Pinned tabs are very useful feature in Safari and I'm using it all the time.
But, I'm having some experience problem with it.
When I pin several tabs from the same domain but different subdomains, I'm getting the first letter as the icon of this pinned tab to be exactly the same. Then it takes me a while to find the tab I was looking for by switching through them one by one.

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Is it possible to manually change the icon for these tabs or at least make it to use the first letter of the subdomain instead of the domain name, so it will be much faster accessible?

3 Answers 3


Not a fix, but a workaround...

It sounds like you really need sub-menus rather than pins.
Pinning a couple of dozen pages really doesn't feel very efficient, vs using the Favourites bar - toggled on/off from the View menu or Shift ⇧ Cmd ⌘ B

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With either single-click, or drop-menus -
The first item [to the left of Stack Exchange, blurred] with a small square rather than down arrow will open an entire set of bookmarks at one click.

The others each have drop menus, including sub-folders, each for a specific set of pages across several subjects. They can also all be opened at a single stroke if you right click.

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I think once you've got more pins than you can easily differentiate, this might be a better idea.

  • 1
    I'm already using favorites menus, but I cannot save sessions in such way. I am mainly using these tabs to pass data between them while I'm working. Favorites, are just links that actually open the page the same way as clicking on a regular link. This workaround doesn't help me. But thanks for the help though. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 17:38

There is another workaround: Add the webpage of your pinned tab to your bookmarks. The pinned tab will then show the first letter of your bookmark title. So this way you can at least make sure that all your pinned tabs have different letters, which might already be sufficient :D

  • This would be a good enough workaround for me, but it doesn't work. I bookmarked a site with a custom title that has a different first letter than the domain. I open then bookmark and then pin the tab. The pinned tab still shows the first letter of the domain, not the bookmark title. Am I doing something wrong or has Safaris behavior changed in the meantime (I'm using Safari 11.0.1 at the time of writing this). Commented Dec 5, 2017 at 11:16

The Icons you see are coming from the web server. If Safari does not find a favicon then it makes one up using, you guessed it, the first letter of the domain.

On the very off chance that you have access to the web server you can upload a unique favicon to each subdomain. Otherwise the answer that Tetsujin has provided (using submenus in the favorites bar) may be the closest you are going to come.

  • I don't have access to the web server, more than that, it appears that they are not receiving webpage icon, it just simply a first letter of the domain with a different color. Favorites doesn't help me, as commented in @Tetsujin's answer. Commented Sep 13, 2016 at 17:41
  • For better of for worse, websites have to provide a specific favicon for Safari pinned tabs, in a specific SVG format. Not surprisingly, most websites probably don't even know they have to do this, and most of those probably wouldn't bother even if they did, so we're probably going to be dealing with the default letter icons for a while.
    – calum_b
    Commented Jan 27, 2017 at 17:46

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