Hate Safari Tabs in iPadOS 15? Get iPadOS 15.1 to Revert Them Back
If you’re an iPad user who updated to iPadOS 15 and did not like the redesigned Safari Tabs experience, where the tabs are hard to tell apart and differentiate from and look like strange buttons instead of, well, tabs, you’ll be happy to know you can rid yourself of this experience quickly.
Reverting the iPadOS Safari Tabs back to what they looked like previously (with iPadOS 14.x and earlier) is as simple as updating to iPadOS 15.1.
Mac users can achieve the same change by updating to Safari 15.1, or macOS Monterey.
Presumably this UI change/reversion will carry forward in future Safari for iPadOS versions too.
The new (old) Safari tab design with iPadOS 15.1 and newer:
Compared to the strange redesign where it’s hard to determine which is the active tab that didn’t last long in iPadOS 15:
The Safari tab redesign was fairly controversial with a lot of users and beta testers, but it carried through to the release of iPadOS 15 and Safari 15 anyway. The initial public frustration was largely ignored, until influential blogger John Gruber at DaringFireball wrote an excellent takedown on the changes, and why they are confusing.
Of course the tab look isn’t the only change to Safari for iPadOS, and if you don’t like the color highlighting then you might want to disable the color tinting effect of the Safari toolbar easily with a settings change.
This is obviously geared towards iPad because the tabs experience saw the aforementioned visual overhaul there, but iPhone users can move the search / address bar back to the top with a simple settings change in any iOS 15.x version, if you don’t like how that changed on iPhone.
For Mac users who are not thrilled with the look of Safari 15, updating to macOS Monterey offers a reversion of the Safari tab interface appearance too. Installing the freshly released Safari 15.1 update for macOS Big Sur also reverts the tab appearance changes, restoring the easy to scan look for Safari tabs back to the way they used to look on the Mac.