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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

With the macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 release candidates that were seeded to developers today, Apple has eliminated the option to use the Color Tab Bar with the separate tab design in Safari.

A tab bar with color in Safari 15

If you want to have a color tab bar that blends in with the background color of a website, you need to toggle on the Compact Tab Bar, which is the tab bar design that Apple introduced with macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15 updates. "Show Color in Compact Tab Bar" is an option that can be enabled in both iPadOS 15.1 and macOS Monterey.

On the iPad, the option is available in the Safari section of the Settings app. Scroll down to the bottom to find it and toggle it on, and then the color tab interface will show up when the iPad is using the Compact Tab Bar.

On the Mac, the Show Color in Compact Tab Bar option can be toggled on in the Safari preferences under Advanced and then Accessibility.

Apple today updated macOS Monterey to change the tabs back to the original tab design, essentially undoing many of the design changes that were introduced in Safari with the initial release of the Monterey beta. As of now, the standard Big Sur design is the default, and the Compact Tab Bar is an optional change that can be toggled on.

It is not surprising that Apple has made this change as the color tab bar interface was designed for the new look in Monterey and not the older Big Sur design that Apple has now reverted to.

Article Link: macOS Monterey and iPadOS 15.1 Release Candidates Limit Safari Color Tab Bar Option to Compact View


macrumors 603
Jun 20, 2003
Brisbane, Australia
Honestly, Apple software development teams are run by clueless people. It's sad to see.
They really thought they had an improved design with the compact view. And it does make sense to free up real estate on smaller screens. It was when they tried to unspool it and backtrack into a traditional tab design it fell apart – especially since they lost faith in the compact design as the default. This is the best of both worlds - a functional design as default with the compact design for people who prefer it (and there's quite a few).


macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2010
This whole safari thing feels like APPLE is so damned determined to ”innovate” that they’re making changes in the long shot hopes it will be viewed as another groundbreaking change ... when in fact, it’s just a stupid change for changes sake.
Please Apple, innovations will come, and you’ll recognize them when you see them. But for gods sake quit trying to FORCE IT and just do dumb ****.


macrumors 6502
May 14, 2002
THANK YOU. I hope this also fixes the random white address bar with white text that has plagued me since moving to 15.


macrumors G5
May 16, 2015
Apple takes out their tinfoil hats and venturing out in the wild for once. Not bad for a $3T company.


macrumors 68000
Sep 20, 2014
Watching almost every single Safari change get thrown out the window has been an amusing example of Apple thinking it knows better than it’s own users but thankfully realizing (in this instance at least) that it does not.
Hope they keep this in mind the next time any design team decides to go with Change For the Sake of Change strategy.


macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2003
Well damn. I really like the colored tab bar, but really don’t like the compact view. While the new tab design had issues, the tabs adopting the background color of the webpage was not one of them.

Hopefully in another update, Apple will re-add the background color to the more traditional style of tabs.
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macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
Damn, I kind of liked the colour tab bar with the standard tab layout. I wonder what the purpose of limiting that toggle is to the compact layout? If you don’t like it, toggle it off?
It will look weird trying to tint the old tab style.


macrumors 604
Jun 24, 2010
but thankfully realizing (in this instance at least) that it does not.
I don't mind they tried a new thing and it's great that Apple now show they can listen. They look more mature, much better than the old one who took 4 years to realize the catastrophe of butterfly keyboard.
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macrumors newbie
Oct 18, 2021
The new design is so much better than the old for many reasons. People just can’t handle change. If only they’d stop listening to loud minorities and have some courage, they could actually innovate again.
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macrumors 68030
Oct 23, 2006
On the Mac, the Show Color in Compact Tab Bar option can be toggled on in the Safari preferences under Advanced and then Accessibility.
How the hell is this an "Accessibility" option? Did they roll some dice before deciding where to put this setting?
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