New Safari Tricks In Big Sur

There are all kinds of new goodies in the upcoming Big Bur operating system on the Mac. The Safari web browser comes in for its fair share of new features. A couple of those new features are“ Tab Website Previews” and the ability to add a custom background to your “Start Page”. Neither one of these features is earth shattering, but they might come in handy. Here is how they work.

Tab Website Previews

If you have been using Safari, then you have been using the Tabs feature for sure. It really is convenient to nest a bunch of website Tabs in your Safari window. In an attempt to improve Tabbed windows in Safari, Apple has added a way to preview each Tab. All you have to do is hold your mouse over the Tab for a bit and a preview of the Tab appears:

Tab Preview

I think this will be super helpful if you have a tendency to have a lot of Tabs in your Safari window like I do. Sometimes the website name gets so truncated because of lack of window space you cannot see what website the Tab belongs to. Being able to get a quick preview of the site is good. Here is another example of Tab Website Previews:

Another Website Preview

When I rolled my mouse over the Tabs, the Preview did not appear right away, it takes a second to pop out.

Start Page Custom Background

In macOS Catalina you were afforded the ability to customize your Safari browser “Start Page” to some degree. Apple has expanded that capability by allowing you to add a custom background to your Start Page. Not exactly a utilitarian feature, but fun none-the-less. You get to the customization menu by right-clicking on your Start Page background area:

Background Setup

Once you do that select “Choose Background” from the drop down menu and you are taken to this window of “Desktop Pictures”:

Choose Picture

This Desktop Picture folder is located in the System Library area, not the User Library. Once you are in this window you can choose a picture for the custom background:

Custom Background

Here is another background that I chose from the Desktop Pictures Folder:

Another Background

To remove the custom background picture, just right-click in Safari and choose “Clear Background”:

Clear Background

The background picture will be removed. There is one more thing here. If you do not wish to use any of the images in the Desktop Pictures folder, you can navigate to another area on your Mac and choose whatever photo you like.


The new and improved Safari in macOS Big Sur has some welcome new features which makes the user experience just a little nicer.