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Achieving Safari Compatibility on Windows

While Apple discontinued the development of Safari for Windows in 2012, testing web applications in Safari remains important for developers targeting Mac and iOS users. This article explores various emulation tools and workaround strategies to achieve Safari compatibility testing on Windows systems.

Safari Emulation Tools

Emulation tools simulate the behavior of Safari or macOS environments on a Windows system, allowing you to test and debug compatibility issues. Here are some popular emulation tools and their features:

Remote Testing Services

Cloud-based or remote testing services are essential for effective browser compatibility testing. Here are a few notable ones:


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. It allows developers to test their web applications on Safari running on real Mac machines.

  • Features: Live interactive testing, automated Selenium testing, and visual regression testing. It also offers a built-in issue tracking system and integrates with popular collaboration tools.
  • Benefits: Test your website on real Safari browsers without the need for macOS hardware.
  • Usage: Access Safari browsers on LambdaTest’s platform and perform comprehensive testing to ensure compatibility.

Virtual Machines

Virtual machines (VMs) are software-based emulations of physical computers, allowing you to run macOS and Safari on a virtualized environment within a Windows system. This approach provides a native Safari testing environment but requires a valid macOS license and sufficient hardware resources.

macOS Virtual Machine Setup

  • Requirements: Create a macOS virtual machine on Windows using software like VMware Workstation or VirtualBox.
  • Setup Steps: Obtain a macOS installation image (e.g., macOS Mojave) legally. Configure a new virtual machine with the macOS image, allocate resources, and install necessary drivers.
  • Benefits: Running macOS on a virtual machine enables direct testing of Safari and macOS-specific features on a Windows host.

Parallels Desktop

  • Features: Parallels Desktop is a commercial virtualization software that allows you to run macOS alongside Windows on a single machine.
  • Benefits: It provides seamless integration between macOS and Windows environments, making it easier to test Safari compatibility on a Windows system.
  • Usage: Install Parallels Desktop on your Windows machine, create a macOS virtual machine, and test your web projects in Safari.

VMware Fusion

  • Features: VMware Fusion is another virtualization software designed for macOS.
  • Benefits: It offers similar capabilities to Parallels Desktop, allowing you to run macOS and Safari on a Windows PC for testing purposes.
  • Usage: Set up VMware Fusion, create a macOS virtual machine, and conduct thorough testing to ensure Safari compatibility.

Workaround Strategies

Workaround strategies involve techniques that developers can implement to handle Safari compatibility issues on Windows effectively. Here are some key strategies:

A. CSS Vendor Prefixes

-webkit- Prefix for Safari-Specific Styles

Safari, especially older versions, requires vendor prefixes like -webkit- for certain CSS properties to render styles correctly.

  • Example: -webkit-transition: background-color 0.3s ease;

Autoprefixer for Automatic Vendor Prefixing

Autoprefixer is a tool that automatically adds necessary vendor prefixes to your CSS during the build process.

  • Usage: Integrate Autoprefixer into your development workflow using build tools like Gulp, Grunt, or webpack.

B. JavaScript Feature Detection

Modernizr Library

Modernizr is a JavaScript library that detects browser features and provides classes in the HTML document based on feature support.

  • Usage: Include Modernizr in your project, and use its feature detection capabilities to handle Safari-specific features or fallbacks.

Custom Feature Detection Code

Develop custom JavaScript code to detect specific features or browser behaviors relevant to Safari compatibility.

  • Usage: Write JavaScript functions or use browser feature detection APIs to check for Safari-specific features and implement appropriate actions or fallbacks.

C. Graceful Degradation and Progressive Enhancement

Providing Fallback Options for Unsupported Features

Implement graceful degradation by providing fallback options or alternative content for features not supported in Safari or older browser versions.

  • Usage: Use CSS techniques like feature queries (@supports) or conditional comments in HTML to target specific browsers and provide fallback styles or content.

Enhancing the Experience for Supported Browsers

Embrace progressive enhancement by enhancing the user experience for browsers that support advanced features or standards.

  • Usage: Use feature detection to apply enhancements selectively, such as adding animations, transitions, or interactive elements for modern browsers while maintaining a functional experience in older or limited browsers.

Testing and Debugging

Here are methods and tools to ensure your website works smoothly across different browsers, including Safari:

A. Safari Developer Tools

Web Inspector

Web Inspector is a built-in tool in Safari Developer Tools that allows you to inspect and debug web pages.

  • Usage: Use Web Inspector to inspect HTML elements, view CSS styles, debug JavaScript code, and analyze network requests. It helps identify and fix layout issues, CSS rendering problems, JavaScript errors, and performance issues specific to Safari.

Console and Debugging

Safari Developer Tools include a console for logging messages, errors, and warnings during website execution.

  • Usage: Use the console for debugging JavaScript code, checking variable values, and identifying runtime errors. Debugging in Safari’s console helps troubleshoot JavaScript issues, detect compatibility problems, and ensure code functionality across browsers.

B. Cross-Browser Testing Methodologies

Manual Testing

Manual testing involves manually checking your website on different browsers and devices to identify compatibility issues.

  • Usage: Open Safari on a Windows system (using emulation tools or a macOS VM) and navigate through your website to test its functionality and appearance.

Automated Testing with Tools like Selenium

Automated testing uses scripts or test cases to automate browser interactions and validate website functions across multiple browsers.

  • Usage: Use tools like Selenium WebDriver to write automated test scripts that simulate user actions (e.g., clicking buttons, filling forms) on Safari browsers. Automated testing improves testing efficiency, reduces manual effort, and ensures consistent testing across different browser versions and platforms, including Safari on Windows.

LambdaTest: Comprehensive Cross-Browser Testing Solution

LambdaTest is a trusted cloud-based testing platform designed for cross-browser compatibility testing. It offers a range of features to enhance your testing process:

  • Browser Testing on Real Safari Browser Online: Test your website on real Safari browsers running on real machines, ensuring accurate cross-browser compatibility from legacy to the latest versions.
  • In-Built DevTools: Use LambdaTest’s in-built DevTools to debug web applications across multiple devices with different screen sizes, ensuring optimal performance and functionality.
  • Network Throttling: Check your mobile view website’s responsiveness under different network profiles to ensure a seamless user experience across varying network conditions.
  • 24/7 Support: Benefit from LambdaTest’s 24/7 in-app customer chat support and email support, ensuring prompt assistance and resolution of any testing-related queries or issues.
  • Geolocation Testing: Test your website or mobile account from different geoIPs to verify the user experience across different locations and ensure consistent performance globally.
  • 120+ Integrations: Integrate LambdaTest effortlessly with your testing stack using a wide array of 120+ out-of-the-box integrations, enhancing your testing capabilities and workflow efficiency.
  • Parallel Testing: Run Selenium scripts on a grid of real Safari browsers online, boosting browser coverage and testing efficiency. Access desktop and mobile Safari browsers simultaneously for faster test execution and improved testing coverage.
  • Private Real Device Cloud: Test on a private real device cloud with dedicated iOS and Android devices exclusively for your team, ensuring 24×7 availability and highly secure testing environments behind your firewall.
  • Test Safari Browsers Online on Windows Machines: Test on all Safari browsers on Windows machines directly from your own machine without the need to download or install anything, eliminating the hassle of Safari simulators.


Achieving Safari compatibility on Windows is a critical aspect of web development to ensure a seamless user experience across different platforms and browsers. It’s crucial to ensure Safari compatibility as it is a widely used browser, especially among macOS users. Continuous testing and iteration are also essential for maintaining optimal cross-browser compatibility. Regularly test your website using emulation tools, such as LambdaTest, and implement workaround strategies like CSS vendor prefixes and JavaScript feature detection to address Safari-specific issues. Iterate on your testing approach based on feedback and changes in browser behavior to ensure a consistently excellent user experience across Safari and other browsers.

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