For unknown reasons I cannot change the once-set homepage URL in Safari (v10.1 on OS X 10.11.6) any more. If I change it in Safari's Preferences window, under General, it simply resets it to the value it was set to before. Same when I use the "Set to current page" button.

The same problem is with Safari 10.1 on another Mac running 10.10.5. I wonder if it's because they're both using iCloud, sharing their bookmarks. However, the homepage is set to a different page on each Mac, which suggests that this address is not synched with the bookmarks (which is good, IMO). And turning off iCloud Safari sharing doesn't help, either.

So I am trying to figure out where it stores the URL on disk, so that I can check if that is somehow locked.

However, I cannot find the current homepage URL in various places. Neither in the Safari preferences file (~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist) nor in any file inside ~/Library/Safari/ (including Bookmarks.plist) and ~/Library/WebKit/, at least not in plain ASCII text.

Where is that URL stored?

  • Historically (System 7.5?) the user homepage was managed by Internet Config, developed outside of Apple, independently of any browser. Apple didn't develop a browser until Cyberdog, and IIRC some time after that the Mac version of MSIE came shortly before Safari. This is my long way of saying the user's home page was and is independent of any browser. I've started to look for where it is stored, but no luck so far. It doesn't seem to be stored in the user's defaults. Perhaps another reader can help. Commented Apr 14, 2017 at 9:39
  • Just as a note, many system plist files are now in a binary format. You can use plutil -convert xml1 -o - myplist.plist to spit out the text version.
    – robmathers
    Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


In older Safari versions you could set it via defaults write com.apple.Safari HomePage -string "http://example.com". Safari seems to have done away with that at least since MacOS 10.11 (and possibly earlier). From this device management thread it looks like it's stored in iCloud, but in a rather opaque way.

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