How to merge multiple Safari windows (and why you should)


Person using a laptop

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It never ceases to amaze me how out of control the desktop version of Apple’s Safari can get when it comes to open windows. I’ll have one window open, and I’ll click on a link from Apple Mail, only to find it opens a new window. 

Even if I have Safari configured to open all links in the current window, sometimes it’ll behave and sometimes it won’t. The end result is that I can wind up with multiple Safari windows open and I then have to try and navigate between them.

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If this happens to you regularly, you’ll understand how frustrating it can be. And prior to stumbling onto a handy feature to help wrangle those windows, I was doing a lot of copying links, pasting those links into another window, and closing the extra Safari instance. That process is not remotely efficient — and I’m not a fan of inefficiency. 

Fortunately, there’s a built-in feature that makes it very easy to merge every Safari window you have open. The one caveat to be aware of is that the feature merges every single open Safari window. That means if you need to have two different windows open — such as one for writing and one for research — and you merge Safari windows, you’ll wind up with a single window. 

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If you have multiple Safari windows open (each with multiple tabs), you can always merge the windows, and then drag the tab you need to stand alone out of the lone window. There are always workarounds. 

I want to show you how easy it is to merge your Safari windows. No matter how many instances you have open when you complete this process, you’ll wind up with only one. Ready to merge?

How to merge Safari windows

What you’ll need: The only thing you’ll need for this process is an updated version of the Apple Safari browser on your desktop. I’ll demonstrate this on version 16.5.2. This feature has been around for quite some time, so you won’t have to have that exact version to merge your windows.

The Safari File menu.

In order to test this, you’ll have to open multiple Safari windows.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

It doesn’t matter which window has focus. Just make sure you click on one of the windows, so the Safari menu appears in the Menu Bar at the top of the screen. 

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Click Window > Merge All Windows. You should immediately have a single Safari window open, containing all of the tabs you had open across multiple windows.

The Safari Window menu.

Merging multiple windows in Safari is just a click away.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

As I mentioned previously, if there’s one particular tab in your now-merged window that needs to be separated, simply click and drag it out of the lone window and you’re good to go.

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Believe it or not, that’s all there is to merging your Safari windows on MacOS. I’ve used this feature quite regularly to prevent me from having too many instances of Safari open on my MacBook Pro.

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