Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When you first open Safari and only have one page (one tab), the tab bar is not shown. When you open your second tab (e.g. by center-clicking a link to open it in a new tab), the tab bar then appears, which makes the content of the original page jump down a bit.

I expected to find an "Always show the tab bar" checkbox in Preferences, but apparently not. (Safari 5.1)

Is there a way to force the tab bar to always appear, even if there's only one tab open?

share|improve this question
Post the answer yourself now anyway, I was part way through describing it before I saw your comment. It will prevent duplicate answers etc. – stuffe Nov 1 '11 at 12:05
@stuffe "self-answering timeout" means he can't post an answer to his own question earlier. – koiyu Nov 1 '11 at 12:40
Ah, thanks for clearing that up, sorry for duff comment :) – stuffe Nov 1 '11 at 13:50
up vote 15 down vote accepted

As it turns out, you do this through the "View" menu, rather than through "Preferences":

  1. Close all tabs but one, so you only have one tab open
  2. In the "View" menu, click "Show Tab Bar" which will make the tab bar appear
  3. This preference will stick, even if you close and reopen Safari

Simple, but not what I expected!

share|improve this answer
What makes this worse is the fact that the keyboard shortcut for it is CTRL-Shift-T, which in other browsers reopens the last closed tab... – Phong Apr 11 '12 at 17:00
thank you bjnord. I really wanted to show the tabs bar. – user59188 Oct 9 '13 at 22:10

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.