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I have unfortunately picked up a piece of malware that overwrote my Safari homepage and "open new window with" setting in Mavericks. I just reinstalled to a backup image so the malware is gone, but left me with an open question.

In previous OS X versions, I would be able to delete all the Safari-related folders and com.apple.safari.plist-like files under ~/Library and ~/Library/Preferences and that would reset Safari to a minty fresh state. That no longer seems to be the case.

Even though I delete every single file related to Safari in my user library folder, if I set the homepage to google, and delete all those files, it stays as google - a.k.a. does not revert back to Safari's default http://www.apple.com/startpage/

Is there some other 'hidden' place Mavericks stores its settings for Safari?

  • Did you try Reset Safari under Safari Menu ? – Pratik Jan 29 '14 at 13:26
  • Yep - that doesn't "reset" Safari, so it's a bit misleading, it's more of a "clear data". – dkugappi Jan 29 '14 at 13:33
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    Did you remove the folder ~/Library/Safari ? Can you create a new user and see if the problem is there too? – Robin Jan 29 '14 at 15:44
  • If you create a new user - then Safari does reset. So it seems like Mavericks does store the Safari settings somewhere in the user folder, but can't figure out where. – dkugappi Jan 30 '14 at 20:07
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I don't have the reputation to ask a question, but sometimes deleting "everything in Safari" isn't sufficient. Malware of this type installs files in a variety of folders. Examples include the LaunchAgents, LaunchDaemons, PrivilegedHelperTools, and Extensions folder. You need to identify the malware first, and then follow instructions on where to look, and what to delete. Resetting Safari isn't sufficient when files located outside the "scope" of Safari (for lack of a better term) and spawning processes to be used by Safari.

  • Thanks njboot but my question wasn't really about dealing with the malware, it was about how to reset Safari. The malware bit was just how I stumbled onto the behavior in the first place. – dkugappi Jan 29 '14 at 21:45

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