I have been having problems with the Safari on my MacBook Air (Retina, 13-inch, 2018) in the last couple of days. I updated it yesterday to Catalina 10.15.7 and I have Safari Version 14.0.

Now every time I open safari, I get to the favourites page and when I click on a website (like moodle, or websites from my school) it always freezes and the coloured wheel starts spinning and the fans start turning really loudly. I can’t close the browser, and I have to “quit” Safari, but that doesn’t work, so I have to “force quit” it. And when I restart Safari the same thing happens again, so I tried to force-restart my laptop, because Safari is frozen. But when I restart it the same thing happens again. And I just have 1 website/tab/window open, and it used to work fine in the past.

I closed all the other apps, and tried reopening Safari multiple times. And then I tried restarting my mac several times. I tried to run diagnostics on my laptop and that said there were no problems. I deleted all my Safari History and I emptied my Caches. I do not have any extensions.

I usually can’t even log into my university-moodle-account, and when I can, I can’t download any of my homework or watch the video-recordings of the lectures.

I don’t know how to fix it.

3 Answers 3


Most issues with web browsers in general, including Safari, can be traced back to just a few things:

  • Damaged/Corrupt cache
  • Damaged/corrupt settings file(s)
  • Damaged/misbehaving add-on/extension

The first thing I would do is close all your tabs then go to the "Safari" menu and select "Clear history..." Change the pop-up menu to clear "all history" and click the Clear history button. Once that is done quit and re-launch Safari.

If this didn't solve your problem, try starting Safari in Safe Mode. Hold the Shift key while launching Safari. This disables all extensions.

If that solved the problem you can launch Safari normally, go to Safari > Preferences... > Extensions and turn all but one off. And see how Safari behaves. It is then a process of elimination of turning extensions on/off to find the culprit. Note that some extensions may interfere with another extension so it may be a combination of 2 or more extensions that are causing the problem.

That didn't do it? OK let's delete some settings/preferences files.

  • Quit out of safari
  • In Finder select the Go menu and if "Library" is not available select Go to folder and enter ~/Library and press enter.
  • A finder window will open, scroll down till you see Preferences. And look for files that start with com.apple.safari
  • Any one or even all of those files could be the culprit. I would start with deleting (or moving to the desktop) the com.apple.safari.plist
  • Re-launch Safari and see if it is better. If it is you will have to re-select your Safari preferences (home page, tabs and other preferences)
  • If that didn't fix it I would (exit Safari first) remove (one at a time if you like) the other com.apple.safari. preference files and re-launch and see if that fixed it.
  • Failing all of that there is one more thing. In the preferences folder there is another folder called "Safari" that holds a lot of preferences, settings and other things Safari uses. Quit out of Safari, move that folder to the desktop and launch Safari again and see if that fixes the issue.

If that fails then it may be time to repair macOS, which is often accomplished by installing the most recent Combo Update released by Apple (only download from apple.com!). This won't do anything but re-apply all the latest fixes to macOS and often fixes a multitude of stubborn Mac OS problems.

  • 1
    safari freeze so I cannot go to menu , com.apple.safari.plist doesn't exist on my macos...
    – Renetik
    Commented Jul 10, 2021 at 16:58
  • I tried your steps and it didn't help
    – Renetik
    Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 23:17
  • My safari sometimes hangs indefinitely a few seconds after starting up, force quit and restart doesn't help and neither do these options, but rebooting fixes the issue for a while. Before going into MacOS repair I'd suggest trying a reboot to see if that helps.
    – Kevin
    Commented Jul 26, 2021 at 11:40
  • The names and locations of preferences/settings files for Safari varies with OS versions. You need to look for files there related to Safari and delete them or move them out of that location. There are also free utilities (like Onyx) that can "clean" the Safari cache files if you can't launch Safari and do it there. Commented Oct 15, 2021 at 23:26

I just had a Macbook Air with Safari that would immediately crash when trying to launch. This was on a Mojave system.

To fix, I would up reinstalling OS (reboot and press and hold Command+R).

Safari is now working fine.

  • 3
    there are other simpler things to do first before you jump in and reinstall macOS. it is a valid repair option but I would do a whole bunch more before going through the time/hassle of reinstalling the OS Commented Sep 29, 2020 at 16:22

What helped for me was upgrading Safari to 15.1 beta, by downloading the new Safari version directly from https://developer.apple.com/download/all/

You might need to setup a developer account with your Apple ID, if you still don't have one.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .