How to Disable Safari Tab Previews on Mac
The latest versions of Safari for Mac show a thumbnail preview of webpages as you hover the cursor over tabs. Some users may find the hover thumbnail previews to be distracting, and may want to turn them off. While Safari has many options and preferences, curiously the ability to disable Tab Previews on Hover is not available in the standard Safari options on the Mac. Nonetheless, you can still disable tab previews in Safari, you just have to go through a few extra steps to get it done.
To turn off Tab Previews on Hover, you’ll need to first enable the Debug menu in Safari, which is separate and different from the Developer menu, being enabled from the Terminal rather than Preferences as the latter.
Safari tab previews are available in version 14 and later
How to Turn Off Safari Tab Previews on Hover in macOS
Disabling Safari Tab Previews currently requires a few extra steps:
- Quit Safari
- Go to Apple menu > System Preferences > Security & Privacy > and choose the Privacy tab
- Select “Full Disk Access” from the left sidebar list, and then click the + sign and add “Terminal” application to the list
- Open the Terminal and enter the following command:
- Hit Return to execute the command, then relaunch Safari for Mac
- Pull down the newly accessible “Debug” menu and go to “Tab Features” and select “Show Tab Preview on Hover” so that it’s unchecked
- Quit and relaunch Safari for the change for tab hover previews to take effect
defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1
Now regardless of whether you hover the cursor over tabs in Safari, the tab preview will not render or show up.
If you always have a ton of Safari tabs open (like I do with many dozens), disabling this feature can be less distracting as you hover the mouse cursor over the tabs, possibly even speeding up the browser a tiny bit or even reducing its memory footprint since tab previews are not being generated or shown.
Optionally, to disable the Debug menu in Safari again, enter the following in the Terminal:
defaults write com.apple.Safari IncludeInternalDebugMenu 0
Again you’ll need to relaunch the Safari browser for the change to take effect.
How to Re-Enable the Safari Tab Hover Previews
You can reverse this at any point and return to the default, which is showing the Tab Previews on Hover.
Simply repeat the steps above to re-enable the Safari Debug menu, then choose to “Show Tab Preview on Hover” from the Debug menu, relaunching the browser again as necessary.
Whether or not you want to keep the Safari tab hover previews enabled or disabled is entirely a matter of user opinion