2 Ways to Reset Safari to Default Settings on Mac

Robert Turner By Robert Turner
10 Min Read
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Hey there! Do you know the browser Safari? It’s like the special web-surfing tool made just for Mac computers. Think of it like a magic door to the internet, right on your Mac.

Sometimes, though, this magic door might get a bit rusty. Maybe Safari suddenly stops, or it’s moving really slow, or it just doesn’t want to show you certain web pages. That means it might need a little “reset” or a fresh start.

A while back, when you used a Mac, Safari had this super handy button called “reset.” It was like a magic wand that made any problems go away. But guess what? The newer Mac versions decided they didn’t want that button anymore. It’s like they lost their magic wand! So now you might be thinking, “What do I do if I want to give Safari a fresh start?”

Take a deep breath! I’ve got some cool tricks up my sleeve to help you out. We found two awesome ways to reset the Safari browser on your Mac. Ready to learn? Let’s dive in!

How to Manually Reset Safari on Mac

Okay, buddy! As we talked about, Safari doesn’t have that easy-peasy reset button anymore. But don’t stress! We can still give Safari a fresh start by doing a few things ourselves. Just follow along with me!

  • Tidy Up Safari’s Cache This is like cleaning up the toys Safari plays with. You’re helping it by putting away stuff it doesn’t need anymore.
  • Throw Away Old Web Visits and Cookies It’s like clearing out old snacks and candy wrappers from your bag. Safari will thank you for it!
  • Turn Off or Remove Safari’s Special Tools (Extensions) Imagine Safari has some little helper toys. Sometimes, they can get in the way. So, we might need to take some away or turn them off for a bit.
  • Say Goodbye to Safari’s Extra Features (Plugins) Just like with the extensions, sometimes Safari has some extra tools that might be causing some problems. Let’s turn them off too.
  • Take Out Extra Stuff from the Library Folders Think of this step like cleaning out an old toy box. Sometimes, things just need to be cleared out to make space.
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A Little Warning for You!

Before you start, there’s something super important you need to know. If you follow these steps, some of your favorite things in Safari, like the places you like to visit (bookmarks), and stuff Safari remembers for you (web data and passwords), will be gone. Poof! So, if there’s anything super special you want to keep, make sure to save it somewhere safe first.

Alright, pal! We’re going to go on a little adventure together to make Safari feel brand-new. I’ll be right here guiding you every step of the way. Ready? Let’s roll!

Step 1: Cleaning Up Safari’s Toy Box (Clearing Cache)

  1. Open up Safari (It’s the one with the compass icon!)
  2. Click on the word “Safari” at the top and pick “Preferences.”
  3. Now, find the “Advanced” tab and look for a little box that says “Show Develop menu in the menu bar.” If it’s not checked, click it. (If it’s already checked, skip this part!)
  4. Now, up at the top, you’ll see a new word: “Develop.” Click it and choose “Empty Cache.” Or, you can press Alt, Command, and E all together. It’s like a secret handshake!

Step 2: Throwing Out Safari’s Old Snacks (Deleting History and Cookies)

  1. See the word “History” at the top? Click it, then pick “Clear All History.”
  2. A new window will pop up. Click “Clear History” there, and it’ll toss out old web visits and cookies. Remember, doing this might log you out of some websites, like it’s forgetting the password to your clubhouse.

Step 3: Turning Off Safari’s Little Helpers (Disabling Extensions)

  1. Go to “Safari” at the top, then “Preferences,” and then “Extensions.”
  2. To make a helper take a break, uncheck the box by its name.
  3. If you want to send a helper away for good, click “Uninstall” and follow what your Mac tells you.

Step 4: Pausing Safari’s Extra Magic Tools (Disabling Plugins)

  1. Click on “Safari” at the top, go to “Preferences,” and then pick the “Security” tab.
  2. Find the box that says “Allow Internal Plug-Ins” and make sure it’s unchecked.
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Step 5: Cleaning Out Old Safari Magic from the Library

  1. Although you can turn off plugins, you can’t make them disappear from Safari. They’re like old magic spells hiding in a secret book.
  2. On your desktop, press Shift, Command, and G all at once. A little window will pop up!
  3. Type in “~/Library” and press Enter.
  4. Look for a folder named “Internal Plug-Ins.” Anything inside that’s related to Safari? Drag it to the trash bin.
  5. Do this one more time, but instead of “~/Library,” use “/Library” to find more hidden Safari magic and throw it away.

Phew! We did a lot of cleaning today. Safari is going to run like it’s got brand-new shoes on! How do you feel? Great job, by the way!

How to Reset Safari on Mac Using Terminal

Did you know there’s a powerful magic tool on your Mac called Terminal? It’s like the secret control room of your computer. And if you’re feeling brave and know your way around, you can use Terminal to make Safari all fresh and shiny. Let’s dive in together!

Step 1: Close That Safari Door!

  1. First, make sure Safari is closed. It’s like asking someone to stand still while you help them tie their shoelaces.
  2. If Safari’s being a little stubborn and won’t close, no worries! Click the Apple icon at the top and choose “Force Quit.” It’s like a gentle nudge to tell Safari, “Hey, it’s break time!”

Step 2: Open The Magic Door (Terminal)

  1. Find Terminal using Spotlight (that’s the little magnifying glass) or Launchpad (the rocket icon).

Step 3: Cast the Magic Spells (Run Commands)

Alright, now it’s time to tell your Mac some specific magic words (commands) to help Safari feel all new.

⚠️ Warning: The magic words we’re using (especially “rm -rf”) are super powerful. Think of them like a wizard’s spell. If you say the wrong thing, it can cause a mess! So always be careful and make sure to copy and paste the commands EXACTLY.

Now, one by one, copy these magic spells and paste them into Terminal:

mv ~/Library/Safari ~/Desktop/Safari-`date +%Y%m%d%H%M%S`
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/Apple\ -\ Safari\ -\ Safari\ Extensions\ Gallery
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.WebKit.PluginProcess
rm -Rf ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.binarycookies
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/Apple\ -\ Safari\ -\ Safari\ Extensions\ Gallery
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.LSSharedFileList.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.RSS.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebFoundation.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebKit.PluginHost.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.WebKit.PluginProcess.plist
rm -Rf ~/Library/PubSub/Database
rm -Rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/com.apple.Safari.savedState

The rm -rf command is dangerous. Please use it with caution. It is recommended that you copy and paste the above commands exactly, without any modification, to avoid catastrophic damage to your other system files.

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Once you’re done casting all the spells, you’ve basically told your Mac to clean out all the old and unneeded Safari magic.

Wrapping It Up!

Whew! We’ve been on quite a tech adventure together, haven’t we? By now, Safari on your Mac should feel brand new, just like when you first met it. If Safari’s still acting a little quirky, no sweat! It might just need a newer version of itself. You can do that by updating your macOS.

Did this guide help you out? If it did, and you think it might help others too, give it a little shoutout on your favorite social media. Sharing is caring, after all!

Thanks for joining me on this journey, and happy surfing with Safari! 🚀🌐

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens when I reset Safari to default settings?

When you reset Safari to default settings, all your browsing history, cookies, cache, bookmarks, and extensions will be removed. This will also disable any plugins that you might have installed.

Can I still recover my bookmarks after resetting Safari to default settings?

Unfortunately, no. Once you reset Safari to default settings, all your bookmarks will be deleted permanently.

Are there any risks associated with resetting Safari to default settings?

No, there are no risks associated with resetting Safari to default settings. It is just like starting a brand new browser.

Can I reset Safari to default settings without losing my saved passwords?

Yes, you can. Before resetting Safari, go to Preferences > Passwords and make sure that your passwords are saved in the iCloud Keychain. After resetting Safari, your saved passwords will be restored automatically.

Do I need to restart my Mac after resetting Safari?

No, you do not need to restart your Mac after resetting Safari. The changes will take effect immediately.
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Meet Robert, a seasoned tech blogger and copywriting maestro. With an innate passion for all things tech, Robert's expertise shines through his exceptional articles on Tech, Android, Windows, Internet, Social Media, Gadgets, and Reviews. His captivating writing style and deep knowledge make him a trusted source for the latest insights in the ever-evolving tech landscape.
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