Safari Not Working on Mac? 9 Solutions to Fix the Problem
The Safari internet browser is a web browsing application that comes installed on all Apple MacBooks. Safari is known for its simple and user-friendly interface as well as its fast speed. In addition, Safari has many handy features, such as Private Browsing, which allows users to browse the web without leaving any traces of their activity.
Having said that, there are instances when the browser struggles to run smoothly. Freezes, crashes, and even failure to open altogether happen now and then.
Thankfully, there are multiple methods to troubleshoot these Safari performance issues, which we will cover in this article.
Test Safari With a Private Window
The first thing you can try is opening a Private Window. This will allow you to test whether the issue is with Safari itself or if it’s something else on your computer that’s causing the problem.
To open a Private Window, first launch Safari. Then, click on the File menu and select New Private Window. A new window will open up with a dark background behind the address bar to indicate that you’re in private browsing mode.
Now try to reproduce the issue you were having before. If Safari works fine in private browsing mode, then the problem is likely due to something else on your computer. If Safari still isn’t working properly, there may be an issue with Safari itself.
Restart the MacBook
To restart your MacBook, click the Apple icon in the top left corner of your screen and select “Restart.” If Safari still isn’t working after you’ve restarted your MacBook, move on to the next troubleshooting step.
Remove Safari Extensions
Safari extensions could be the primary reason behind the problem. In some cases, extensions can conflict with each other or with the Safari browser itself, causing problems like crashes or freezes.
For example, Honey, an extension used to track discount coupons for online shops, is quite notorious for its resource consumption. If you installed the extension on the browser, remove Honey from Safari or keep it off while troubleshooting Safari issues.
A similar thing applies to other Safari extensions. You can try to delete or disable them individually. If getting rid of specific Safari extensions doesn’t solve the problem, you can also try disabling all extensions temporarily to see if that makes a difference.
If Safari isn’t responding or if a webpage won’t load on your Mac, try force-quitting Safari.
To do this, press and hold Command (⌘)-Option-Escape (Esc) for about 20 seconds. If you see the Force Quit dialog box, select Safari, then click Force Quit.
If you don’t see the dialog box after pressing Command-Option-Escape for 20 seconds, make sure that you’re using the right keyboard shortcut for your Mac. On some Mac notebooks, you might need to use the Fn key in addition to the other keys. For example, if you have a MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, press and hold Fn-Command-Option-Escape.
Delete Safari Preferences
Deleting Safari Preferences will reset all of your Safari settings back to their defaults, which may fix the issue. Here’s how to delete the Safari Preferences file:
- Quit Safari if it’s open.
- Open the Finder and go to the “Go” menu at the top of the screen. Select “Go to Folder” from the drop-down menu.
- A new window will open with a text field. Type in ~/Library/Safari and hit Enter. This will take you to the Safari folder in your Library directory.
- Find the file named com.apple.Safari.plist and delete it.
- Relaunch Safari and see if the issue is resolved. If not, you can try deleting the other plist files in the Safari folder as well. These include com.apple.SafariExtensions.plist, com.apple.WebKit.PluginHost.plist, and com.apple.WebKit2.PluginHost.plist.
Reset Safari Altogether
If deleting the Safari Preferences file doesn’t fix the issue, you can try resetting Safari altogether. This will delete all of your Safari settings and data, so make sure you back up any important information first. To reset Safari, follow these steps:
- Open Safari and go to the “Safari” menu at the top of the screen. Select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
- In the Preferences window, go to the “Advanced” tab and check the box next to “Show Develop menu in menu bar.”
- Close the Preferences window and go to the “Develop” menu at the top of the screen. Select “Empty Caches” from the drop-down menu.
- Go back to the “Safari” menu and select “Reset Safari.”
- A new window will pop up with different options for resetting Safari. Make sure that all of the boxes are checked, and then click “Reset.”
An outdated Safari version is also a possible cause behind performance issues.
- Open the App Store on your MacBook.
- Click on the Updates tab at the top of the App Store window.
- If there is an update available for Safari, click on the Update button next to it.
- Once the update has been installed, restart your MacBook and try opening Safari again.
Clear Safari Cache
To clear the cache in Safari, first, open the browser. Then, click on the Safari menu at the top of the screen and select Preferences. In the Preferences window, click on the Advanced tab. Under Advanced, make sure that the Show Develop menu in the menu bar checkbox is checked.
Once you’ve checked that box, close the Preferences window and open the Develop menu. In the Develop menu, select Empty Caches. This will clear all of the cached data in Safari.
Check Network Settings
There could be a problem with your Wi-Fi connection that is causing the issue. To check your network settings, go to the Apple menu and select “System Preferences.” Click on the “Network” icon and make sure that your Wi-Fi connection is selected. If it is not, try selecting it and then click on the “Apply” button.
You may also want to check to see if there are any other options that can be changed in the “Network” preferences. If all else fails, you can always reset your network settings by clicking on the “Reset Network Settings” button at the bottom of the “Network” preferences.