Safari for Windows is (Probably) Dead: How to Migrate to Another Browser

By Chris Hoffman on January 14th, 2013

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If you use Safari on Windows, we have some bad news for you: the new Safari 6 has been out for over five months and Apple has confirmed it will not be released on Windows.

Apple has also removed all Windows download links from its main Safari page, so Safari on Windows is probably a dead product. If you use Safari on Windows, you should consider switching to another browser – or be stuck with Safari 5 forever.

Exporting Your Safari Data

There are two important types of browser data you’ll probably want to take with you – your bookmarks and your saved autofill passwords. Bookmarks are easy to export, while Safari doesn’t make it easy to get your password out – you can’t even view your saved passwords without a third-party tool.

  • Exporting Bookmarks: Press the Alt key to reveal the menu, click the File menu, and select Export Bookmarks. Save your bookmarks to an HTML file. You can import the HTML file into any other browser from the Import Bookmarks option in that browser’s File menu or bookmarks manager. You can also double-click the HTML file to view the saved bookmarks as a list on a web page.

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  • Exporting Passwords: Download and run Safari Password Decryptor. Be careful to decline the junkware it tries to install during the installation process. Sorry about that, but this is the only free tool for viewing Safari’s saved password on Windows we could find. The tool will display your saved passwords and allow you to export a copy of them.

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Choosing a New Browser

There are a wide variety of new browsers you can choose from, but we’ll focus on the more popular ones:

  • Google Chrome: Google Chrome is probably the most similar browser to Safari. Both browsers use the WebKit rendering engine and have a similar interface. One of Safari 6’s new features is a combined address and search bar – Google Chrome has had that for a long time.
  • Mozilla Firefox: Once the alternative browser of choice, Mozilla Firefox is still popular and beloved by many. its best feature is its flexible extension system, which allows for the most customizability out of any browser.
  • Opera: Opera is less well known but still has a loyal core of users. It’s a speedy browser that’s come a long way in the past few years, now offering extensions and a simplified interface.
  • Internet Explorer: If you’re using Windows 7 or 8, Internet Explorer 9 and 10 are decent browsers – certainly better than the old IE. Some people would recommend giving them a try. One thing’s for sure – don’t bother with IE if you’re still using Windows XP. You’d be better off using an outdated Safari instead of Internet Explorer 8.

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Alternatives to Safari Features

Safari has some features you may miss in other browsers. Here’s how to get them back:

  • Reading List: Other browsers don’t have a built-in Reading List feature similar to Safari’s. If you like this feature, give Pocket or Instapaper a spin. They can also sync your unread articles across your devices, allowing you to read them on the go.
  • Browser Sync: Chrome and Firefox both have well-developed sync features that sync bookmarks, open tabs, and other browser data across your computers. If you use an iPhone or iPad, the Chrome app will allow you to view this data on your device. (Firefox only makes an app available for Android.) Opera has similar features, but lacks tab sync. Internet Explorer has the worst synchronization features of all – while some sync features are now integrated in Windows 8, Internet Explorer can’t even sync your bookmarks with IE on a Windows Phone.
  • Extensions: Chrome and Firefox both have well-developed extension ecosystems, although Firefox’s extensions can be more powerful. Chrome also has a large extension ecosystem, so you can probably find all the extensions you want. Opera has a smaller amount of available extensions, while few extensions are available for Internet Explorer.

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While Safari may have exited the Windows browser wars, there are plenty of good alternatives ready to take its place. If you really want the latest version of Safari, Apple would be happy to sell you a Mac – that seems to be their new approach.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.

  • Published 01/14/13
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