Safari 4 for Windows

This guide will help you familiarize yourself with the look and feel of Safari 4, as well as a few customizations that help you personalize your browsing experience.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Safari 4 is a high performance, modern Internet web browser for Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.  It supports HTML 5 and CSS 3, and includes the Nitro Javascript Engine.

Safari 4 includes features to help maximize your online experience. It is designed to use tabbed browsing to reduce browser window clutter; see your favorite web sites at a glance in Top Sites; perform full history searches to find a website you visited in the past, and use Cover Flow for history and bookmarked sites.  Safari 4 is also designed to block pop-up windows, and use powerful built-in development tools.

Note: This article is about Safari 4 for Windows.  If you use Safari 4 on a Mac, see Mac 101: Safari 4 instead.

The Safari 4 web browser window

This is a typical Safari 4 window with a sample Apple webpage shown. Some of the window elements can be customized, as described below.

Safari window with elements highlighted

  1. Back / Forward Button *
  2. Add Bookmark button
  3. Smart Address (URL) field *
  4. RSS feed button (becomes loading indicator when webpage is loading)
  5. Reload / Stop button (becomes stop button when a webpage is loading)
  6. Recent searches tool
  7. Smart search field *
  8. Search field SnapBack
  9. Page Menu Button *
  10. Safari Settings Menu Button *
  11. Bookmarks Bar
  12. Tabbed browsing bar
  13. New Tab Button
  14. Scrollbar
  15. Webpage content

* Collectively, these elements make up the Safari 4 "toolbar."  You can customize your Safari toolbar if you wish, as described below.

Set a home page

In most cases, a home page is the webpage that your browser starts on when you open a new window. To set your Safari 4 home page:

  1. Navigate the webpage you would like to set as your home page (for example, ).
  2. Choose Safari Settings Menu > Preferences... Or press Ctrl - , (the Control key and the comma key).
  3. Click the General icon.
  4. Click "Set to Current Page."
  5. Close the preferences window.

Safari preferences window

Smart Address (URL) field

You can type or paste web addresses quickly and easily here. As you begin to type an address in the address field, Safari automatically completes it with the most likely match--called the Top Hit--and highlights it. Simply press the Enter key to connect to the highlighted site.

If the Top Hit is not the site you intended to visit, check the list of relevant suggestions, drawn from your bookmarks and browsing history, that Safari displays. Click to select the site you want to visit or use the arrow keys to highlight the site you want to visit, then press Enter.

Or, you can type the full web address if you wish.

Smart Search field

This field lets you find what you’re looking for instantly. As you enter text in this search field, Safari recommends relevant searches via Google Suggest, lists your most recent searches, and helps you find what you are searching for on the page.

Page Menu Button (Safari window element 9)

Click the Page Menu Button to see this menu:

Safari Page Menu

This menu has elements that you'll find in menu bars.  For example, you can open a New Tab, Find something on the web page, Print the web page, and more.


Safari Settings Menu Button (Safari window element 10)

Clicking on the Safari Settings Menu Button will bring up the Safari Settings Menu.

Safari settings menu

The Safari Settings Menu is where you go to customize your Safari 4 experience.

From this menu you can choose the following options:

  1. Show Menu Bar - Adds a traditional menu bar to your Safari Browser
  2. Hide or Show Bookmarks Bar, Status Bar, Tab Bar - Hides or shows the various bars
  3. Customize Toolbar palette - Enables you to customize your toolbar palette
  4. History - Takes Safari to the Cover Flow, search-enabled web history interface
  5. Downloads - Opens the Safari Downloads manager
  6. Reset Safari - Brings up the Reset Safari tool
  7. Block Pop-Up Windows - Enables or disables the Block Pop-Up Windows function, described below
  8. Preferences - Brings up Safari Preferences
  9. Help - Brings up Safari Help
  10. Report Bugs to Apple -  Brings up the Report Bugs tool, which you can use to send bugs and feedback to Apple
  11. About Safari - Brings up the About Safari window where you can see the version of Safari you are running


Customize the toolbar

If you want to change the items that are on your Safari 4 toolbar:

  1. Choose Safari Settings Menu > Customize Toolbar...
  2. The Customize Toolbar palette opens, enabling you to add and arrange items on the Toolbar by click and dragging them.
  3. To remove a Toolbar item, click on the icon in the toolbar and drag it off the toolbar.  Release the mouse button to see it disappear in a puff of smoke.
  4. Click Done when finished.

Safari toolbar customization

Top Sites

Top Sites lets you enjoy an at-a-glance preview of your favorite websites. Safari 4 tracks the sites you browse and ranks your favorites, presenting up to 24 thumbnails on a single page. You can even customize the display by pinning a favorite site to a specific location in the grid. That locks it into position, so you know just where to find it every time you open Top Sites.

Ever wonder which sites have changed since your last visit? Sites with a star icon in the upper-right corner have new content. A single click opens the page and updates its thumbnail. Whenever you want to return to your Top Sites page, click the new Top Sites button in the bookmarks bar.

To manually add a webpage to Top Sites:

  1. Load the page in Safari 4.
  2. Drag the web site icon (for example, ) located in the left side of the Address (URL) field (Safari window elements number 3 above), on to the Top Sites bookmark bar item ().  This will add the website to the upper-left position of Top Sites.  Edit Top Sites to move its position.

Safari top sites

To customize Top Sites, click the Edit button.  

To see 24 top sites, click the Small tab.  To see 12 top sites, click the Medium tab.  To see 6 top sites, click the Large tab.

To arrange the order of your top sites, click and drag a top site to the location on the top site grid where you would like it to appear.

To remove a top site, click the X icon connected to the top site you wish to remove.

To lock a top site, click the "Push Pin" icon connected to the top site you wish to pin.

Full History Search

With Full History Search and Cover Flow, what you see is where you went. Safari introduces a dramatic new way to revisit sites, letting you flip through full-page previews of the sites you visited before. Safari is designed to automatically store all the text and a thumbnail of every page in your history. That makes it easy for Safari to get results even if you don't remember much about the site you’re searching for.

Just type a word or phrase in the History Search field in Top Sites, and Safari quickly presents you with a list of possibilities. In fact, you can search for anything that was on a page you visited, including photo captions. Safari presents the sites it finds in Cover Flow, giving you the opportunity to spot the desired site on sight.

Safari top sites with history

Cover Flow

Cover Flow offers a highly visual way of reviewing your site history and bookmarked sites, presenting full-page previews of the websites that look as they did when you last visited them.

One look is all you need to recognize the site you want to visit. Simply flip through website previews in Cover Flow the same way you flip through album art in iTunes. Directional arrows let you browse forward and back. Or you can quickly flip through multiple sites using the slider. And when you find the site you want, simply click to open it.

Bookmarks bar with Cover Flow

Full-page zoom to change the size of webpage text and graphics

Zoom in or out on web content using keyboard shortcuts or the Zoom toolbar button for more comfortable reading. Images and graphics scale up while your text remains razor sharp, keeping the webpage layout consistent as you zoom in and out. 

Use keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-plus (+) to zoom in and Ctrl-minus (-) to zoom out.

To add the Zoom button to your toolbar, simply choose "Customize Toolbar..." from the "Safari Settings" menu and drag the Zoom button onto your toolbar.

Zoom button on Safari toolbar

At any time you can also press Ctrl-0 (zero), or choose Safari Menu > Zoom > Actual Size to return the webpage contents to the default size.

Private Browsing

For privacy, you can choose Safari Settings Menu > Private Browsing. When private browsing is enabled, webpages are not added to the history, items are automatically removed from the Downloads window, information isn't saved for AutoFill (including names and passwords), cookies are not retained, cache files are not retained, and searches are not added to the pop-up menu in the Google search box. 

Clearing history

Safari keep tracks of webpages you've recently visited. If you want to manually clear your browsing history, click on the Clear History button in Full History search via Top Sites or enable the menu bar via Safari Settings Menu then choose History > Clear History.

If you want Safari to automatically clear the history after a certain period of time, or not at all, choose Preferences from the Safari Settings Menu. Click the General icon. From the "Remove history items:" pop-up menu, choose your preferred setting (after one day, after one week, after two weeks, after one month, after one year, or manually).  The default setting is "After one month".

Until you close the Safari 4 window, you can still click the Back and Forward buttons to return to webpages you have opened. 

Block pop-up windows

Some websites display "pop-up" windows that open automatically when you visit. Pop-up windows may display advertisements or other material, depending on the types of websites you visit. Some sites use pop-up windows to display more information about a selected item, or as a way for you to navigate to other areas of the site.  Pop-up window blocking is intended to prevent these pop-up windows from appearing.

By default, pop-up window blocking is enabled in Safari 4 and later. You can choose to not block pop-up windows, or block them again later, by choosing and toggling Block Pop-Up Windows from the Safari Settings Menu. If a website isn't working the way you expect, you may need to deselect Block Pop-Up Windows.

Adding bookmarks

You can bookmark webpages so that you can quickly navigate to them without having to type the URL. To bookmark a site or webpage that you're currently viewing, to add a Bookmark hit Ctrl-D or click the "+" button on your toolbar. You will be prompted to name your bookmark and choose where you want to keep it.

You can also drag the website icon, located in the left side of the Address (URL) field (Safari window element 3 above), to the Bookmarks bar, a bookmark folder, or the Top Sites button to bookmark it.

Searching for words in a page

To quickly find a word or phrase that's on a webpage, either press Ctrl-F, or choose Find from the Safari menu, and type the word or phrase to find. Press Ctrl-G or click the forward-pointing triangle to the right of the search box to see the next occurrence of that text on the page.

Using Tabbed Browsing

Tabbed browsing lets you switch between multiple open webpages within a single Safari window. You can drag and drop the tabs to rearrange them, open one in a new browser window, or merge all your current windows into one tabbed window. You can even bookmark a set of tabs or revert to the tabs that were open when you last closed or quit Safari.

To start with a new tab, press Ctrl-T, or choose New Tab from the Safari Menu.

Search Field SnapBack

Safari for Windows features built-in Google and Yahoo! search directly in the browser. Just type what you're looking for in the Google field, press Return, and Google displays its search results in your browser window. As you explore your search results, Safari displays a Search Field SnapBack button in the Google field (it looks like a round, orange graphic with a white arrow), so you can go back to your most recent Google search.

Enabling AutoFill

If you shop online, AutoFill can make entering information such as Ship To addresses much easier. Safari is designed to get this information from your Address Book card, and can automatically fill in any relevant information into webpage fields.

To enable Safari to AutoFill using your Address Book information, choose Safari Settings Menu > Preferences, click the AutoFill button, and select the "Using info from my Address Book card" checkbox. To make sure that your card is up to date, click the Edit button to open Address Book.

Developer Tools

In Safari 4, developers will find a powerful set of development tools. Simply enable them in Safari preferences and use them to examine the structure of a page, debug JavaScript, optimize performance and compatibility, inspect offline databases, or test experimental pieces of code on the fly.

To activate the development tools, click to the Advanced icon in the Safari 4 preferences and enable "Show Develop menu in menu bar."

For more specific information about each of the development tools, visit the Safari Dev Center page.

Report issues and send feedback to Apple

If you have an issue with a website or there is a feature you would like to see in Safari 4, you can choose Safari Settings Menu >Report Bugs to Apple... to send your data directly to the Safari team at Apple.

Tip: Want to learn more about Safari? Check out the built-in Safari Help guide (choose Safari Settings Menu > Help).  Also visit the Safari features website to see all the features Safari 4 has to offer.

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple’s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.
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