Safari 15.1 beta brings back classic tab design for macOS Big Sur and Catalina

With the release of macOS Monterey RC on Monday, Apple made another big update to Safari. This time, the company finally reverted Safari’s tabs back to the classic design when the user chooses the “Split” option. The same changes are now available in Safari 15.1 beta for macOS Big Sur and Catalina.

Safari update 15 was first announced with macOS Monterey at WWDC and made some pretty controversial changes, as it unifies the tab menu with the address bar. After several complaints, Apple added an option to separate tabs from the address bar, but that option was still different from how tabs worked in previous versions of Safari.

Now Apple is finally reverting this option back to the same classic tab design found in Safari 14 and earlier. The update was first rolled out in the RC version of macOS Monterey and is now available as a standalone beta for macOS Big Sur and Monterey users, who can also upgrade to Safari 15.

It should be noted that if you choose the “Compact” option in Safari settings, you will still get the new unified Safari interface introduced in WWDC 2021. Today’s change only applies to the “Separated” option. A similar change was made to the RC version of iPadOS 15.1, which was also released earlier this week.

Safari 15.1 beta is available for download on the Apple Developer Website. A public version for all users is expected next week with the official release of macOS Monterey. Keep in mind that unlike Safari Technology Preview, Safari Beta will replace the major version of the app on your Mac.

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Steven L. Nielsen

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