How to Find, Install, and Remove Safari Extensions on Mac
As with many web browsers, you can add a ton of new functions and features to Safari using extensions. There are Safari extensions for just about everything you can think of, including password management, ad blocking, and tab management. There are also extensions that automatically look for voucher codes when you reach the checkout on shopping sites, and others that help you manage your time.
But where can you find Safari extensions? And once you’ve found them, how do you install them? And if you don’t need extensions anymore, how do you uninstall them?
In this guide, we’ll run through everything you need to know.
A Word of Caution About Extensions
Safari is a fast and lightweight browser, but the more extensions you install, the slower it’s likely to become. If you install a lot of extensions, you may find your Mac’s performance suffers.
For that reason, you should consider how useful an extension will be before you install it. If you do add a lot of extensions to Safari, consider disabling ones you’re not currently using (check out the Disabling or Uninstalling Safari Extensions section below). This can help to improve Safari’s speed and performance.
Finding and Installing Safari Extensions
Apple overhauled the Safari extensions system a few years ago, discontinuing the Safari Extensions Gallery. This helps Apple to keep users safe from rogue extensions, but it also means a lot of old extensions aren’t available anymore. Now, if you want to find and add Safari extensions, you only really have one choice—the Mac App Store.
To find Safari extensions, open the App Store, then select Categories from the side menu. Now, click Safari Extensions. You can also get there by selecting Safari > Safari Extensions in the Safari menu bar.
Now you can browse through the available extensions or use the search bar in the top left of the App Store to look for them. Unfortunately, you can’t limit your search to only Safari extensions. And it’s not always clear whether you’re looking at a Safari extension or a standalone macOS app.
To add an extension, download or buy it as you would with any app in the App Store. When it’s downloaded, click Open.
You can now follow the prompts to enable the extension in Safari. Alternatively, you can open Safari and enable your new extensions there. You might see a message at the top of the browser that says you have new extensions. Click View Extensions.
You can also select Safari > Preferences from the menu bar, and open the Extensions section. Find your new extension, and click the checkbox. Hit Turn On.
Disabling or Uninstalling Safari Extensions
You can disable or uninstall Safari extensions you don’t use anymore. If you’re experiencing problems in Safari, you may want to disable all your extensions and then re-enable them one by one. This can help you determine if an extension is causing the problem, and which one. If you decide you don’t want an extension at all anymore, you can uninstall it.
It’s a good idea to close all your open tabs in Safari before disabling or uninstalling extensions. If you have a lot of tabs open (maybe because you’re using Tab Groups), Safari’s performance worsens noticeably when you disable or uninstall an extension. Each open tab has to adjust to no longer having that extension active, especially when that tab was using the extension.
To disable or uninstall an extension go to Safari > Preferences, then click Extensions.
Uncheck an extension in the list on the left to disable it. To uninstall an extension, select it in the list, then click the Uninstall button.
You might see a message telling you the extension is part of an app, which you’ll need to remove. Click Show in Finder.
Delete the app as you would with any app, by dragging it to the Trash or pressing Cmd + Backspace.
Go Beyond Safari
If you can’t find the Safari extension you’re looking for, then it might be worth trying a different browser. Other Mac web browsers, like Chrome and Firefox, have plenty of options when it comes to extensions. There’s a good chance at least one of those browsers will have what you’re after.
The closure of the Safari Extensions Gallery is disappointing, but there are still lots of great extensions to choose from. And as this guide shows, installing and uninstalling them is straightforward.
Not a fan of Safari on Mac? Here are best alternative web browsers to use on your iMac, MacBook, or other Mac device.
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