Being the default browser on all Apple devices, Safari comes with its own set of perks and caveats.
Since it is deeply integrated into the OS, it is perhaps the most efficiently optimized browser for your Mac and iPhone/iPad. All the features and customizations that you could try out onto your device would be totally in sync with the Apple ecosystem.
But that is just one side of the coin. There are quite a few drawbacks attached with the Safari browser being treated as a system app.
The inability to update the Safari browser without updating the OS is pecking. Upgrading the OS to update a browser doesn’t translate to the best-case scenarios for various users.
Likewise, setups used for development or testing purposes don’t require frequent updates as they would then have to restructure their code designs at regular intervals.
And yes, the fact that you would have to exhaust your GBs of data (for macOS) at a time when you could have done away with a few MBs downloading just Safari browser might also be a cause of concern for some users.
So all this begs an important question- how could you update the Safari browser without upgrading the OS?
Upgrade Safari without OS update
From time to time, Apple does release a standalone update to its browser that isn’t linked with the OS upgrade. For example, last year around this time, the Safari 14 was slated to arrive with macOS Big Sur. The feature list was stacked with 4K HDR video support, a built-in translator, and better tracking protection.
Even though the macOS Big Sur wasn’t released then, Apple went out of the way and released this new iteration of the browser build for the macOS Catalina and Mojave users. As a result, users could get hold of most of these new features without updating their OS.
So how could you verify whether the Cupertino giants have released a standalone update to their browser? And if there’s such an update, then how to install it onto your PC?
Here are the steps to update Safari browser without upgrading OS:
- Open System Preferences… under Apple menu.
It will open the System Preferences window.
- Select the Software Update program from the list.
It will open the Software Update window and start checking for updates.
- Click on the More info… link.
- Select the checkbox for the Safari browser.
Make sure to disable other OS upgrades checkboxes.
- Hit on the command button.
The Safari download will begin and automatically finish update installation.
That’s it. Mac will now install the latest update for your Safari browser without upgrading OS, and you can enjoy all the new goodies that it has to offer.
Note: Deferring the Operating System upgrades is not recommended as it involves security and bug fixes. Especially the sub-version of the currently running OS.
Bottom Line: Update Safari without MacOS
We round off the guide on how to update Safari without upgrading the OS on the computer.
As you might have noticed, it is still solely in the hands of Apple as and when (and more importantly if) they plan on taking this approach of releasing a standalone browser update rather than a part of the system update. Something available in the App Store app for ease of download.
Since there are so many complexities involved in updating this browser, many users prefer to take an alternate route and install a Safari alternative browser such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Doing so gives them complete control over the browser without even the need to interact with the OS. What are your views on the same?
Are you willing to make a switch to a different web browser? Or would Safari still be your go-to choice for its decent performance and handy cross-device support in the Apple ecosystem?