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How to update the Safari browser on your Mac

Apple has been consistent in updating Safari with new features in the past years, including performance enhancements and some whopping privacy upgrades. The MacOS Monterey update is also giving its browser a new look with Safari 15, a version that includes new web code support for more advanced pages, Passkey support for the iCloud Keychain, highlights to emphasize important information, and a whole lot more.

If you don’t have automatic updates turned on or are delaying certain updates for your Mac, you may not be able to benefit from the latest features right away. The solution is to manually update Safari itself — and fortunately, it’s quite easy to take care of. Here’s how to do it.

Step 1: Head to the App Store

MacOS menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Log into your Mac and go to the App store. You can easily open it by selecting the Apple icon in the top-left corner of the MacOS screen and then select App Store.

Step 2: Check your Updates

MacOS App Store menu.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

When the App Store first opens, look to the left-side menu. Toward the bottom, you should see a section called Updates. Navigate there to check on the status of available app updates.

Step 3: Update Safari if available

Pending updates on the MacOS App Store.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Updates section is divided into several parts depending on the status of your apps. There may be a Pending section for apps that are in queue to be updated but need authorization or more time to complete. There could be an Updates Available section for apps that have available updates that haven’t been started yet. And you may also see a Recently Updated section to check on updates that have been recently applied.

Look for Safari in the Pending or Updates Available sections. If you see it look for a blue Update button to the right of the app. If available, select this to begin your Safari update.

Troubleshooting note: If it looks like something is wrong with Safari, such as a pending update that can’t complete or a notice that says something like Unable to Update Safari, then you should try rebooting your Mac and updating again to see if this helps. If it does not work, you should check on your MacOS updates. If your version of MacOS has fallen behind the latest updates for Safari, it may not be available until you complete a more comprehensive upgrade.

Remember, you can typically use this full MacOS update method to update Safari at any time. However, since a MacOS update requires backing up your data and logging out of everything beforehand, it’s not always a feasible option if you’re in the middle of some long-term work. Updating Safari by itself may be a better option.

Step 4 (optional): Add Safari extensions

Safari extensions in the App Store.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you are excited about a new extension that has recently come to Safari, a standard update won’t include it — you’ll have to add it yourself. In the App Store, select the Categories option in the menu. In the list that appears, select Safari Extensions.

The latest extensions available for Safari.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Here, you will be able to view the latest extensions and add them to Safari as you prefer. If you want some ideas, check out our list of the best browser extensions.

Reinstalling Safari

Keep in mind that you can choose to delete Safari entirely. If it looks like Safari has a bug or performance issue, deleting the app and reinstalling it is one method of getting everything up to date while fixing your issue. However, the only way to reinstall Safari this way is to reinstall MacOS altogether. You won’t lose any data, but it will take longer to do, so always be careful when deleting Safari.

A note about Safari on Windows

Yes, you can technically download Safari on Windows. However, since Safari 5, Apple has stopped working on this Windows version of the app, so no updates will be available for it. That also means that security and performance for the Windows version have fallen by the wayside, so we don’t suggest using this app at all.

For more information, you may be interested in checking out our best browsers for Mac, and the best web browsers in general based on their lastest updates!

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Tyler Lacoma
Former Digital Trends Contributor
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
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