I know how to enable WebGL in Safari (8.0.7) for OS X (10.10.4) and I am able to visualize and interact with WebGL based content, however I'm concerned that it is disabled by default, given that the browser can actually support it.

Is there a reason (perhaps stability, or security) that WebGL is disabled by default in Safari?

  • Guessing Apple's motivations is a bit like reading tea leaves. A practical question would be how to enable it by default, how to lobby (bug report) Apple to correct this, or how to work around the existing limitation. Gathering opinions as to why isn't the best fit for us here (or Stack Exchange in general). – bmike Dec 24 '13 at 20:43
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    @bmike: What makes this an opinion based question? There might be a reason and it's reasonable to ask for one. – orome Jul 4 '15 at 0:25
  • @raxacoricofallapatorius It's asking why apple did X. Instead edit this to describe the problem and what's been done so far to solve it. I will update the close reason. Thanks for the ping! – bmike Jul 4 '15 at 1:23
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    @bmike: Edited to focus on why one might want to leave it disabled (rather than Apple's motivations). – orome Jul 4 '15 at 1:28
  • @raxacoricofallapatorius Thanks for the care and feeding. Let's see where it goes. Thanks again! (perhaps it will need an edit to explain how to enable web GL - that would be informative for the curious. Perhaps it's another question entirely :-) – bmike Jul 4 '15 at 1:39

If you're really scared, yes. WebGL allows web developers to code shaders which run unprotected in the GPU. This can cause many security issues because there aren't really any antiviruses to protect against GPU infections.

The risks aren't too great because there are organizations such as Google and Khronos working on making it much safer. These organizations are really quick in creating patches and fixes for issues and flaws.

I'm really not sure about how unsafe WebGL is in Safari, however, because it's based off of Webkit, I'm quite sure it's pretty similar to Chrome.


In 2017, researchers created a proof-of-concept showing that WebGL can be used to fingerprint your machine with high accuracy, even across multiple browsers.[1] So you might want to leave it disabled for privacy reasons.

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