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How to delete Safari from Mac & other iOS devices

Aug 10, 2017 · 5 min read

How to delete Safari from Mac & other iOS devices

If you own an Apple device, you may have noticed that Safari is installed in it as the default browser. And while many Internet users find Safari pretty safe and user-friendly, some still choose to remove it from their devices and switch to a preferred alternative.

Now if you ever tried removing Safari from your Apple device, you may agree that it is a little bit more tricky than it seems. Here’s why and what you can do about that.

All those apps you’ll never use

When you turn your brand-new iPhone, iPad, or Mac for the first time, you find a bunch of pre-installed apps that are supposed to be helpful. And some of them (e.g., Camera, Clock, Calendar) actually are. But, to be honest – how many of you often open Stocks, Wallet or Watch if you don’t even own an Apple watch? Or, how often do you use PhotoBooth and play Chess on your Mac? The same goes for the Safari browser – it’s there by default, but it doesn’t mean you want to use it for your everyday internet surfing.

So what you do with all those applications you know you will never use? The answer is simple as that – you delete them! But if you already have tried to tap and hold Safari’s icon as you normally do when you want to delete a certain app from your device, you may have noticed that the app won’t jiggle or wiggle and is impossible to delete. At this point, many users lose their patience and simply move the app to a separate folder (named “Other”, “Stuff”, “Junk”, etc.) together with other built-in apps they don’t need.

A similar thing happens when you attempt to delete the Safari application from your Mac by dragging its icon to Trash. Instead of getting rid of Safari, you get a message saying “Safari can’t be modified or deleted because it’s required by macOS.”

The good news is that Apple now allows deleting most of its native apps. Bad news – Safari is among those few that you cannot remove. Good news again – you can still turn it off and hide the browser you don’t need from your home screen. Below you will find a step-by-step guide how to do that.

How to remove Safari from iPhone or iPad

As previously noted, you cannot delete Safari from your device because it is deeply integrated into iOS, but you can easily remove it from your home screen. However, it should be pointed out that removing the icon doesn’t mean you delete the actual contents, e.g., your browsing data, logins, etc. So before deleting Safari, you may also want to do some clean-up.

Erase your browsing history and data

Follow these steps to delete all your browsing history, cookies, and other Safari-related information:

1. From your main screen, choose “Settings” and then tap “Safari”.Find Safari in the Settings tab

2. Scroll down and click on “Clear History and Website Data”.Clear your history and website data

3. Once again, tap “Clear History and Website Data” to confirm your choice.Confirm your choice

Disable Safari

Now that all your searches, logins and other browsing data are gone for good, let’s move further to turn Safari off. To do this:

1. Go back to your “Settings” and tap “General”.Select General in the Settings tab

2. Click to enable “Restrictions”.Select the Restrictions tab

3. After entering your four-digit passcode, you will see a list of all active restrictions. Left-slide Safari and that’s it – the browser is no longer active.Select Safari to disable it

Once you are finished with this procedure, you will no longer see the Safari icon on your home screen and won’t be able to use it. But if you ever change your mind, you can bring it back anytime by going to Settings->General->Restrictions.

How to uninstall Safari on Mac

It is more complicated to remove Safari from Mac than from your iPhone. So why can’t you simply drag the Safari icon to Trash and forget about it? It is all because of the System Integrity Protection (SIP), a security feature Apple has implemented to ensure the viability of its operating system. Safari is one of those embedded applications that can’t be modified or removed – this is how Apple prevents inexperienced users from accidentally breaking the OS.

If you really, REALLY want to remove Safari from Mac, there actually is a way to make it happen. It can be done by disabling System Integrity Protection through Terminal or by using third-party apps, the so-called ‘Mac cleaners.’ However, if you’re not a computer whizz and making modifications via Terminal is somewhat out of your comfort zone, don’t do it.

Remember that removing embedded applications puts you at risk of damaging the operating system, and your Mac may end up functioning not the way it used to. So ask yourself whether those few megabytes of saved space are worth it. Maybe simply removing Safari from the Dock and replacing it with another browser is enough?

One final note: keep it or delete it?

If you are satisfied with this browser and are not sure whether to delete it or not, the answer is: don’t. Safari has long been one of the most popular browsers for a good reason. It does what a browser is supposed to do, including the ability to surf in private mode, ask websites not to track you, and even block some annoying advertisements. Some may say it’s a little boring, but honestly – do you really expect a browser to be exciting?

However, if you are up for some changes and looking for secure browser alternatives, here’s a few worth trying:

  1. Brave – this free, lightweight and open-source browser automatically blocks intrusive and malicious ads, cookies, tracking pixels and redirects sites to HTTPS.
  2. Onion Browser directs and encrypts your web traffic through the Tor network (anonymity network), giving you maximum privacy and security while browsing.
  3. Endless Browser – one more reliable browser to the list. Like Brave, it includes HTTPS Everywhere, blocks weak SSL/TLS encryption ciphers, pop-up ads and cookies.

And last but not least – whichever tool you may choose, a reliable VPN service is a must. It hides your IP address and encrypts all your internet traffic with strong protocols so that you can be sure – your private data stays private no matter what.

Happy secure browsing!

Lewis Lambert Fox
Lewis Lambert Fox successVerified author

Lewis is a content writer at NordVPN and a true explorer when it comes to cybersecurity. He’s always on a mission to examine the tech world through the lens of privacy and share his findings and useful tips with blog readers.

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