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How to view full URL in Safari on macOS

Safari is very different from both Chrome and  Firefox in terms of UI. It certainly has features that these other browsers do not but over the years, it hasn’t switched over to a minimal UI like Firefox has. You will find that, as far as UI is concerned, the browser still has its own unique look. One major difference is that by default, Safari doesn’t display the full URL. It only displays the domain. If you want to view the full URL in Safari, you can do so by changing a setting.

View full URL in Safari

Open Safari and go to Safari>Preferences from the menu bar. On the Preferences window, go to the Advanced tab. You will see an option at the top called ‘Smart Search Field’. Enable the ‘Show full website address’ option and you will get full URLs in Safari for all websites.

In many cases, the domain of a website is really all you need to know about a link once you have it open however, if you have lot of pages from the same website open, the full URL might be more useful.

Safari’s URL bar, by design, isn’t meant to show you the complete URL. When you change this setting in Safari, it doesn’t change the size of the URL bar. This means that if the URL is too long to fit, it will nevertheless be cut off.

If you’re wondering how many characters the URL bar can show, it’s 60. This includes the “www” at the start of the domain however, it does not include HTTPS or HTTP at the start. Other browsers skip the ‘www’ part but show HTTP/HTTP in the URL bar however, since they aren’t limited by the length of the URL bar, it really doesn’t matter.

Safari doesn’t let users customize the UI. There used to be a way, on older versions of the browser/macOS, where the address bar could be enlarged/made bigger by clicking and dragging. That option was removed in Sierra which was released a few years ago. The option never returned so, in Mojave, you have to work with the URL bar that you have. It’s also highly unlikely that there is an extension out there that can change this. Even clicking inside the URL bar won’t reveal all of it however, it does auto-select the complete URL and if you use the Command+C shortcut, you can copy all of it.

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