I just installed Mac OS X Snow Leopard from scratch on my MacBook. While I'm generally a fan of Firefox, I'm taking this opportunity to give Safari another honest try. So, I would like to get Safari configured similar to the way I use Firefox.

One of my annoyances with Safari is the tab bar doesn't always show. Rather, Safari only shows it when needed. However, I'm very used to double-clicking in the empty area right of existing tabs to open a new tab. Obviously, when only one page is open, I can't do that. :-(

So, what's the easiest way to get the tab bar always showing in Safari, i.e. even when only one page is open? Is there an add-on that makes this a cinch, or do I need to edit hidden configuration files?

Thank you.


Press CommandShiftT, or go to View » Show Tab Bar.

  • Even easier. I wonder why they don't show this in "Preferences" ! It is, after all, a preference! Anyway, I've confirmed that this does exactly the same thing under the covers as @Chealion's solution by verifying the before and after states via "defaults read com.apple.Safari AlwaysShowTabBar". That changed from 0 to 1 and stays that way when I set the tab bar to be shown and quit Safari. So this is the easiest solution, I think -- no terminal commands required. – Chris W. Rea Aug 29 '09 at 20:22
  • Completely forgot they moved it there. D'oh. – Chealion Aug 29 '09 at 23:16

In Safari 3 the option used to be available in the Tabs section of Safari preferences. In Safari 4 it was moved to the View Menu.

Alternatively you can apply it by running the following command in your Terminal (after quitting Safari):

defaults write com.apple.Safari AlwaysShowTabBar -bool YES
  • +1. Thanks - works like a charm, and it was simple. I was afraid I'd have to dig into hidden folders and edit configuration files. :-) – Chris W. Rea Aug 29 '09 at 17:57

This might be a stupid solution but you can open more than one tab upon launch of Safari and this way you'll have tab bar.

  • Actually, it wouldn't be a terrible idea, but does Safari support opening multiple home pages / tabs when it's launched? – Chris W. Rea Aug 29 '09 at 18:03
  • 1
    The closest I can find is in Safari preferences, New windows open with: Choose tabs folder… – Benjamin Dobson Aug 29 '09 at 20:07

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.