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How to Use the All-New Safari Extensions in macOS Big Sur

An all-new extensions category on the App Store showcases Safari extensions with editorial spotlights and top charts, making it easier to discover great extensions from developers. All extensions are reviewed, signed, and hosted by Apple for your security.

But let’s back up.


What is a Browser Extension?

A Safari web extension adds custom functionality to the web browser. They can show useful info about a webpage, display news headlines, change the appearance of webpages, and more.

To find and download extensions, launch Safari and choose Safari Extensions.

safari extensions dropdown menu

You’ll find literally dozens from which to choose. When you find one that looks promising, click the button that says “Get” or the price (some are free, some aren’t). Click the button again to install or buy the extension.

safari extensions in app store

Managing Extensions

Safari asks you which websites a Safari extension can work with — and you can grant access for one day or all the time. You can also manage your extensions. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.

safari extensions preferences

Here you can:

  • Turn an extension on or off: Select or deselect the extension’s checkbox.
    Note: You get a warning if you turn on an extension that is known to slow down browsing.
  • Change an extension’s settings: Select the extension, then select or deselect settings.
  • Remove an extension: Uninstall the extension, or delete the app that contains the extension.

Installing or uninstalling extensions, and turning them on or off, will take effect immediately or after you go to a new webpage or refresh the current page.

Extensions may access the content of the webpages you visit. 


Extension Warnings

By the way, the first time you open Safari, you may get warnings about extensions that slow down browsing or are no longer supported:

  • Extensions that slow down browsing: The extensions will be turned off. If you don’t mind ‘em slowing down browsing, you can turn ‘em back on in Safari preferences.
  • Developer-signed .safariextz-style (legacy) extensions: The extensions won’t load and no longer appear in Safari preferences. You can’t turn them on.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Contributing Author
Dennis has over 40 years of journalism experience and has written hundreds of articles. For the past 20-plus years, he's been an online journalist, covering mainly Apple Inc. He's written for MacCentral, MacWorld, MacMinute, Macsimum News, Apple Daily Report, and is now contributing editor at Apple World Today.
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