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Safari for Windows: Best Practices for Safari Testing on Windows



Safari for Windows

In web development, this is a compulsory condition for good user experience and accessibility: a website should function properly under all web browsers. Browser compatibility testing ensures that web-based applications should work consistently under diverse environmental conditions. One unique challenge in this arena is testing for Safari for Windows, primarily since Apple no longer supports or updates Safari for this operating system. This scenario creates specific obstacles for developers who want their products to function seamlessly for all users, even on older or unsupported browser versions.

Understanding Safari for Windows

In 2007, Safari first appeared for Windows, allowing PC users to use Apple’s browser on their non-Mac computers. However, this venture was brief: Apple ceased developing Safari for Windows after version 5.1.7 was released in 2012. The company’s decision was primarily due to Safari’s small market share among Windows users and the strategic focus that Apple was trying to place on its own operating systems. Since then, further updates or support from Apple have not been provided for Safari for Windows, leaving the existing version outdated and incompatible with many modern web standards.

Challenges Posed by the Lack of Updates and Support

The cessation of updates for Safari for Windows presents several challenges for developers. Security vulnerabilities are a significant concern, as the outdated browser does not receive patches or support against modern security threats. Secondly, compatibility issues arise because the stagnant browser version does not support newer HTML, CSS, and JavaScript features that have become standard in recent browser versions. These challenges make it difficult but necessary to test web applications in this environment to ensure they operate adequately for users who may still be using Safari for Windows.

Setting Up a Testing Environment

Since direct testing on an updated Safari browser on Windows is not feasible, developers must look for alternative methods to simulate or access a Safari environment on Windows. Here are two primary approaches:

  1. Virtual Machines (VMs): By using VMs, developers can install an older version of macOS that supports a compatible version of Safari and then test their applications within that macOS environment on a Windows machine. This method provides a closer simulation of the Safari browsing experience.
  2. Cloud Services: Another practical approach is using cloud-based platforms that offer cross-browser testing services. These services allow developers to test their web applications on different browser versions, including older versions of Safari, without needing to maintain a host of varying testing environments locally.

Best Practices for Safari Testing on Windows

Despite its discontinuation on Windows, testing on Safari is essential because it ensures that applications remain usable to all users, regardless of their browser choice. Here are some best practices to consider:

  1. Test for Core Functionality: Ensure that the essential functions of your web application work on Safari for Windows. Even essential compatibility can prevent alienating users and improve overall accessibility.
  2. CSS and JavaScript Considerations: Since Safari for Windows does not support many modern CSS properties and JavaScript APIs, it is crucial to implement fallbacks or alternative solutions for critical features that rely on these technologies. For example, if a CSS grid layout does not render correctly, consider using a more traditional layout method like Flexbox, which is supported.
  3. Visual and Functional Consistency: It’s vital to ensure your site’s visual and functional elements appear and operate consistently across different browsers, including Safari for Windows. This might involve adjusting stylesheets or JavaScript execution for Safari to mimic the experience provided on more modern browsers.
  4. Use of Polyfills: For JavaScript features not supported by Safari for Windows, using Polyfills can help emulate modern functionality. This allows developers to use new features while maintaining compatibility with older browsers.
  5. Regular Testing and Updates: Continuous testing and updating of web applications are necessary to accommodate changes in user behavior or discoveries of previously unnoticed bugs in the Safari for Windows environment.

Following these guidelines, developers can tackle the unique challenges of ensuring their websites function well across all browsers, including the outdated but occasionally encountered Safari for Windows.

Using LambdaTest for Safari Testing

LambdaTest is an AI-powered test orchestration and execution platform that lets you run manual and automated tests at scale with over 3000+ real devices, browsers, and OS combinations. This platform enhances the efficiency of cross-browser testing by allowing developers and testers to run their web applications across a wide array of browser environments without installing them locally. This is particularly beneficial for testing browsers like Safari for Windows, where their original developers no longer support direct testing environments.

How LambdaTest Can Simulate Safari Environments on Windows Machines

LambdaTest provides access to a range of browser versions, including older versions of Safari that were once available for Windows. Through virtualization technology, LambdaTest allows these versions to be run in an environment that simulates Windows, thus enabling testers to see how their websites would perform on Safari for Windows.

Step-by-Step Guide to Setting Up a Safari Test Session on LambdaTest

  1. Create a LambdaTest Account: Start by signing up for LambdaTest if you haven’t already. This will give you access to its dashboard.
  2. Select Browser Configuration: Navigate to the real-time testing section. Here, you can choose the Safari version you want to test along with the simulated operating system.
  3. Enter URL and Start Session: Input the URL of the web application you wish to test. LambdaTest will then launch a session where Safari runs in a Windows-like environment.
  4. Use Testing Tools: Use LambdaTest tools such as real-time bug logging, automated screenshot capture, and video recording to evaluate the application’s performance under different scenarios.
  5. Analyze Results: Review the results of your tests directly within LambdaTest. Identify any compatibility issues and make the necessary adjustments.

Common Issues and Troubleshooting

Testing websites on outdated browsers such as Safari for Windows presents unique challenges. The discontinued support means developers must deal with recurring problems that can affect the functionality and security of their web applications. Here’s a detailed look at these issues and the strategies to mitigate them effectively.

Typical Problems When Testing Websites on Safari for Windows

Let us understand the prime problems we can face when testing websites on Safari for Windows.

Layout Issues

One of the most common issues encountered when testing Safari for Windows is layout problems. Since this version of Safari lacks updates, it does not support many modern CSS properties and layouts, such as Flexbox and Grid. This results in web pages that need to be fixed or misaligned, which can severely impact the user experience. Elements may overlap, fonts display incorrectly, and responsive designs often fail to adjust properly on different screen sizes.

JavaScript Errors

Safari for Windows may not comprehend or execute newer JavaScript ES6+ features like Promises, async functions, or even some methods on standard JavaScript objects (e.g., Array.prototype.includes). This leads to script errors where functions don’t execute as expected, or worse, complete parts of the web application fail to load or function, leading to significant usability issues.

Security Concerns

Using an outdated browser version raises considerable security concerns. These older versions do not receive security patches or updates to shield against new vulnerabilities. As a result, testing on Safari for Windows could expose users to risks such as cross-site scripting (XSS) or data interception, primarily if the application handles sensitive data.

Solutions and Workarounds

To address these problems effectively and ensure that websites remain functional and secure, developers can implement the following solutions and workarounds:

Fallback Styles

Developers should use CSS fallbacks to ensure that the layout remains coherent on Safari for Windows. This involves defining alternative styles the browser can understand if it doesn’t support the latest properties. For example, before using Flexbox, a developer can use floated elements or inline blocks as a fallback mechanism. Using tools like PostCSS can automate the process of writing fallback styles, making it easier to maintain multiple stylesheet versions.


Polyfills allow developers to use modern JavaScript features in older browsers by emulating those features in environments that do not natively support them. For instance, a polyfill for Array. Prototype. It can be added to the website’s script, enabling Safari for Windows to use this method even though it’s not natively supported. Popular resources like Babel provide a comprehensive collection of JavaScript polyfills that can be included in projects.

Conditional Comments

Although conditional comments are primarily associated with Internet Explorer, similar strategies can be adapted for Safari for Windows using feature detection libraries like Modernizr. This tool allows developers to add classes to the <html> element based on feature support. Developers can then target these classes directly in their CSS or JavaScript to adjust the functionality or appearance based on the browser’s capabilities.

By understanding these typical issues and implementing robust solutions, developers can enhance the compatibility of their websites on Safari for Windows. While it’s an outdated platform, ensuring it runs smoothly without compromising functionality or security is crucial for maintaining a broad user base and delivering a consistent experience across all browsers.

Case Studies

Examples of Successful Safari Compatibility Management

Several companies have successfully managed to maintain a good user experience on Safari for Windows by focusing on fallback strategies and rigorous testing. For instance, a popular online retail store noticed that a small but significant segment of their users accessed their site via Safari for Windows. By implementing graceful degradation techniques and regular testing on LambdaTest, they ensured these users experienced a fully functional site.

Insights from Developers

Developers often share that regular testing and early detection of issues are critical. Tools like LambdaTest simplify this process by providing a comprehensive testing environment that mimics a variety of older browsers like Safari for Windows. This allows developers to fix issues before they affect users preemptively.


Testing on Safari for Windows is critical to ensuring comprehensive browser compatibility. While the browser is no longer updated, supporting a wide range of users makes it essential to include it in your testing matrix. Using tools like LambdaTest, developers can streamline this process, ensuring their web applications perform consistently across all browsers and operating systems.

Encouraged by the ease and effectiveness of platforms like LambdaTest, developers should continue to uphold an inclusive approach to web development. By accommodating various browsers and operating systems, they enhance the user experience and reinforce the accessibility and longevity of their web applications.

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