How to Enable and Disable Favicons in macOS Catalina

With macOS Mojave, Apple has added support for favicons (short for “favorite icons”) in Safari tabs. Favicons are those little icons that let you quickly identify which of your open tabs is which website.

A favicon is a file containing one or more small icons, associated with a particular website. Designers of a web page can create such an icon and upload it to a website, then graphical web browsers can make use of it. 

Scxreenshot of a ton of favicaons

How? Browsers that provide favicon support typically display a page’s favicon in the browser’s address bar and next to the page’s name in a list of bookmarks. Browsers that support a tabbed document interface usually show a page’s favicon next to the page’s title on the tab, while site-specific browsers use the favicon as a desktop icon. Safari is a graphical browser.

To enable favicons in Safari in macOS Catalina, go to Safari > Preferences.

Click the Tabs tab at the top. 

Select “Show website icons in tabs.”

Safari preferences

Exit the Preferences window and you’ll see website favicons in Safari’s individual tabs. 

No restart is needed — well, normally, anyway. If you aren’t seeing favicons, close and restart Safari.

If you decide you don’t like favicons in Safari, you can hide them again. To disable them:

Go to Safari > Preferences.

Click the Tabs tab at the top. 

Select Show website icons in tabs. 

Uncheck the switch for “Show website icons in tabs.”

Safari preferences

Close the Safari Preferences.

The favicons should have vanished.

By the way, disabled favicons are the default setting on macOS Safari.


  • And if you have a web site that you want to display your favorite icon add code like this to your section:

    Of course your favorite icon file has to be named correctly and be where you say it is. :)