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Add favicons to Safari 8 (and 9) tabs

Update (September 11, 2015): Well, fall is here, 10.11 El Capitan is about to be released, and the guys behind SIMBL just found a way to make the plugins you love work in the new OS. I won’t go into details, because the method is not really for the faint hearted, but you can read about all of it here. Once you installed SIMBL the steps to enable SafariStand and tab favicons is the same. The latest version is tested and reportedly works with Safari 9.

Update (July 1, 2015): Let’s start with the bad news: EasySIMBL is dead since Mac OS X 10.10.4 (Safari 8.0.7), but the original SIMBL still works… for now, as reports say that in 10.11 El Capitan it will break too, but leave that problem for the fall. Let’s see what we have to do now:

If you don’t have EasySIMBL installed yet:

  1. Download and install SIMBL-0.9.9 (not code signed, so choose Open from the context menu)
  2. Download and extract SafariStand
  3. Put the SafariStand.bundle file to ~/Library/Application\ Support/SIMBL/Plugins (you can reach the ~/Library/ folder from Terminal, or by pressing Option in Finder’s Go menu)
  4. Go to step 4 of the original post from here…

Screenshot 2015-07-01 11.47.14

If you have EasySIMBL installed, icon-githubhetima created a transition guide to SIMBL for you, which has some extra steps on how to remove EasySIMBL in addition to the steps above.

Update (June 20, 2015): SafariStand was updated to 8.0.213 which works with Safari 8.0.7

Update (May 17, 2015): SafariStand was updated to 8.0.210 and now has a convenient self update feature.


My greatest pain with Safari was always that it’s a very good browser, but has some dumb UI decisions. Like not having favicons on the tabs. I even bragged about this… then something came to my mind. What if there is a solution for this on the Internet? Well, what do you know, there is one!

Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.51.24

My searching initially led me to Glims, which was a great tool, but it’s not working since Yosemite. You shouldn’t even bother trying it, it breaks Safari tabs. Then in the comments of Glims on MacUpdate I found a reddit post, which describes another solution:

  1. You need to install EasySIMBL, which is an extension (bundle) manager for Mac OS X apps.
  2. Move it to your Applications folder and, open it and check Use SIMBL
  3. Download SafariStand, extract it, and drag the .bundle file into the EasySIMBL app.Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.48.03
  4. After restarting Safari, you will see the Stand menu item next to Help, open SafariStand Settings…Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.49.10
  5. Check Show Icon on Tab Bar, and voilá! 😀

48 Comments

  1. Kamilah
    Kamilah December 30, 2014

    Thanks!!

  2. Hans
    Hans February 9, 2015

    Thanks. Works great !

  3. Patty
    Patty February 13, 2015

    Thanks so much…you’re awesome!

  4. Michael Fultz
    Michael Fultz March 6, 2015

    FINALLY, we can use Safari for work again. GET IT TOGETHER APPLE!

  5. Kultusminister
    Kultusminister March 24, 2015

    Sorry Dude, but that does NOT work. I did exactly as you said, but after restarting Safari there was no Stand menu, hence no settings and consequently no Favicons. 🙁

    ___________________________
    Yosemite 10.10.2 with Safari 8.0.4

    • aorcsik
      aorcsik March 24, 2015

      Just verified on Yosemite 10.10.3 (Beta) with Safari 8.0.5, that it’s still working. I didn’t see the Stand menu first either, but the problem was that I forgot to check the Use SIMBL checkbox in EasySIMBL.

  6. Kultusminister
    Kultusminister March 24, 2015

    Hi Antal and thx for your reply. I didn’t forget the checkbox. As i said i slavishly repeated the steps from your description. And you even provided screenshots, so this is rather idiot proof. Still no Stand menu whatsoever…

    • aorcsik
      aorcsik March 24, 2015

      Sad to hear that. I hope you figure out why it’s not working. A few notes: the Stand menu appears on the menu bar next to Help to the right, and a little later than the app starts. So for a few seconds it’s not visible. Also if you have many menu bar icons, Mac OS hides the menu items from the right to make space for the icons.

  7. Kultusminister
    Kultusminister March 27, 2015

    Hi Antal. Me again. With good news: It’s working now. Finally the Stand Menu showed up. I guess for some of us it’s necessary to reboot the whole system to achieve this effect. Thx again for your blog and your replies.

    • aorcsik
      aorcsik March 27, 2015

      I’m happy to hear that it works, thanks for reporting back 🙂

  8. Fred
    Fred May 15, 2015

    Got it working 🙂

  9. Marco
    Marco May 22, 2015

    Worked without a hitch on Safari 8.06. This is so wonderful – thank you!

  10. jenderle7
    jenderle7 June 19, 2015

    Doesn’t seem to work in Safari 8.0.7.

      • I also can’t get it to work. It’s all properly installed and everything. 8.0.213 is in the proper SIMBL folder. EasySIMBL confirms it. And it’s turned on. But Safari 8.0.7 will not load it. What could Apple possibly change in a tiny point update (10.10.3 –> 10.10.4) that could break such a small thing? I even reinstalled both SafariStand and EasySIMBL.

      • It fills my console with the following error over and over if that helps:
        6/21/15 1:21:23.523 AM com.github.norio-nomura.SIMBL-Agent[1072]: #EasySIMBL checking bundle /Users/MYNAMEHERE/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/SafariStand.bundle

      • aorcsik
        aorcsik June 21, 2015

        With the latest Public Beta it doesn’t work for me either. SafariStand site says they support 8.0.6, so I guess the fix is on the way.

      • aorcsik
        aorcsik July 1, 2015

        So, it turns out that 10.10.4 broke EasySIMBL, but there is a solution for now. I updated the post.

  11. Hermann Vogtenhuber
    Hermann Vogtenhuber July 1, 2015

    Great work!
    Is there a possibility to get the icons in the reading list too?
    Or did I miss something?

    • aorcsik
      aorcsik July 1, 2015

      I don’t think there’s an option for that right now in SafariStand.

  12. Sal
    Sal July 3, 2015

    Not working for me 🙁 The SafariStand is not showing up next to Help.

  13. Sal
    Sal July 3, 2015

    Update: I installed the the old old SIMBL by mistake. Now it works – thanks for the article!

    Let’s hope they can come up with something so I can see the Favicons on my favourites toolbar too.

  14. Marco
    Marco July 3, 2015

    Thank you!

  15. reva
    reva August 17, 2015

    Hi, I performed the above steps, but for some reason, safari stand is only installed as the previous version 6.0.200. So there are no options to enable favicon. I’ve tried multiple times to reinstall with the up to date version in the link you’ve provided and I’ve copied over the Library bundle file. Bizarre. I just updated to Yosemite today. Could this be b/c my Safari version is the newest version 8.0.8? THANKS!

  16. Guillermo M.P.
    Guillermo M.P. August 23, 2015

    Gracias Amigo !!!

    Safari 8.0.8 y OS X 10.5.5

  17. Just wanted to point out that SIMBL gets installed in /Library/Application Support/SIMBL and not ~/Library/

    Thanks !

  18. aorcsik
    aorcsik September 11, 2015

    Usually it depends on whether you are installing it just for the actual user (~/Library/) or everyone (/Library/).

  19. Raft of the Medusa
    Raft of the Medusa October 3, 2015

    I have Glims running on Safari 8.0.8 with Yosemite 10.10.5. Everything works apart from the one thing I want most from it, ‘Add Bookmark Here’ in the Favorites bar drop down. I’ve never been particularly bothered about favicons on tabs but they are working.

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CQZOsGSWoAEFror.jpg

    Also, having sensibly sized tabs is a feature of Glims which I like – some of Safari’s appearance and behaviour seems to be driven by a childish, ‘look what I can do!’ rather than any consideration of how users might interact with it. Anybody who still knows what a URL is and may be so impudent as to want to see the full URL or even edit it may get weary of its centred text suddenly bouncing to the left as soon as one clicks on it. What is the point of centre justifying a URL in the first place?

    Anyway, as far as getting Glims to work, I don’t think I did anything more remarkable than refusing to accept that Glims and SIMBL were incompatible whenever my Mac informed me that they were and reinstalled them after they had been moved to the ‘Incompatible Software’ folder and installing the latest version of Glims which is 1.0.43 not 1.0.42 which is on the main maghangout.com site, I got it from here:

    http://wiki.machangout.com/node/126/revisions/690/view

  20. JD
    JD October 12, 2015

    Doesn’t appear to be working in Safari 9 on El Capitan. Can someone confirm that they’re gotten favicon tabs working in Safari 9?

  21. Herbert Reininger
    Herbert Reininger October 16, 2015

    Thanks @aorcsik.

    For a moment I thought I could do this too. But, alas, I’m a creative director, not a code wizard or an experienced programmer.

    Following your instructions I got close though, until I got stuck at the Terminal stage when none of my passwords would work. It was scary for me to work in Terminal to begin with, and I finally gave up and manually removed all the SIMBL and SafariStand files installed so far.

    I am absolutely determined that I will switch to another browser if I can’t get favicons on Safari tabs back, it just takes way too much time to tediously scroll back and forth through the tabs bar, looking for the tab I need.

    So Apple un-like where everything should just work.

  22. Roberto
    Roberto October 19, 2015

    Hey man, I always followed your guide and updates and I love SafariStand. I’m on Yosemite and after upgrading to Safari 9 having SafariStand 8.x installed obviously encountered the known troubles. I read your Sep. comment and the linked guide, but I found out that the latest SafariStand version available at http://hetima.com/safaristand/, i.e. 9.0.217, just WORKS OUT OF THE BOX.

    In fact, after I:

    – Removed the old SafariStand 8 from ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/
    – Restarted Safari (and verified SafariStand is not there anymore)
    – Copied the new SafariStand 9.0217 .bundle into ~/Library/Application Support/SIMBL/Plugins/
    – Restarted Safari

    I got SafariStand 9 perfectly working and my beloved favicons back just right away.

    Hope this will help.

    Regards,
    Roberto

  23. Sergey
    Sergey October 28, 2015

    Hello! Thank you for your work!
    A got icons in the tabs, but “Suppress Tab Bar Width” doesn’t work for me. Safari 9.0.1, OS 10.10.5

  24. Neil Monroe (@arcadian)
    Neil Monroe (@arcadian) November 20, 2015

    It initially did not work for me. But if you follow the instructions to install SIMBL in the September 11, 2015 update on this article, then you will see the Stand menu in Safari 9.

    You must do this step under El Capitan (install SIMBL with SIP disabled.)

  25. Neil Monroe (@arcadian)
    Neil Monroe (@arcadian) December 16, 2015

    Additional note: After updating to OS X 10.11.2 the icons did not show again. All I had to do to get them back was:

    – Shut down Safari
    – Open the EasySIMBL app, uncheck “Use SIMBL” and “Safari Stand” from the plugin list
    – Close EasySIMBL (may not be needed)
    – Open EasySIMBL and re-enable the two options listed above

    Upon restarting Safari, the tab icons were back.

  26. Sam
    Sam January 21, 2016

    Where can Install this? Need a little of help

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