9 Best Safari Extensions that Work in 2019 (Safari 12 and Above)
At the beginning of 2018, I switched from Google Chrome to Safari for good. The I had enough of Google Chrome's tracking and Safari has reached to place where it was on par with Google Chrome in features and speed. The new cross-site tracking prevention, auto-blocking of tracking links, and other privacy features in Safari were enough to pull me back to Apple's browser. I could have done it sooner but the lack of competent extensions on Safari was one thing that held me back. By the beginning of 2018, I realized that Safari's extensions library was good enough, and hence, I switch to Safari.
However, months after I switched to Safari, Apple deprecated the whole extensions system and left users like me hanging. The Safari 12 update killed most of the extensions that I use. As of now, extensions downloaded from the web, outside of the App Store, will no longer work in Safari. If you are using older versions of Safari they will work, but if you want to protect your web browsing against the latest malware, you will have to update Safari for security reasons and you will lose support for your old extensions.
Also, if you want to run the latest version of macOS like macOS Mojave or macOS Catalina to enjoy all the new features, you will update the OS which in turn will automatically update Safari and kill your extensions. So, once again, we are left with a limited number of Safari extensions that work in 2019. I have tested most of them and created a list of the best Safari extensions that work in 2019.
Best Safari Extensions that Work in 2019
Apart from killing most of the Safari extensions, Apple has also changed the way you install and enable them in Safari. So, first, let's see how you can install and enable Safari extensions and then we can get to our list.
How to Install and Enable Safari Extensions
Before the Safari 12 update, you could easily download the installation file, double click on it and the extension would start running on your Safari. Now, the steps have become different. You have to specifically enable the extensions even after you have installed them. So follow the steps and learn how you can install and enable Safari extensions:
All the Safari extensions are now available in the App Store. So, you can either search from them in the App Store or click on the links provided in this article to open the App Store page.
Once the extension is open in the App Store, install it like you install any other software from the App Store.
Once installed, open Safari Preferences (⌘,) and click on the "Extensions" tab. Here, enable the extension by clicking on the checkbox. Your extension will now show up in Safari.
Note that since Safari extensions are no mini Mac apps, you will have to launch them if they are not set to launch at login. Just click on the extension's icon in Safari and click on the "Run" button.
If you don't want to do this every time you restart your Mac, you have to enable all the extensions as login items. You can do that by either going to each extensions preferences and finding and turning on the "Launch "extension name" for Safari at Login" or going to System Preferences → Users & Groups → Login Items and adding all the extensions one by one by clicking on the "+" button and selecting them.
Uninstalling Safari Extensions
To uninstall a Safari extension, launch Safari and open preferences (⌘,). Click on the extension tab and then on the extension you want to uninstall. Here, click on the "Uninstall" button to remove it from Safari.
Now that you know everything about installing, enabling, and uninstalling Safari extensions. Let's check out the list of best Safari extensions.
Best Safari Extensions for Mac
As of right now, there are less than 100 extensions on the App Store. We have tested most of these extensions (at least the ones which were worth testing) and create this list of best Mac Safari extension list for you.
1. AdGuard AdBlocker
Let’s start with the first extension that everybody installs on every browser that they use. By the way, if you are not using one right now, you definitely should. The internet is full of knowledge but that knowledge comes with a lot of ads. In some part, we consumers are to blame as it’s in our nature to want to get everything for free. But nothing is free and we all know it. Websites earn money by showing ads on them and while I don’t mind ads as they support the creators, some of them just become greedy and put up too many intrusive ads.
AdGuard AdBlocker can help you block ads from all those mischievous websites. It also blocks the tracking pixels hosted on various websites which are good for your privacy. Don't forget to whitelist the websites which show normal ads to earn money to support their existence. To whitelist a website, open it on your Safari and then click on the AdGuard extension icon. Now, disable it by unchecking the "Enabled on this Website" option.
Install Extension: Free
Piper is a must-have extension for anyone who streams media using Safari. Safari's native picture-in-picture mode works only on YouTube and even there it's quite convoluted to invoke (double right-click/ctrl-click on a video and then select the "Enable Picture in Picture"). PiPer, on the other hand, allows users to start picture-in-picture mode with just one click. Once installed, it adds a simple picture in picture mode button in the player control screen.
Click on it and the video will start playing in PiP. You can resize the window and drag it to any corner of the screen. It even supports subtitles in the PiP mode. The supported websites include YouTube, Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hulu, and more. I tested it on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video and it was working on all of them so I can only assume it will work everywhere else.
Note: You are not seeing any content playing in both screenshots as Netflix doesn’t allow us to capture media playback for the fear of being recorded and pirated.
3. Turn Off the Lights
Turn Off the Lights is a great little Safari extension which allows you to watch videos on Safari without any distraction. On video streaming websites like YouTube, Vimeo, and more, if you are not using the full-screen mode, there's a ton of distracting elements around that video. Turn off the Light helps you hide those distractive elements by creating a fade over the entire page (see the picture below for reference).
Using the extension is pretty straight forward. Just click on the extension icon when you are watching a video and it will fade the entire background. You can also adjust the color and intensity of the fade among other things. To customize the effect double click on the icon and it will bring the menu. This is a helpful Safari extension and you should check it out.
Install Extension: Free
4. HoverSee for Safari
HoverSee is a nifty little extension which allows users to hover over any image, video, or link and see a preview of the content. I use this extension a lot when I am on YouTube as it helps me preview a video before I play it. It saves me a ton of time because I don’t have to go back and forth to see if a video is worth my time or not. The types of content supported by HoverSee include thumbnail images, links to image galleries, links to videos services, links to images & videos, and links to any website.
I won’t say it’s a must-have extension, but it is a useful one. Another thing to note here is that before Safari 12 update, the extension was free. However, the developers had to rebuild the extension to comply with Apple's terms and so now it's a paid extension.
Install Extension: $7.99
5. Raindrop.io for Safari
Safari's bookmarking ability is adequate but it's not enough for pro users. If you are someone who creates tons of bookmarks and needs an easy way to store and organize them, you should use Raindrop.io for Safari. It's an excellent bookmark manager which helps you collect article, photos, and videos from the web and organize them into folders and sub-folders. The folders are called "Collections" and you can assign a custom icon to each collection. You can also add tags to individual bookmarks to organize bookmarks which are in different collections. You can also add notes to bookmarks.
Finally, if you like to share your bookmarks with your colleagues or your family, you can do that by sharing your collections. Since Raindrop.io also has mobile (iOS / Android)and web (visit) apps, you can access your bookmarks from anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Note that while Raindrop.io offers a premium version, all the essential features like creating unlimited bookmarks and collections, sharing, supported for unlimited devices, and more are part of the free version.
Install Extension: Free, $28/year
6. Password Manager Extensions
If there is one service that every internet user should be using, it is password management. Password managers allow you to keep long and secure passwords for all your accounts while ensuring that you never forget any of them and can use them with just one click. No matter which password management service you are using, the point is that you should be using one. Most of these password managers provide their Safari extensions. The most prominent one that comes to mind is 1Password. Other such services include Secrets, LastPass, Valt, and more. Click on the links below to check them out.
In a world where we are bombarded with fake news, it's not easy to figure out what we are reading is true or not. Now some of that is our fault as we don't want spends a few seconds to verify the news before reacting to them. That being said, there is a service out there which lets us verify the news that we are reading. NewsGuard is a free Safari extension which adds red and green ratings and labels to websites to show us if they are trustworthy or not. NewsGuard has its team of journalists and analysts who do thorough research and give trust score to all the news websites. It's a tool that you should keep in your arsenal if you don't want to succumb to the onslaught of fake news.
Install Extension: Free
This extension is for your conscience. Smile Foundation is a charitable organization which works to enhance the condition of children all over the world. We all have donated to some charity from time to time but it's not a regular occurrence and not all of us can afford it. SmileAllDay is a simple extension for Safari which automatically converts Amazon shopping links to Smile's affiliate links. This way, for each purchase that you make, the organization earns something. This enables you to support a good cause without having to donate a dime. Every small bit helps and installing this one Safari extension will make a big difference. It's for a good cause.
9. Keep Everything
Keep Everything is a cool Safari extension which lets you save content from the internet in your Dropbox account so you can get to them later. You can save entire articles, parts of an article, data from other applications such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and more. You can save tweets, links to your favorite videos, articles, and more and organize them in place. The articles are saved offline so you can read them even when there is no internet connection. The service also offers an iOS app so which syncs using Dropbox so your data is accessible from all your devices. While the extension is free to download and use it also offers a premium version with extra features.
Top Safari Extensions Compatible with Safari 12
I will continue to update this article as more and more extensions are updated to support the new Safari 12 update. Right now, most of my favorite extensions are gone and these are the best ones that are worth using. Install them, use them, and let us know what you feel about the state of Safari extensions in 2019.We love to hear from our readers and your comments are always welcome.
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