Changing Where Safari Tabs Open

In the last few iterations of Safari Apple has changed where new Tabs open. At least it seems like things have changed. As I recall, opening new Tabs in Safari used to put the Tab at the end of your Tab row. Now, at least sometimes, it puts the Tab next to your current Tab. There is a way you can change this Tab functionality that works for your workflow. Here is how you do that.

Safari Tab Setup

You setup Safari Tabs using the DeBug menu. The Default configuration for Safari does not have the Debug menu activated. You can activate it one of two ways: through the Terminal App or using a third party Mac Utility. Here is how the Terminal App version works.

First, you have to quite Safari. Then go into the Security & Privacy System Preference Pane, scroll down to “Full Access” and make sure the Terminal App has a check mark next to it:

Then boot up the Terminal App and enter this text string:

defaults write IncludeInternalDebugMenu 1

After you hit Enter, you can quit Terminal and Start Safari. The Debug menu will be present.

If you own a very cool free App called Onyx (donationware), you can activate the Debug menu without all the Terminal hassle. Just open Onyx, click on the Parameters Tab and then the Safari Tab:

Check the box for “Turn on the Debug menu”. You can turn on the Develop menu while you are there. Remember, you are doing all this with Safari Shutdown. When you are finished quit Onyx and startup Safari. You will see the Debug menu at the end of your menubar area:

Click on the Debug menu, scroll down to “Tab Ordering” and then “Position of New Tabs”. You can tell Safari where you want new Tabs to open in the pop out menu to the far right. Look at the other items in the first pop out menu, you may wish to experiment with these settings as well.

I have to give a caveat here though. This is the Debug menu. It has lots of things you can do to inside the Safari web browser so be very careful messing around with some of this stuff.


If the way Safari handles your Tabs does not work for you, then go into the Debug menu and change how they display themselves.