How to Use AutoFill in Safari for OS X and macOS Sierra

safari autofill
How to Use AutoFill in Safari for OS X and macOS Sierra. Getty Images (Paul Bradbury #468840669)
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This article is intended for Mac users running OS X 10.10.x or above or macOS Sierra.

Let's face it. Entering information into Web forms can be a tedious exercise, especially if you do a lot of online shopping. It can become even more frustrating when you find yourself typing the same items over and over again, such as your address and credit card details. Safari for OS X and macOS Sierra provides an AutoFill feature which allows you to store this data locally, pre-populating it whenever a form is detected.

Due to the potentially sensitive nature of this information, it is important that you understand how to manage it. Safari provides an easy-to-use interface to do just that, and this tutorial explains how it works.

First, open your Safari browser. Click on Safari, located in the​ browser's main menu at the top of your screen. When the drop-down menu appears, select Preferences.... You can also utilize the following keyboard shortcut in lieu of the previous two steps: COMMAND + COMMA(,)

Safari's Preferences interface should now be displayed. Select the AutoFill icon. The following four AutoFill options will now be visible, each accompanied by a check box and an Edit... button: Using info from my Contacts cardUsernames and passwordsCredit cards and Other forms.

To prevent Safari from utilizing one of these four categories when auto-populating a Web form, each explained in detail later in this tutorial, simply remove its accompanying check mark by clicking on it once.

To modify the saved information utilized by AutoFill in a particular category, select the Edit... button to the right of its name.

The operating system stores a set of information about each of your contacts, including your own personal data. These details, such as your birth date and home address, are used by Safari AutoFill where applicable and are editable via the Contacts (formerly known as Address Book) application.

Usernames and Passwords

Many websites that we visit regularly, ranging from your email provider to your bank, require a name and password to log in. Safari can store these locally, with the password in an encrypted format, so that you do not have to constantly enter your credentials. As with other AutoFill data components, you can choose to edit or remove them on a site-by-site basis at any time.

Each username/password combination is listed by website. To delete a particular set of credentials, first select it in the list and click on the Remove button. To delete all names and passwords that Safari has stored, click on the Remove All button.

As mentioned above, your saved passwords are stored in an encrypted format as opposed to clear text. However, if you want to view the actual passwords, click on the Show passwords for selected websites option; located at the bottom of the Passwords dialog.

Credit Cards

If you're anything like me, the majority of your credit card purchases are made online through a browser. The convenience is unparalleled, but having to type those digits time and time again can be a pain. Safari's AutoFill allows you to store your credit card details, automatically populating them each time a Web form makes a request.

You can add or remove a stored credit card at any time. To remove an individual card from Safari, first select it and then click on the Remove button. To store a new credit card in the browser, click on the Add button and follow the prompts accordingly.

Miscellaneous Web form information that does not fall into the previously defined categories is stored in the Other forms bucket, and can be viewed and/or deleted via its respective interface.