One-Time Verification Codes From Mail

Github 2 factor authentication page open with the Mail app

Along with features like auto-deleting verification codes, Safari will make it easier to log into websites, especially if you have enabled two-factor authentication.

Safari could already auto-fill OTPs from Messages, but this functionality has been expanded to one-time codes you receive in Apple’s Mail app. This means you will no longer have to open the Mail app to grab the codes, which can be time-consuming and error-prone.

4. Turn Websites Into Apps on Your Dock

Web apps are a space-saving alternative to traditional apps installed on your device. Creating web apps on iOS and iPadOS has been possible for quite a while now, but Apple has finally extended this feature to macOS.

These apps also have support for push notifications. Here’s how you can turn websites into apps on your Mac:

Safari Add to Dock Menu with the option to create a web app of the MUO website

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and open the website you want to use as a web app.
  2. Select File in the menu bar and click on Add to Dock.
  3. Rename the web app according to your needs and click Add.

You’ll now see the web app on your Dock and open it from there.

5. Automatically Remove Tracking Information From URLs

Along with the ton of privacy features in macOS Sonoma and iOS 17, Safari can now automatically remove tracking parameters from URLs. This helps to prevent cross-site tracking, which is when a website tracks your browsing activity across multiple sites.

When Safari detects a tracking parameter in a URL, it removes the identifying components of the URL, leaving the rest intact. This means that the link will still work, but it will no longer have a unique identifier that can be used to track you. Here’s how to enable it:

Safari Settings Advanced Tab open with multiple options visible

  1. Open Safari on your Mac and go to Safari > Settings from the menu bar
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab.
  3. Check the box next to Use advanced tracking and fingerprint protection and select the in all browsing option from the dropdown menu.

Become More Productive With Safari

Apple’s additions to Safari in macOS Sonoma make the browser more secure, private, and user-friendly. This is a step in the right direction as Safari gets even more versatile and better suited for the needs of today’s users.

From minor quality-of-life improvements to existing features like Private Browsing to new features like profiles and web apps, you have lot to explore in Safari once you update your Mac to macOS Sonoma.

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