I started up Safari and let it import history from Firefox, but now Safari is behaving very strangely. For example, many of the menu options are greyed out.

I want to reset Safari to a blank slate, but the Clear History... option isn't available.

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I tried deleting ~/Library/Safari/ and ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari but it didn't seem to have any effect; Safari is still broken. How can I more thoroughly reset Safari when the app itself seems broken?

This is using an Administrator account. Running macOS Mojave 10.14.5 (18F203) and Safari 12.1.1 (14607.

  • Does it have any history? I would expect all of those to be inoperative until it did. Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 1:55

3 Answers 3


One of the very first things to try when Safari is "behaving poorly" is to launch it in Safe Mode.

Quit out of Safari then just hold down ⇧ Shift while you launch it. That turns off all third party extensions and often lets you do some cleanup when you have stuff installed in Safari that is resistant to being turned off.

  • 2
    Great! Where is this behaviour documented?
    – Nic
    Commented Jul 5, 2019 at 23:21
  • Currently in my brain ;-) Honestly, no idea, probably in the Apple KB somewhere. Commented Jul 6, 2019 at 13:01

Reset did not help me because I did not realise Mac restart was pending due to OS update.

Simple Mac OS restart fixed the problem for me. As restarted installed pending OS updates.


click on the apple icon on the top left and click force quit and click safari to force quit the safari app. Then, try what you were doing previously.

  • That will not make Safari clean. History will still be intact. Can you try editing once?
    – anki
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 8:21

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