Step by step checklist for debugging websites using the Safari developer Toolbar

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Written By Charlotte Miller

Macbooks, iPads, and iPhones have Safari as the default browser. After chrome and edge, Safari stands out as the third preferred browser after. It is way unique from chrome and firefox as it has more than 250 features which give so many benefits to the users such as storing the bookmarks or browsing history with usernames and passwords in the iCloud keychain which makes it easy to log in and will link your browsing with all the devices of apple linked with your iCloud account. The iPhone has occupied 53.6% of the market share in the popularity of global smartphones which gives an immense market for Safari. Safari has 9.56% of the market share. Apple has got an increase of 1.5 billion and it keeps rising, as Apple offers the best user experience which optimizes the performance of all devices. There is such a huge popularity of Apple devices which has helped Safari gain a better user base. Safari offers a smooth experience for browsing out of all the versions of browsers. 

When you launch a website, debugging it becomes difficult after finding a bug. Hence, it becomes highly important to debug websites for Safari before launching. Here we will look for tools to debug websites in Safari. 

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Why Debug Websites on Safari: 

Safari is one of the most popular browsers that was released along with Mac OS X Panther in 2003. A mobile version of Safari is used on all Apple devices as a default browser. Apple keeps updating its version and the features & screen resolutions are also improved with every version. In case the websites are debugged on Safari before launch, the users can jump onto the windows that quickly take them to the services and products.

It is important for web developers to maintain cross-browser compatibility by validating the appearance of different sizes of screens. This will help in identifying the screen size that is more preferred by users. It is also extremely important to understand the interoperability of Safari with the device’s hardware specifications. 

Safari browser is in high business demand and is expected to have minimum website bugs. It is seen that the functionality and the operating system of the device are more superficial than that of the Android devices.

Different methods to debug websites using Safari tools: 

Get any iOS or macOS device to debug the website using the Safari developer tools. Here you will be exploring four techniques to debug the website: 

  1. Remote debugging on OS X for iOS Safari.
  2. Debug websites on Safari on iPads and iPhones using web inspector.
  3. Debug in Safari developer tools using responsive design mode.
  4. Debug websites on the LambdaTest platform using Safari developer tools.

Now we will discuss each one in detail: 

Debug in Safari developer tools using responsive design mode: 

We will see how the mobile view of a website can be debugged using Safari developer tools. To access the responsive design you first need to enable the developer menu as it is by default disabled in Safari. 

  1. Once you have launched the (browser) Safari, select Preferences > Advanced.
  2. Now check the box and in the menu bar click on the show develop menu. 

Here is the step by step process to view the mobile version of the website with the help of Safari developer tools: 

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Now open the URL.
  3. From the menu bar go to Develop > Enter responsive design mode.
  4. By selecting the Apple mobile device you can view the required website. 
  5. Web inspector is the main key if you want to debug some particular issue which is related to some specific screen size, viewports, etc. It can be found by developers in the development view and then they can inspect specific elements by using the element selector after they have activated the inspector. 

Debug websites on Safari on iPads and iPhones using a web inspector

Here you will see how on iPads, and iPhones you can easily debug the websites on Safari using the web inspector. 

Here is how you have to proceed: 

  1. First connect your iPhone, or iPad to the machine.
  2. Go to Settings > Safari > advanced and then you have to enable the toggle button on the web inspector. 

On your Safari browser, you can view the required web page on the mobile or you can use Safari developer tools to start debugging. 

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Remote debugging on OS X for iOS Safari

iOS remote debugging Safari on OS X might be difficult to use. But it’s not as difficult as you may assume. To begin, download and install the Safari browser on your computer.

1) Connect an iPhone to a Mac computer with the help of a USB.

2) Enable Web Inspector on your device by going to Settings>Safari>Advanced and switching the Web Inspector toggle on.

3) After successfully enabling Web Inspector, do the same with the develop menu by selecting Safari>Preferences>Advanced and check the box in the menu bar. Don’t do anything if it’s already enabled by default.

4) Ensure that your devices are plugged into your computer before opening your desired web page. Select Develop->iOS device name and select the page you wish to debug.

5) Now, you can view and update DOM(Document Object Model) and have access to the javascript console and some other features and options.

Debug websites on the LambdaTest platform using Safari developer tools

Cross-browser testing platforms like LambdaTest provide Safari Developer Tools, which allow users to debug websites on iOS simulators in real-time. It also allows developers and testers to test the Safari browser online using various real-world Safari browser versions and operating systems. They can easily inspect and debug any JavaScript, CSS, or HTML online applications or websites, as well as test their sites using developer tools on several iOS devices.

Why debug using LambdaTest for the Safari browser? 

LambdaTest has a flock of nearly more than 3000 real operating systems and browsers to perform browser testing as well as web application testing. To identify the compatibility issue of the browser, you can perform web testing online on different versions. Not just this but you can also test on Safari browsers online on the real Safari browser which runs on the original machines. On all the versions of Safari and be it the new ones from 15 to 5.1, it assures complete website compatibility.

For debugging users get a big range of different versions of Safari, which end up giving the best pixel-perfect experience to the customers. All thanks to the parallel testing, your test execution time is reduced for testing the website on virtual macOS online with the help of the LambdaTest. 

For the LambdaTest platform, you don’t need to have a virtual machine, or you don’t have to download anything or install anything. Safari browser has a cloud grid of mobile which helps the user to completely run the Selenium IDE tests on the cloud.

Also, you may directly mark your bugs from LambdaTest and use Asana, JIRA, or other bug management solutions with LambdaTest integration. Users can also migrate these to GitHub, GitLab, or utilize Slack to communicate with one another. Mantis Bug Tracker, Clubhouse, Bugheard, TeamWork, Paymo, VSTS, and BitBucket are among the other connectors.

The LambdaTest tunnel allows users to use an online Safari browser to test the compatibility of private or locally hosted web apps with different Safari browsers. Some new features include one-click responsive testing and full-page snapshot testing.

The procedures to use the iOS Developer Tools for Safari on the LambdaTest platform for real-time testing are outlined below.

1) Go to your LambdaTest account and sign in. You can create one on LambdaTest if you don’t already have one.

2) Select Real-Time Testing from the left sidebar if you wish to test on emulators and simulators. Choose Real-time from the Real Device menu to test on a real device cloud.

  1. Write the URL you want to test, then select the OS  icon of mobile, now choose the device OS, browser, and device type. Finally, click on the start button. 
  2. You will be now routed to the cloud-based iOS simulator of your choice. Click on the DevTools icon to open up the Safari developer tool which is integrated. 

With the help of Safari developer tools, you can debug your websites or web applications. 


By building a feature-rich website, you won’t suddenly get a billion users. Even if you can convince users to visit your website using pirated features, they will discover bugs and abandon your platform. Remember that, in addition to attracting users, retention is critical to ensuring regular dialogues and a good return on investment. Every flaw in your user interface pushes clients away from you and toward your competition. 

QA teams can use the methods listed above to troubleshoot websites using the Safari Developer tool. Interface bugs can range from being merely inconvenient to creating substantial user experience disturbances. Debugging on Safari browsers is required to run web applications that function properly in all circumstances.

Author Bio: Vixit Raj is a digital marketer with 5+ years of experience and now part of the Product Growth and Marketing division in LambdaTest : The Cross Browser Web App Testing Platform. Vixit’s interest in latest technology advancements, coding and testing fascinates him to learn more about these things. An E&C educational background and his engineering life experiences has made a great influence to his jack of all trades and master of none trait.


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