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Safari is a web browser by Apple Computer, first released for Mac OS X in January 2003 and for Windows in June 2007. It is also featured on the iPhone.



Safari is based on KHTML and KJS from KDE's Konqueror open-source project. Apple's use of these open-source technologies form not only the basis of Safari, but also the WebKit rendering engine, which is also used in iTunes to access the iTunes Music Store.

A public beta of Safari was released at the MacWorld conference on January 7, 2003. This version lacked several features already popular in other browsers, such as tabbed browsing and autofill, but these were added in later public betas, which also added numerous other enhancements.

Safari 1.0 was finally released on June 23, 2003, and became the default Mac OS X browser. At a similar time, Microsoft announced that it would discontinue the Mac version of Internet Explorer, although it was still included as a secondary browser in Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther).

A number of minor updates followed over the next two years, reaching version 1.3.1. These updates included features such as improved speed and standards compliance, full keyboard access, the ability to resume interrupted downloads and numerous security updates.

Shortly after, Safari 2.0 was released and included with Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). It boasted an RSS reader, an integrated PDF viewer, private browsing mode, parental controls and the ability to save websites as web archives, among other improvements. This version of Safari was not available for older versions of Mac OS X.

A beta of Safari 3.0 was released for both Mac OS X 10.4.9 and Windows XP/Vista on June 11, 2007, making it the first version available for Windows. It included draggable tabs, inline find, resizable text areas session restoration, a web inspector and more.

With the release of Mac OS X Leopard, Apple included the final version of Safari 3.0. Unlike Safari 2.0, this was also available for Mac OS X 10.4.11, and Windows.

Apple began seeding Safari 4.0 beta in June 2008 and released a public beta on February 24, 2009. New features included Top Sites, Cover Flow, a new interface and the option to download web applications, among others. Safari 4 was officially released at WWDC 2009 in June 2009.

Latest versions

The latest versions of Safari available for each version of Mac OS X and Windows are as follows:

  • Mac OS X 10.2: Safari 1.0.3
  • Mac OS X 10.3: Safari 1.3.1
  • Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5: Safari 4.0
  • Windows XP/Vista: Safari 4.0


Debug Menu

A Debug menu can be added to Safari by typing into Terminal:

defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 1

It can be turned off by typing:

defaults write IncludeDebugMenu 0

You will need to restart Safari for the command to take effect.

The debug menu offers a number of additional features, notably the ability to disguise Safari as another browser, such as Internet Explorer, which could be useful to access sites which block certain browsers.

Additionally, in the Debug menu is an item to show "Keyboard and Mouse Shortcuts". This lists a number of shortcuts useful when using Safari, however it has not been updated for quite some time.

Disable Private Browsing

Safari (since the launch of Mac OS X 10.4) has included a feature called Private Browsing that does not keep track of history, cookies, cache, etc. when enabled. The availability of this option can only be modified on non-administrative accounts. To remove the Private Browsing menu option for all users of the computer (including Administrative accounts), do the following (Note: you must have the Xcode tools installed):

  1. Control or right-click on the Safari icon in Finder and choose Show Package Contents.
  2. In the window that appears, navigate to Contents/Resources/English.lproj/ and double click on the MainMenu.nib file.
  3. In Interface Builder, select the window showing the Safari menu bar.
  4. Select the Safari menu, then select the private browsing item and press delete.
  5. Type command-S to save the changes, then close Interface Builder and restart Safari.

This removes the Private Browsing menu option, effectively disabling private browsing.

Reseting Safari

In Safari, you can easily restore it back to it's default settings.

This will reset Safari's history, empty the cache, clear the Downloads window, remove all cookies, remove all website icons, remove saved names and passwords, remove other AutoFill text, clear Google searches, and close all Safari windows.

These options can be enable or disabled from the Reset Safari window by checking or clearing an options corresponding checkbox.

To access the Reset Safari window, simply open Safari, and in the menu bar, click Safari, then Reset Safari.

Note: Before clicking Reset, make sure you do not clear any important data or lose any important work.

Using Tabs

Safari has a tabbed interface. Typically, new tabs are activated by command-clicking or right-clicking a link.

  • To view an image on it's own page, drag the image to the tab bar.
  • To view a webpage in it's own page, drag the hyperlink to the tab bar.

Market Share

As of June 11, 2007, Safari had 18 million users and a 4.9% market share, behind Internet Explorer and Firefox.