Mac Apps Safari

Supercharge your Browser with the Safari Extensions Gallery

There’s a huge range of Safari extensions out there that you can use to modify, customize and generally improve your browsing experience.

From blocking ads, to managing passwords and even helping you share content to your favourite social networks, in this article I’ll be showing you how to find and install the extension that provides exactly the functionality that you feel is missing from your Safari experience.

And, since it’s easy to get carried away with adding extensions, I’ll also be showing you how to disable and uninstall any Safari extension, including corrupted extensions that you’re struggling to remove using normal methods.

Introducing Safari Extensions Gallery

Although many third party websites offer Safari add-ons, there are a few benefits to downloading your extensions from Apple’s dedicated Safari Extensions Gallery. These benefits include added security, as every extension is reviewed and hosted by Apple; plus every extension you install via the Gallery updates automatically (as long as you have Safari 9 or higher installed, and are running macOS Yosemite or later) so that’s one less thing you need to worry about!

To access the Safari Extensions Gallery, launch Safari and then select ‘Safari > Safari Extensions’ from the toolbar. Alternatively, you can type the Gallery’s URL into Safari’s address bar directly:

Spend some time browsing the Gallery to see what’s on offer, either by selecting the ‘Popular’ or ‘Recent’ tabs, or by opening the ‘Categories’ dropdown.

Once you’ve found an extension that you want to try, click its ‘Install Now’ link, and Safari will download, install and enable your chosen extension. Once this process is complete, a new tab will open, letting you know that your extension is now ready for you to use.

Extensions you install via the Gallery are enabled by default, but some extensions have settings that allow you to customize them, or unlock additional functionality. To check whether this is the case with your newly-installed extension:

  • Select ‘Safari > Preferences’ from the Sari toolbar.
  • Select the ‘Extensions’ tab.
  • Select your extension from the left-hand menu.

All the information about this extension should appear in the window, along with any available settings. These settings will vary between extensions, so if you see anything you’re unsure about, then the best place to go for more information is usually the website of the developer or company who created this particular extension. Failing that, you can always perform a Google search to see whether this brings up any forum threads, blog posts, tutorials or other documentation that sheds some light on what these settings mean.

Disable automatic updates

Although automatic updates are one of the major benefits of installing extensions via the Safari Extensions Gallery, if you prefer to have control over when you update to a new version of each extension, then you can disable these automatic updates:

  • Select ‘Safari > Preferences’ from the Safari menu bar.
  • Select the ‘Extensions’ tab.
  • Deselect ‘Automatically update extensions from the Safari Extensions Gallery.’

Disable or delete extensions

Occasionally you may need to disable an extension for a period of time, for example some ad-blocking extensions can prevent you from viewing content on certain websites.

To toggle an extension off:

  • Select ‘Safari > Preferences…’ from the menu bar.
  • Select the ‘Extensions’ tab.
  • Find the extension in the left-hand menu, and deselect its accompanying checkbox.

When you’re ready to reactive this extension, simply navigate back to this screen, and re-select its checkbox.

If you want something more permanent, then you can uninstall an extension:

  • Navigate to ‘Safari > Preferences > Extensions.’
  • In the left-hand menu, select the extension you want to uninstall.
  • Click the ‘Uninstall’ button.

If an extension gets corrupted, then it may become impossible to remove using the above method. If this happens, then you can uninstall an extension via your Mac’s ‘Library’ folder:

  • Open a Finder window.
  • Select ‘Go > Go to folder…’ from the toolbar.
  • Enter ~/Library/Safari/Extensions/
  • Click ‘Go.’
  • Find the file that corresponds to your corrupted extension, and drag it to the Trash.

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About the author


I've been a passionate evangelist for Apple and the Macintosh throughout my working life, my first love was a Quadra 605 working with a small creative agency in the south of Norfolk UK in the mid 1990's, I later progressed to other roles in other Macintosh dominated industries, first as a Senior graphic designer at a small printing company and then a production manager at Guardian Media Group. As the publishing and printing sector wained I moved into Internet Marketing and in 2006 co-founded which grew to become one the top 200 visited sites in the US (according to Quantcast), at its peak receiving over 15 million visits per month. For the last ten years I have worked as an Affiliate and Consultant to many different business and start ups, my key skill set being online marketing, on page monetisation, landing page optimisation and traffic generation, if you would like to hire me or discuss your current project please reach out to me here.

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