Safari has changed the way it handles bookmarks and open tabs over the last few versions, which has required me to slightly adjust my workflow each time. The change in behavior is small but one I’ve noticed.

Bookmark folders in Safari on the Mac have an ‘Open in New Tabs’ option that when clicked opens each saved website in its own tab using a single Safari window. A couple of versions back, this button would replace all open tabs with just the bookmarked websites in that folder.

9to5Mac Happy Hour

For me, this offered a way to replace a Safari window with 20+ open tabs with the six tabs I start my work day with in one easy click.

Then Safari changed this behavior in one important way in a recent major update: instead of replacing open tabs, the action changed to open bookmarked tabs in addition to currently open tabs. This is better if you accidentally clicked the action and lost of window full of tabs, but my one-click trick to reset my Safari window without closing one window and opening a new one was lost. You can also easily slow down your Mac with way too many open tabs if you don’t have enough RAM to handle the load.

Then today I stumbled upon an option I’d previously missed: if you right-click (or secondary click) on a bookmarks folder on Safari’s Favorites bar, this gives you a list of options including ‘Automatically Replace Tabs’ that changes that folder’s behavior to the old way.

Safari Bookmarks

The icon next to the folder name changes from a chevron to a square (which is less attractive) and clicking the folder name replaces all open tabs in your current Safari window with the bookmarked websites within the folder in one click.

This only works on the Mac; Safari on the iPad (and iPhone) has never had a similar ‘Open in All Tabs’ option so your bookmark folders won’t change on iOS.

Note that you’ll no longer be able to click a bookmark folder from the Favorites bar to see its contents, but you can Command+[ to go back if you accidentally open a folder full of tabs over your currently opened tabs. This also doesn’t work on nested folders in the Favorites bar, but it’s a handy solution for gaining the old behavior on specific folders.

About the Author

Zac Hall's favorite gear