How to reset Safari

Has Safari started playing tantrums on your Mac? Is navigation often interrupted by strange “freezes” or even by sudden application crashes? In cases like these, the wisest thing to do is to reset the browser and return it to its factory settings. This means clearing all history, cookies, website data and getting rid of any extensions that may have compromised the stability of the software.

Until recently it was possible to restore Safari simply by accessing the main menu of the browser and clicking on a specific item. Since the release of Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite), however, this function has been removed and now we are forced to act “manually” on all the program settings. It’s a bit boring, I confess, but ultimately it’s not as difficult as it seems.

The procedure for restoring Safari can be implemented – in the same way – also on iPhone and iPad, where, by entering the iOS / iPadOS menus, you can find convenient options that allow you to delete all browsing data, history and reset the network settings of the entire operating system. If you want to know more, keep reading, you will find everything explained in detail right below.


  • How to reset Safari: Mac
    • How to restore Safari icon
    • How to restore Safari pages
  • How to reset Safari: iPhone and iPad
    • How to restore Safari icon
    • How to restore Safari pages

How to reset Safari: Mac

As mentioned at the beginning of the post, unfortunately Apple has removed the possibility of restoring Safari on Mac  with a simple click in the browser menu, this means that in order to do this you must “arm yourself” with patience and proceed with the “manual” reset of all parameters.

First, however, take a few minutes of free time and make a backup of the Mac with Time Machine , in this way, in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong, you can restore the state of the system (and therefore of Safari) in a very simple way. If you need help with backups, check out my tutorial on  how to backup with Time Machine .

Next, I recommend that you run a  malware scan , this is because if your problems with Safari stem from the fact that the browser displays unwanted banner ads, goes slow or automatically resets its home page, you may have been infected with malware ( yes, they also exist for Mac). To get rid of it, try to run a system scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software  , which is a popular free anti-malware option that may also be available in a paid version (which has costs starting from 3.33 euros / month with annual billing ) which includes the real-time protection module and other additional features, which I told you about in depth in minespecific guide on this program .

After making a backup with Time Machine and after checking your Mac with Malwarebytes, if browser problems persist, try to restore Safari by following the instructions below.

  • Clear history– the first step I recommend you take is to clear your browsing history. Then go to the  Safari History menu  , scroll to the bottom and select the item  Clear history  from the latter. In the window that opens, select the  entire history  item from the drop-down menu that you find next to the wording  Delete  and click on the Clear history button   to apply the changes.
  • Delete website data– to delete cookies and other website data, go to the Safari menu  located at the top left, click on the  Preferences item  and select the Privacy tab   from the window that opens. Then, click on the Manage website data button , click on the Remove all button   and confirm the operation by pressing the Remove now button  .
  • Empty the cache– another recommended operation is the removal of the cache, that is all those temporary files that are saved on the computer to load Web pages faster. To clear the cache just open the  Safari Development menu  and select the Empty item  the cache  from the latter. If you do not see the Development menu  , click on the Safari item  located at the top left, then on the  Preferences , select the  Advanced tab  and put the check mark next to the wording  Show Development menu in the menu bar .
  • Disable extensions– extensions are very useful, but some, if poorly designed, can adversely affect the stability of the browser (leading to sudden crashes or “freezes”). Go, therefore, in the Safari menu  , click on the Preferences item , select the Extensions tab   from the window that opens and deactivate, one by one, all the extensions (just select their icons and uncheck the box that you find in correspondence with the themselves). When you find the add-on responsible for the Safari problems, remove it from the browser by selecting its name and clicking on the Uninstall button  .

At this point, you may already have resolved your browsing problems in Safari. If not, I’m sorry, but you have to go even deeper and “manually” delete all the browser configuration files . To do this, close Safari on your Mac in advance, then go to the desk, click on the Go item at the top left, hold down the option key (the one with the symbol  ) on the keyboard, select the Library item from the menu that appears and intervene on the Finder window displayed as shown below.

  • To clear Safari settings, locate the Safari folder and move it to the trash.
  • To clear the Safari cache, select the Caches folder , locate the apple.Safari folder in it and move it to the trash.
  • To clear Safari preferences, open the Preferences folder and delete all files in it whose name begins with apple.Safari .
  • To clear the Safari state, open the Saved Application State folder and delete the apple.Safari.savedState folder in it.
  • To delete the cookie settings, open the Cookies folder and delete the apple.Safari.SafeBrowsing.binarycookies and Cookies.binarycookies files that you find inside.
  • To delete unnecessary plugins, open the Internet Plug-Ins folder , locate the plugins you do not need in it and move them to the trash.

Now try restarting Safari and you should find your browser “empty”, but more responsive and stable than ever. If you continue to have problems, you can consider turning to the use of  CleanMyMac X , one of the best known and most appreciated programs dedicated to cleaning, security and optimization of the Mac. It allows you to eliminate residual traces of installed programs, reset file permissions, remove malware and other threats, and perform many other maintenance and troubleshooting operations. You can download and use it for free, but you can free up a maximum of 500 MB of space. To get around this limitation and unlock other functions, the paid version must be purchased (with prices starting from 29.95 euros / year). For more details, read minespecific guide . You can also take advantage of the program by subscribing to Setapp , a platform that for $ 9.99 / month (with a free 7-day trial) allows you to access a wide range of paid applications for macOS without having to buy them individually, as I explained to you. in detail in my specific article on the subject .

Warning:  the changes applied to the Mac will be synchronized on all devices connected to your iCloud account . This means that by clearing the history and website data on macOS, even iPhone, iPad etc. They will “forget” everything.

How to restore Safari icon

Have you made changes to the Safari icon on your Mac, setting a custom one, but now you have changed your mind and would like to see the original one again, you just don’t know how to do it? No problem, I’ll explain how to restore Safari icon . It’s that easy.

All you have to do is go to the macOS desktop, click on the Go menu at the top left, then on the Applications item in the menu that opens, then locate Safari in the list of macOS applications, right-click on its icon and choose the item Get information from the menu that appears.

Subsequently, click on the thumbnail of the icon currently in use located at the top left of the new window that has opened and press the delete key (the one with the  symbol ) on the keyboard or use the combination of keys cmd + x . Once this is done, the icon previously used for the selected file or folder will be immediately replaced by the “default” one.

How to restore Safari pages

If you have come across this guide of mine dedicated to how to restore Safari because you are eager to find out how to recover the browser pages that have been closed by mistake, the instructions you need to follow are the ones you find below.

So, if you want to restore Safari pages , start the browser and if the sidebar is not visible, fix it by clicking on the Show sidebar icon (the one with the window and the sidebar ) at the top left. Now, click on the icon with the four squares that you find next to the word N panels or near the name of the panel group of your interest and select the reference card from the list visible on the right.

You can also retrieve the tabs that were open on other devices connected to the same Apple ID , opening a new tab with the opening page , selecting the device of your interest from the menu below (eg. By Salvatore iPad ) and then the board of your interest from the proposed list, possibly expandable by clicking on the item Show all that appears on the right.

If, on the other hand, you need to recover some pages not visible between the previously opened panels, you can appeal to the history, accessible by clicking on the History item located at the top left and selecting the reference page from the proposed list or by first clicking on one of the options attached to the menu that has opened to filter the available results.

How to reset Safari: iPhone and iPad

If you want to restore Safari on iPhone and iPad , to begin with, go to the home screen and / or the iOS / iPadOS app Library, then tap the Settings icon   (the one with the gear ) and select the Safari item  from the menu that opens.

At this point, click on the Clear website data and history button at the bottom of the screen and confirm the deletion of all browsing data (history and cookies) by pressing Clear data and history again .

If you want to remove only cookies and website data without deleting the history, always go to the Settings> Safari section of iOS / iPadOS, select the  Advanced item , tap on the wording  Website data  and first press the Remove all data button websites and then Remove Now . Alternatively, tap on the Edit item located at the top right and remove the data of individual Internet sites by selecting their address from the menu below.

In the event that, after following the above procedure, Safari is not “reset”, try to force the browser to close , proceeding in this way depending on the device in use: on iPhone and iPad with Face ID , perform a swipe from the bottom to the top of the screen and then move your finger to the right or true left, in order to bring up the switcher with all the applications running, locate Safari and drag its window upwards; on iPhone and iPad with Touch ID , press the Home button twice in succession  and drag the application window upwards.

If you are having connection problems related to 3G / LTE data network or wireless networks, do not reset the Safari settings. Instead, try resetting your network settings by going into  Settings  iOS / iPadOS, by tapping on the item General and on the  Transfer or initializes iPhone / iPad , then select the option Restore , then the Reset Network Settings . This procedure will lead to the reset of all connections and hopefully to the resolution of the problems related to the latter, but will also make your iPhone / iPad “forget” the passwords of the Wi-Fi networks.

Warning:  Even in the case of Safari on iOS / iPadOS, the changes will be applied to all devices connected to your iCloud account. This means that you will also lose history and cookies on iPad, Mac and all other devices connected to your Apple ID.

How to restore Safari icon

Your problem is that you can no longer find the browser on the home screen of the iPhone or iPad and, therefore, would you like to understand how to restore the Safari icon ? If so, you can easily fix it by going to reset the home screen layout .

To do this, select the Settings icon that you find on the home screen and / or in the iOS / iPadOS App Library, tap on the General item , then on the Transfer or initialize iPhone / iPad option, then choose the Reset option  and touch the heading Reset Home Screen Layout .

After completing the above steps, the Safari app icon will be placed back in its original location, but also keep in mind that all the folders you created will be removed and the apps you downloaded will be sorted alphabetically afterwards. those supplied with iPhone and iPad.

How to restore Safari pages

If, on the other hand, you have ended up on this tutorial of mine because you are eager to find out how to restore Safari pages , or how to reopen the tabs closed by mistake in the navigator of your iPhone or iPad, the instructions you must follow are those you find in this step.

First of all, start Safari on iOS / iPadOS, by touching the relative icon (the one with the compass ) that you find on the home screen and / or in the App Library, then tap on the icon with the two tabs at the bottom right, select the previously opened panel from those in the list or open a different group of panels and select the tab you are interested in from there, by first tapping on the name of the group currently in use below and then on the one you are interested in from the menu you opens.

You can also reopen open tabs on other Apple devices connected to the same iCloud account. To do this, open a new panel by first pressing the icon with the two tabs at the bottom right and the (+) button at the bottom left, then choose which device to retrieve the open panels from using the appropriate drop-down menu found in the screen of the opening page (eg From Salvatore’s iPad ) and select the card of your interest or press on the item Show all to view the complete list and choose from there.

If proceeding as I have just indicated you are unable to restore the Safari pages of your interest, you can take a look in the browser history, accessible by tapping on the icon with the open book that you find at the bottom of the Safari screen, then on the icon with the clock in the menu that opens and selecting the page of your interest from the list. If necessary, you can help you find it with the search field .

by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment