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How to update Safari on iPhone and Mac

Modern web browsers all follow a rapid release cycles. Newer versions of the browser are released every month or every few months which means new features and UI changes come often. Safari goes against the grain. It does not update nearly as often as Chrome or Firefox. In fact, it only gets a handful of updates in year.

Update Safari on iPhone and Mac

Safari is an app in its own right and it stands to reason that updates to the browser can be delivered like they can for any other app. On paper, this is true but Apple doesn’t develop Safari that way. It also doesn’t release updates to it directly i.e. as a stand alone app. Safari updates are bundled with OS updates.

Update Safari on iPhone

You cannot update Safari from the App Store on iOS. If there is an update for the browser, even if it’s a small one, it will be delivered via an iOS update. This means, you need to check for and install pending iOS updates to update Safari on the iPhone.

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone. 
  2. Go to General>Software Update.
  3. Check for and install the available update.

Update Safari on Mac 

Much like iOS, Safari on macOS updates via an OS update.

  1. Open System Preferences on your Mac.
  2. Go to Software Update (first preference on the fourth row).
  3. Allow the app to check for updates. 
  4. Download and install the update.

Check for Safari updates

Apple normally does not include in the release notes if there is a Safari update. If your device is getting a major OS update e.g., iOS 14 to iOS 15, Safari will definitely get an update. If it’s a smaller update, you should check the link attached to the update message. This will tell you the type of update you’re getting e.g. a feature update or a security patch, and it will tell you if it includes a Safari update or not.


Apple does not force OS updates. On both iOS and macOS, users have to check for, download, and install updates via the Settings or System Preferences app. That said, these updates are often critical, especially if they are security updates. You should always try and keep your devices, Apple or otherwise, up to date. Updated software is secure software and Macs are prone to malware like any other computer. They may offer better security but better security doesn’t necessarily mean immunity from attacks. 


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