How to pin Safari tabs in El Capitan

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Keep your important tabs active in the background for easy access.
Keep your important tabs active in the background for easy access.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Let’s be honest: there are a handful of sites that you visit a lot, open in tabs in Safari.

If you want to keep these tabs ready to go in every Safari window you open, even after you’ve quit Safari and re-launched it, you can use El Capitan’s new tab pinning feature to keep pages “open, up to date, and easily accessible.”

The sites you pin will stay active in the background, pinned to the left side of your tab bar. Here’s how to create (and get rid of) pinned tabs in Safari.

There are actually two ways to make a pinned tab. First, launch Safari and load a website (or more in tabs).

Slide any tab to the left to pin it in Safari.
Slide any tab to the left to pin it in Safari.
Screen: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Next, click and drag on the tab you want to pin, and slide it to the left side of the tab bar in safari. Your tab will stay put in tiny form with a little website favicon to let you know what’s in that pinned tab.

To get rid of the pinned tab, simply click and slide to the right.

The second way to pin a tab is to right click (control-click, two finger click) on it. You’ll get a contextual menu that will let you Pin Tab, Close Tab, Close Other Tabs, or Move Tab to New Window.

Right-click to the rescue.
Right-click to the rescue.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

When you choose Pin Tab, it will slide to the left with your other pinned tabs and stay there, even showing up in new windows you open. To get rid of it, simply slide to the left, as above, or right-click again and select Unpin Tab (if you want it to stay open but unpinned) or Close Tab (if you’re truly done with it and want to get it off your screen).

  • Chad C.

    Hi! Thanks for the great tip! Do you know if there is any way yet to have the icons that are moved over from the tabs to show the actual Favicons from the website like when you save them to Favorites? I noticed that El Capitan now saves them with ugly Capital letters and does not seem to use the real Favicons…looks like the first letters from the name of the website. That is ugly and I hope they definitely fix that. Ebay for example shows the letter E instead of the icon. Facebook and Amazon work as they should. Is this something that websites need to fix, or is it a El Capitan thing? Same thing happened to a few of my Favorites now too. I wish there was a way to fix your Favorites Favicons too and assign your own icons to them. I know it isn’t major but it sure is annoying.

    • MrSizzle

      twitter logo comes up. agree, that it is a small thing but something that should be in place.

  • Mitch Rogoff

    why is the cult of mac icon a W

    • Chad C.

      This can be fixed…My Icons in Favorites in Safari are messed up as well mostly have different colored Capital Letters with the exception of a few…granted this is a improvement over the previously ugly and blank Favorites icons where there was a website that had no Favicon icon to store…but this needs to be fixed..it’s not a huge issue and should be an easy update fix..Allow custom editing of icons for Favorites and have the already existing Favicons for websites that have them to be correctly shown on the sites you now can pin in Safari. Write to Apple and provide Safari feedback.