Reset Apple Safari to default settings

Since Safari version 9.0 (macOS El Capitan), Apple have removed the menu option to Reset Safari to defaults. Why they’ve done this I’m not entirely sure, but probably to do with data collection and digital fingerprinting. To properly reset Safari, you need to run some code, or simply buy my script which does it automatically ($5 bucks).

Reset Safari to default settings

1. Open a Terminal window: Applications > Utilities > Terminal

2. Backup your bookmarks (optional). Copy-paste the following code into Terminal:

cp ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist ~/Desktop/Bookmarks.plist;

3. Force Safari to quit:

killall Safari;

4. Clear cache, cookies and Safari folders (copy-paste each line separately):

rm -Rf ~/Library/Cookies/*;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Cache/*;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Safari/*;

5. Remove some stubborn files and settings (copy-paste each line separately):

rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/Apple\ -\ Safari\ -\ Safari\ Extensions\ Gallery;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/Metadata/Safari;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Caches/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Cookies/Cookies.binarycookies;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/Apple\ -\ Safari\ -\ Safari\ Extensions\ Gallery;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Preferences/;
rm -Rf ~/Library/PubSub/Database;
rm -Rf ~/Library/Saved\ Application\ State/;

6. Restore your bookmarks (optional). Copy-paste each line separately:

rm -Rf ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist;
cp ~/Desktop/Bookmarks.plist ~/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist;

You can now open Safari and star afresh!

Remember if you’re not tech savvy, head on over to my shop and buy my script that does all this in a few seconds for $5 bucks.

Links & Resources


I was a musician till the age of 30 with a keen interest in technology. I did a short web design course which sparked my interest in programming and in 2009 I launched Ricmedia Guitar, then Ricmedia PC Help. I now publish tech articles and tutorials on the main domain.

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