Mac User Customizing The Safari Start Page
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek


With a gray background and a couple of links, Safari’s start page is quite bland. But it doesn’t have to be! You can add more sections and change the background. Here’s how to customize the Safari start page on Mac.

Safari’s customizable start page is available in Safari 14.0 or higher if you are running the latest version of macOS Mojave, Catalina, Big Sur, or higher.

How to Customize Safari Start Page Sections

New Start Page in Safari 14

The start page in Safari 14 or higher is divided into different sections. In total, there are six sections available to you: Favorites, Frequently Visited, Privacy Report, Siri Suggestions, Reading List, and iCloud Tabs.

The “Favorites” section shows two rows of websites and folders that are in your Favorites bar. You can click the “Show More” button to expand the section. As expected, the “Frequently Visited” section shows some of your frequently visited websites. To remove a website from here, right-click and select the “Delete” option.

Favorites and Frequently Visited Sections in Safari Start Page

“Privacy Report” shows a rundown of websites that you’ve visited over the past seven days and reports how many trackers have been blocked from profiling your presence on the web. You can click into the report and view exactly what trackers on each website were blocked.

Safari privacy report with trackers

“Siri Suggestions” will show you links that you have received in Messages or in the Mail app. The “Reading List” feature shows the most recent articles from your Reading List.

Reading List in Safari Start Page

And lastly, the “iCloud Tabs” section shows you open tabs from your other Apple devices.

iCloud Tabs in Safari Start Page

You can enable or disable any section as you wish. You can even disable all sections and only leave a translucent gray background as the start page.

Safari Start Page With No Sections and Background Image

Customizing the sections is quite simple. Simply open the Safari app or open a new tab to see the start page. Here, click the Menu button from the bottom-right corner of the screen.

Here, select the checkbox next to a section to enable or disable it.

Alternatively, you can right-click anywhere on the start page to see quick shortcuts to show or hide a section.

Quickly Show or Hide a Safari Start Page Section

How to Change the Safari Start Page Background

Once you have customized the sections that you want to see (or rather, hide) on the start page, it’s time to customize the background.

While the default gray background is minimal, you can spice things up by changing the background image. You can choose from a handful of images that Apple provides, or you can add your own.

Click the Menu button from the bottom-right corner of Safari’s start page and click the checkbox next to the “Background Image” option to enable the feature.

Now, scroll horizontally to see all available background images. Click an image to make it your background.

To use your own image as a background, click the “+” button.

From the file picker window, navigate to where you have downloaded and stored the image you want to use. Safari will first open the desktop backgrounds folder, making it easy to use any of the built-in wallpapers as the start-page background.

Once you have found the image you want to use, select it and click the “Choose” button.

Now, the start-page background will be updated.

Safari Start Page with Background Image

If you want to remove the current background or use another one, go back to the customization menu and click the “X” button next to the current background.

Find the text on some websites hard to read? Give your eyes some rest by setting a default zoom level for all websites in Safari for Mac.

RELATED: How to Set a Default Zoom Level in Safari for Mac

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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