|Initial release||January 7, 2003|
|Written in||C++, C, assembly language, Objective-C|
|License||Freeware (pre-installed on Apple devices); some components (especially engine) GNU LGPL|
|Part of a series on|
Safari is a web browser developed by Apple. It is built into Apple's operating systems, including macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, and uses Apple's open-source browser engine WebKit, which was derived from KHTML.
Safari was introduced in
After its 1994 release Netscape Navigator rapidly became the dominant Mac browser, and eventually came bundled with Mac OS. In 1996, Microsoft released Internet Explorer for Mac, and Apple released the Cyberdog internet suite, which included a web browser. In 1997, Apple shelved Cyberdog, and reached a five-year agreement with Microsoft to make IE the default browser on the Mac, starting with Mac OS 8.1. Netscape continued to be preinstalled on all Macintoshes. Microsoft continued to update IE for Mac, which was ported to Mac OS X DP4 in May 2000.
History and development
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On January 7, 2003, at Macworld San Francisco, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced Safari that was based on WebKit, the company's internal fork of the KHTML browser engine. Apple released the first beta version exclusively on Mac OS X the same day. Later that date, several official and unofficial beta versions followed until version 1.0 was released on June 23, 2003. On Mac OS X v10.3, Safari was pre-installed as the system's default browser, rather than requiring a manual download, as was the case with the previous Mac OS X versions. Safari's predecessor, the Internet Explorer for Mac, was then included in 10.3 as an alternative.
In April 2005, Engineer
In June 2005 in efforts of KHTML criticisms over the lack of access to change logs, Apple moved the development source code and bug tracking of
On January 9, 2007, at Macworld San Francisco, Jobs unveiled that Safari 3 was
The initial Safari 3 beta version for Windows, released on the same day as its announcement at WWDC 2007, contained several bugs
The first stable, non-beta version of Safari for Windows, Safari 3.1, was offered as a free download on March 18, 2008. In June 2008, Apple released version 3.1.2, which addressed a security vulnerability in the Windows version where visiting a malicious web site could force a download of executable files and execute them on the user's desktop. Safari 3.2, released on November 13, 2008, introduced anti-phishing features using Google Safe Browsing and Extended Validation Certificate support. The final version of Safari 3 was version 3.2.3, which was released on May 12, 2009, with security improvements.
Safari 4.0.1 was released for Mac on June 17, 2009, and fixed Faces bugs in
Apple exclusively released Safari 4.1 concurrently with Safari 5 for Mac OS X Tiger. It included many features that were found in Safari 5, though it excluded the Safari Reader and Safari Extensions. Apple released Safari 5.1 for both Windows and Mac on July 20, 2011, for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion; it was faster than Safari 5.0, and included the new Reading List feature. The company simultaneously announced Safari 5.0.6 in late June 2010 for Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, though the new functions were excluded from Leopard users.
Safari 6.0 was previously referred to as Safari 5.2 until Apple changed the version number at
On June 11, 2012, Apple released a developer preview of Safari 6.0 with a feature called iCloud Tabs, which syncs with open tabs on any iOS or other OS X device that ran the latest software. It updated new privacy features, including an "Ask websites not to track me" preference and the ability for websites to send OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion users notifications, though it removed RSS support. Safari 6 had the Share Sheets capability in OS X Mountain Lion. The Share Sheet options were: Add to Reading List, Add Bookmark, Email this Page, Message, Twitter, and Facebook. Tabs with full-page previews were added, too. The sixth major version of Safari, it added options to allow pages to be shared with other users via email, Messages, Twitter, and Facebook, as well as making some minor performance improvements. It added supports for -webkit-calc() in CSS. Additionally, various features were removed including Activity Window, a separate Download Window, direct support for RSS feeds in the URL field, and bookmarks. The separate search field and the address bar were also no longer available as a toolbar configuration option. Instead, it was replaced by the smart search field, a combination of the address bar and the search field.
Safari 7 was announced at
Safari 8 was announced at
Safari 9 was announced in
Safari 10 was shipped with macOS Sierra and released for OS X Yosemite and OS X El Capitan on September 20, 2016. It had a redesigned Bookmark and History views, and double-clicking will centralized focus on a particular folder. The update redirected Safari extensions to be saved directly to Pocket and Dic Go. Software improvements included Autofill quality from the Contrast card and Web Inspector Timelines Tab, in-line sub-headlines, bylines, and publish dates. This version tracks and re-applies zoomed level to websites, and legacy plug-ins were disabled by default in favor of HTML5 versions of websites. Recently closed tabs can be reopened via the History menu, or by holding the "+" button in the tab bar, and using Shift-Command-T. When a link opens in a new tab; it is now possible to hit the back button or swipe to close it and go back to the original tab. Debugging is now supported on the Web Inspector. Safari 10 also includes several security updates, including fixes for six WebKit vulnerabilities and issues related to Reader and Tabs. The first version of Safari 10 was released on September 20, 2016, and the last version (10.1.2) was released on July 19, 2017.
Safari 11 was released on September 19, 2017 for
Safari 12 was released for macOS Mojave on September 24, 2018. It was also available to macOS Sierra and macOS High Sierra on September 17, 2018. Safari 12 included several new features such as Icons in tabs, Automatic Strong Passwords, and Intelligent Tracking Prevention 2.0. Safari version 12.0.1 was released on October 30, 2018, within macOS Mojave 10.14.1, and Safari 12.0.2 was released on December 5, 2018, under macOS 10.14.2. Support for developer-signed classic Safari Extensions has been dropped. This version would also be the last that supported the official Extensions Gallery. Apple also encouraged extension authors to switch to Safari App Extensions, which triggered negative feedback from the community.
Safari 13 was announced at WWDC 2019 on June 3, 2019. Safari 13 included several new features such as prompting users to change weak passwords,
In June 2020 it was announced that macOS Big Sur will include Safari 14. According to Apple, Safari 14 is more than 50% faster than Google Chrome. Safari 14 introduced new privacy features, including Privacy Report, which shows blocked content and privacy information on web pages. Users will also receive a monthly report on trackers that Safari has blocked. Extensions can also be enabled or disabled on a site-by-site basis. Safari 14 introduced partial support for the WebExtension API used in Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, and Opera, making it easier for developers to port their extensions from those web browsers to Safari. Support for Adobe Flash Player will also be dropped from Safari, 3 months ahead of its end-of-life. A built-in translation service allows translation of a page to another language. Safari 14 was released as a standalone update to macOS Catalina and Mojave users on September 16, 2020. It added Ecosia as a supported search engine.
Safari 15 was released for macOS Big Sur and macOS Catalina on September 20, 2021, and later shipped with macOS Monterey. It featured a redesigned interface and tab groups that blended better into the background. There were also a new home page and extension supports on the iOS and iPadOS editions. Starting this update, Safari versions would support iOS and iPadOS, ending the iOS version of separate updates.
Safari 16 was released for iOS 16, macOS Monterey and macOS Big Sur on September 12, 2022, and later shipped with macOS Ventura and iPadOS 16. Safari 16 added support for non-animated AVIF and contains several bug fixes and feature polishing. Safari 16 also includes shared tab groups, website settings synchronisation between devices connected to a same iCloud account, the ability to add backgrounds for a start page, new languages for built-in translation, built-in image translation, new options to edit strong passwords… iOS 16.4 also introduced Web Push notifications.
Safari 17 was released in September 2023 with iOS 17, iPadOS 17 and macOS Sonoma. Safari 17 includes a new feature named "Profiles", that allows users to separate their browsing experience for different use cases. Every profile has a special favorites bar, navigation history, extensions, tab groups, and cookies. Just like iOS 16.4, Safari 17 introduces web apps that can be added to the dock. Cookies are copied into web apps so that users stay logged in the web app if they already are in Safari. Safari can also now read pages with a new option in the navigation bar menu. 
New privacy features include locked private browsing when not in use, tracking-free URLs, private relay based on the country’s location and time instead of general position.
Safari has also been adapted to Vision Pro with a new spatial UI, and Apple has redesigned the Develop menu for web developers. 
Safari Technology Preview
Safari Technology Preview was first released alongside OS X El Capitan 10.11.4. Safari Technology Preview releases include the latest version of WebKit, which included Web technologies in the future stable releases of Safari so that developers and users can install the Technology Preview release on a Mac, test those features, and provide feedback.
Safari Developer Program
The Safari Developer Program was a program dedicated to in-browser extension and HTML developers. It allowed members to write and distribute extensions for the browser through the Safari Extensions Gallery. It was initially free until it was incorporated into the Apple Developer Program in
WebArchive format, the ability to email complete web pages directly from a browser menu, the ability to search bookmarks, and the ability to share tabs between all Mac and iOS devices running appropriate versions of software via an iCloud account.
Safari pioneered several now standard HTML5 features (such as the Canvas API) in its early years.
In 2015 it had been criticized for failing to keep pace with some modern web technologies.
Intelligent Tracking Prevention
In September 2017 Apple announced that it will use artificial intelligence (AI) to reduce the ability of advertisers to track Safari users as they browse the web. Cookies used for tracking will be allowed for 24 hours, then disabled, unless AI judges the user wants the cookie. Major advertising groups objected, saying it will reduce the free services supported by advertising, while other experts praised the change.
Apple used a remotely updated plug-in blacklist to prevent potentially dangerous or vulnerable plugins from running on Safari. Initially, Flash and Java contents were blocked on some early versions of Safari. Since Safari 12, support for NPAPI plugins (except for Flash) has been completely dropped. Safari 14 finally dropped support for Adobe Flash Player.
Beginning in 2018, Apple made technical changes to Safari's content blocking functionality which prompted backlash from users and developers of ad blocking extensions, who said the changes made it impossible to offer a similar level of user protection found in other browsers. Internally, the update limited the number of blocking rules which could be applied by third-party extensions, preventing the full implementation of community-developed blocklists. In response, several developers of popular ad and tracking blockers announced their products were being discontinued, as they were now incompatible with Safari's newly limited content blocking features. Beginning with Safari 13, popular extensions such as uBlock Origin no longer work with Safari.
Safari can sync bookmarks, history, reading list, and tabs through iCloud. This happens by default if a user's Mac, iPhone or iPad is logged in to iCloud, but syncing can be disabled in the Settings app (on iOS and iPadOS) or System Settings (on Mac).
iCloud Tabs lets users see a list of their other devices' open tabs that have not been added to a tab group. On iOS and iPadOS, these iCloud Tabs are shown below the grid of open tabs. On the Mac, they are shown at the bottom of the Tab Overview, or in an optional iCloud Tabs toolbar item.
Safari 15 added tab groups. These tab groups, and the tabs they contain, are synced across devices; when a tab is opened in a tab group on one device, it is added to that tab group on all devices, without needing to manually open it through iCloud Tabs. macOS Ventura added Shared Tab Groups, which can be shared through iMessage. New tabs and closed tabs will sync for all participants, and a small thumbnail with users' profile pictures will be visible on the tab they are currently viewing.
On macOS, Safari is a
64-bit architecture. Apple claimed that running Safari in 64-bit mode would increase rendering speeds by up to 50%.
WebKit2 has a multiprocess API for WebKit, where the web-content is handled by a separate process than the application using WebKit. Apple announced WebKit2 in April 2010. Safari for OS X switched to the new API with version 5.1. Safari for iOS switched to WebKit2 with iOS 8.
Since the 2019 release of iPadOS, Safari for iPad's user agent was changed to present itself to websites as Safari for Mac and shows the desktop version of websites, except in the miniature Slide Over multitasking view. Apple improved multitouch compatibility for desktop websites through a number of tweaks to the WebKit engine, for example with heuristics to determine whether to translate a tap into a hover or a click. The iPadOS version also gained a download manager, support for Media Source Extensions to allow users to watch Netflix in Safari, and support for the custom keyboard shortcuts in web apps like Gmail, which override Safari's own keyboard shortcuts.
Apple has been criticized for anticompetitive practices related to Safari on iOS.
After Safari's release, Apple Software Update—an updater program bundled with QuickTime and iTunes for Windows—automatically selected Safari for installation, as a "Recommended" program. When users ran the updater manually, the option to install Safari was checked by default. This was criticized by John Lilly, then-CEO of Mozilla, who said it "borders on malware distribution practices". By late 2008, Apple Software Update stopped installing new software by default, though it still offered Safari in its list of available programs (with its checkbox unticked).
In 2009, Safari had a market share of 3.85%. It remained stable in that rank for five years with market shares of 5.56% (2010), 7.41% (2011), 10.07% (2012), and 11.77% (2013). In 2014, it caught up with Firefox with a market share of 14.20%. In 2015, Safari became the second most-used web browser worldwide after Google Chrome, and had a market share of 13.01%. From 2015 to 2020, it occupied market shares of 14.02%, 14.86%, 14.69%, 17.68% and 19.25, respectively. As of November 2021[update], Google Chrome continued to be the most popular browser with Safari (19.22%) following behind in second place.
In May 2022, according to StatCounter, Apple's Safari dropped to the third most popular desktop browser after being overtaken by Microsoft's Edge. Safari was then used by 9.61 percent of desktop computers worldwide. One year later, Safari retook second place.
Security updates for Snow Leopard and Windows
Software security firm Sophos detailed how Snow Leopard and Windows users were not supported by the Safari 6 release at the time, while there were over 121 vulnerabilities left unpatched on those platforms. Since then, Snow Leopard has had only three minor version releases (the most recent in September 2013), and Windows has had none. While no official word has been released by Apple, the indication is that these are the final versions available for these operating systems, and both retain significant security issues.