Where are you Safari tab icons?

December 12, 2014

Latest Post Inktober 2022 by Owen Soule

For some odd reason I switched to using Apple's Safari as my main web browser when I upgraded to OS X Yosemite a month or so ago. I’m not quite sure why now, likely I read about its improved performance or some such claim, and was lured away from my warm/cozy Google Chrome browser.   

We come to it at last, the great battle of our time!

And if that were the end of the story this would be a trumped up tweet in blog format. Oh no, there is definitely more in the form of complaining. Really my complaints boil down to one thing: where the hell are the Safari tab icons?

My problem is best illustrated with a good example to show why tab icons (the favicon for a website) are so important from a usability standpoint:

Picking out a specific page in Chrome is a snap...because of icons!

Now let’s see those exact same pages open in Safari on OS X Yosemite:

Try to find LinkedIn in this monotonously grey tab strip, I dare you!

As many people have bitched online, Apple opted to redesign Safari to match their new flat look and feel ratter than making something that is actually usable! That’s pretty shitty coming from a company that used to pride itself on a great user interface experience.

If you are a “multiple tab" user, like myself, this lack of tab icons might drive you back into the arms of your previous browser, I however opted to scour the internet looking for a hack to restore the pre-Yosemite glory of Safari tab icons!

They live, again!

Turns out the above glory can be attained using a a couple free pieces of software on Github. First, grab EasySIMBL here https://github.com/norio-nomura/EasySIMBL. EasySIMBL is a SIMBL application enhancement and plugin loader.   


Now, we need something to load using EasySIMBL. Head back to Github and download SafariStand here https://github.com/hetima/SafariStand, once dropped into place (as shown above) you’ll have a new Stand Safari menu. In that menu you can set preferences, like showing the tab icons! Hurrah!


Or you could just stick with Google Chrome and save all that trouble ;-)

Owen Soule

Published December 12, 2014