How to Use Pinned Tabs in Safari for Mac OS

Nov 17, 2015 - 5 Comments

Pinned tabs in Safari for Mac

The latest versions of Safari Mac OS X include a pinned tab feature, which allow you to maintain a particular web sites browser tab consistently across Safari relaunching and rebooting of the Mac. Pinned Tabs kind of work like bookmarks in this sense, except that rather than having to show a bookmarks bar, you can simply visit the pinned site through the pinned tab which appears in the same tab toolbar you’d see in Safari when multiple tabs are open anyway.

The pinned tabs are subtle and not intrusive, making them a great way to keep quick access to sites you visit regularly in Safari on the Mac.


There are two ways to pin a browser tab in Safari, we’ll demonstrate this feature with your favorite website, the always amazing http://osxdaily.com. You will need a modern release of Mac OS of OS X El 10.11 and later to have this feature available.

Pin a Tab with a Drag in Safari for Mac

Users can quickly pin a tab in Safari with a simple drag and drop trick:

  1. Open a Safari window and open at least one new tab (Command+T will create a new tab), use the URL http://osxdaily.com for testing purposes if you’d like
  2. Click and hold the tab you’d like to pin and drag it all the way to the left of the tab bar, release to create pin the tab

Create a pinned tab with drag and drop in Safari

The pinned site is placed as a tab in the left side of the Safari tab bar.

Pin Tabs in Safari with a Right-Click

For those who like to use the right-click (or Control+click, two-finger click), you can also quickly pin any browser tab in Safari easily:

  1. Have at least two tabs open in Safari, including the page you wish to pin as a tab
  2. Right-click on the tab you wish to pin and choose “Pin Tab”

How to pin a tab in Safari with right-click

The pinned tab will appear on the left side of the tab bar.

If the website being pinned has a custom pin tab icon, it will display here, otherwise it will take the first letter of the website name and use that as the pinned tab icon.

Removing Pinned Tabs in Safari for Mac OS X

You can quickly remove pinned tabs from Safari by using one of the following tricks:

  • Drag and drop the Pinned Tab from the left side of the tab bar away and to the right to change it back to a regular browsing tab
  • OR: Right-click the Pinned Tab and choose “Unpin Tab”

Remove a pinned tab in Safari

Pinned tabs are a great place to put websites you visit frequently, like the one you’re on right now, a webmail client, your favorite news source, social networks, or whatever else you visit on a regular enough basis that pinning the web site it to your tab bar is a great place for quick access.

By the way, pinned tabs also exist in Chrome, and work much the same way, so even if you’re not a Safari user, or if you’re not on the latest versions of OS X, you can still gain this feature by using the Google Chrome browser.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks

5 Comments

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  1. Darren says:

    I find pinned tabs very useful for transferring tabs from one window to another. Pin it in the one you want to remove it from, then unpin it in the window
    You want to move it to. Much easier than trying to drag and drop it.

  2. Sheryl says:

    Oh, THAT’s what that is. I’ve accidentally stumbled across the drag-and-drop method of pinning and unpinning while reorganizing multiple tabs before.

  3. Seth says:

    So THAT’s how it’s done. I feel dumb for not realizing it was that simple. I tried to find how to pin sites on my own with no success.

  4. Jenny says:

    Tips like these are exactly why I told my mom about you, who just bought her first Mac. I tell everyone who finds navigating a Mac strange to them to check you out for awesome tricks.

    Apple has great things but I don’t always know that they are there.

  5. I saved some websites as pinned tabs but they went away when I cleared the Safari Cache using CCleaner Why?

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