Apple has released a redesigned version of Safari for macOS Big Sur and Catalina. The update, announced as part of the upcoming macOS Monterey, was released the same day as iOS and iPadOS 15, bringing the web browser’s new look and features across Apple’s platforms.
To update to the new Safari 15, you can go to System Preferences > Software Update, where it should automatically refresh and show up. Unlike updates to macOS, you shouldn’t have to reboot your computer after updating Safari.
The development behind this version of Safari has been interesting. The full OS update that it was originally a part of, which also brings features like Universal Control and Quick Notes, isn’t here yet, but Apple decided to ship the new Safari anyway. For those who have upgraded to iOS 15, that’s a good thing — it means that you can immediately use tab groups across all your devices. The update also includes features like better tracking protection and automatic switching to HTTPS for sites that support it.
While the Safari update brings new features, it also brings a new design. Apple’s made several changes to it since it was announced (though not as many as it’s made to Safari for iPhone), tweaking it to be less starkly minimal. Looks-wise, it’s still a major change from Safari 14, but there are preferences that you can tweak to walk back some of the more distracting changes. If you don’t want websites to be able to change the color of your tab bar, you can go to Safari’s preferences > Tabs, and uncheck “Show color in tab bar.” If you want your tabs to be on their own row, you can switch from Compact mode to Separate.