Subscribe To Feed Safari Extension

July 25th, 2012

Now that Safari 6 is available as part of Mountain Lion 10.8, and as a software update for Lion, I can finally explain the rumblings I made months ago about an extension facilitating feed subscription directly from Safari.

The motivation behind my foray into Safari extension development was my early adoption of Safari 6 during the beta phase. I noticed they had removed the long-standing, built-in “RSS” button near the URL bar. This button makes it easy to subscribe to an RSS or Atom feed for a blog, or any other site that offers such a feed.

I’m disappointed by Apple’s decision to remove the button, but when life hands you lemons …

My beta-quality, more-or-less unsupported Subscribe to Feed extension adds a handy button to the toolbar that, when a page offers RSS or Atom feeds, can be clicked to easily open the feed:// link, which should automatically open your favorite news reader.

I hope this extension fills a void for those of you missing the beloved RSS button from Safari 5 and earlier.


  • Since I posted this on Wednesday (the day Mountain Lion 10.8 was released), the response has been overwhelming. I didn’t realize there would be so much interest in restoring the functionality of the Safari RSS button.

    The interest has been so strong that more than a couple people have installed the extension apparently unaware of its purpose. The gist of the extension is to make it easy to subscribe to RSS and Atom feeds in an external application, separate from Safari. For example, it will open in NetNewsWire, Reeder or any other application on your Mac that claims to support “feed:” style URLs.

    Some folks who are just getting in to desktop RSS readers are discovering they don’t have a “default app” setting on their Mac, and Apple no longer provides a simple UI inside Safari for setting the default. The best solution I know for this issue is to download and use the venerable RCDefaultApp to set a default RSS reader for your Mac.

  • A number of users who use Google Reader through the browser would like it if there were a way for this extension to automatically subscribe in Google Reader instead of through a Mac client. I’m not sure exactly how this would work but I bet it’s possible with a preference in the extension that would offer the ability to open a Google Reader URL for subscribing. This is a little ambitious though, so if you want this feature and happen to be able to code Safari/JavaScript solutions, please send me a proof of concept for subscribing to Google Reader from JavaScript on a web page, and I’ll see if I can integrate it into the extension.
  • On August 2, 2012, I released Subscribe to Feed 1.0b4, addressing a number of issues from the initial release.

55 Responses to “Subscribe To Feed Safari Extension”

  1. Yukon Jack Says:

    Thanks Daniel. It wasn’t my computer that was confused; I’ve been confusing your extn with another similar extn called “RSS Menu” by Calum Benson. I’m terribly sorry for my ignorance. I’ll go try your recommended default app app.

  2. Beth Says:

    Thanks for sharing this much-needed feature. I was heart-broken when the new OS X blew up my morning routine by ditching my RSS feeds from Safari & Mail! Like others, I’m eager for your app to offer me a site’s main feed, rather than comments — or give me a choice. I’ve subscribed to your Comments RSS Feed so I’ll be in the know. Brilliant! Thanks again.

  3. Daniel Jalkut Says:

    Hi Beth – thanks for the feedback. I do plan to update the extension soon to support multiple feeds on a site. Stay tuned!

  4. Tak Says:

    I posted something about the feeds here. Seems there is a security issue that caused them to disable feeds….

  5. Reiner Says:

    Thank you very much for this extension. Works perfectly with NetNewsWire on my setup.

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