The Reading List sidebar first appeared way back in OS X Lion (10.7) and has remained unchanged ever since. While it’s marginally useful for folks who manage multiple Safari accounts on one Mac – say an iCloud-based account and a separate Google Gmail account – it becomes more of a nuisance than a help for most users since you can’t read articles from the Reading List side by side with individual web pages, and there’s no “open in tabs” function either.
If you’re a “Safari only” user, the Reading List sidebar is more of a distraction than a help. It’s always there by default when Safari launches. You can hide it via preferences-display, but you cannot get rid of it entirely either from the menu bar or from within Safari itself.
How to get rid of sidebar on mac
One is to use MacPilot. The article has a link to MacPilot’s “Hide Safari Sidebar” control panel. Note that this also removes the bookmarks sidebar, so if you want that back you’ll have to re-enable it manually after removing the checkmark from Hide Safari Sidebar.
The other way is to use a utility called “SideSwitch” by software developer Justin Garcia. SideSwitch allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts for showing and hiding all sidebars, including the Reading List sidebar. Since the two methods do slightly different things, it’s good to have both utilities installed at once in case you want to toggle between publishing your computer without the Reading List sidebar to share with others and publishing it while showing the Reading List sidebar.
Open Safari on your Mac.
You can do this by double clicking the Safari icon in your Dock, using Spotlight to search for it, or choosing Safari from your Applications folder. Pull up the “Safari” menu bar item via Apple Menu –> “Safari”. Open Preferences under that menu.
Open Safari again and click on the SideSwitch icon in your menu bar. You can get to it by going up to the Apple Menu –> “System Preferences” and then clicking on System Preferences under that menu. It should appear no matter which one you open first, so don’t worry if it looks like you jumped ahead in the instructions. Click on either of the left-most boxes under “Show Sidebar” to toggle the sidebar’s visibility on and off. You can also double click a box to assign a keyboard shortcut for showing and hiding that particular sidebar (the one whose box is currently checked).
Click on the “Safari” menu and select “Preferences”
Click on the “Advanced” icon in the Preferences toolbar to open that section of preferences. Scroll down to “Sidebar.” The checkbox for “Show Sidebar” will be selected if you have not already disabled it. Deselect this box by unchecking it, and click on the close button to finish.
Close your Safari preferences pane, then open the main System Preferences pane again by clicking on that icon in your menu bar or using Spotlight to search for it. You can also just click on the Apple logo at the upper left of your screen and choose “System Preferences” from there. Click on SideSwitch’s name to open its preferences. Click on the checkboxes to assign a keyboard shortcut for showing and hiding both sidebars, the bookmarks bar, and anything else that you want to hide or show quickly with a simple key combination. Click “OK” to finish.
In the Preferences window, click on the “Websites” tab
You can find this by clicking on the words “SideSwitch” in the second section of preferences. Click inside the text field next to “Left sidebar:” and type a keyboard shortcut for showing that particular sidebar, then do the same thing again to assign a shortcut for hiding it. Click on any other checkboxes to assign a shortcut for showing or hiding that particular item. Click on “OK” to finish. You can test your shortcuts by either activating any sidebar with its shortcut or by using the keyboard shortcuts you just assigned for showing and hiding each item.
So, now there is no need to use additional software as MacPilot as Safari has its own built-in feature for this.
You can use the shortcuts you previously assigned for showing and hiding each sidebar object. Alternately, you can use your keyboard shortcut for showing and hiding all sidebars together (this will hide or show everything except for your bookmarks bar).