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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Tip: Remove “frequently visited sites” from Safari

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

Safari likes to think it’s being so helpful, providing that list of “frequently visited sites” every time you open up a new browser tab or window, but sometimes there’s a site in that list that you just don’t want to see everyday: maybe you don’t want your boss knowing you’re visiting Facebook frequently, or your partner to know that you’ve been shopping for a surprise present.1

You can, of course, disable the feature entirely in OS X by going to Safari > Preferences > General and making sure that both “New windows open with” and “New tabs open with” are not set to Favorites. It’s even easier on iOS: open Settings, go to Safari, and turn the slider next to Frequently Visited Sites off.

But if you want to remove just one or two errant items, that’s pretty easy too.

On OS X, just right click on the icon for the favorite and choose Delete.2

On iOS, tap and hold on the icon you want to remove, then release: a Delete option should appear. Tap that to banish the site.

There you go: easy enough, but not necessarily obvious.

  1. I don’t believe these sites are synced between your devices; I think each is built from sites frequently visited on that device. Which make sense, but is also bizarre given how many other things in Safari get synced via iCloud. 
  2. In the OS X El Capitan GM version, you can also click on an icon and drag it out. There’s also an option, if you right-click in that area, to disable just Frequently Visited Sites. 

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is now available for pre-order.]

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