Why does Safari quit unexpectedly?

Written by ian kelly
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Why does Safari quit unexpectedly?
Correct Safari browser issues with a few simple steps. (Duncan Smith/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Although Apple’s Safari trails behind other browsers in terms of market share, it is a stylish, intuitive and easy to use web browser available to both Mac and Windows users. However, in their quest for a sleek uncluttered user interface, the developers excluded many of the customising features available on the three main contenders; namely IE, Firefox and Chrome. In addition, without this infrastructure, Safari is prone to unexpected crashes if configured incorrectly. Nevertheless, dedicated surfers are still able to improve usability by adding third-party add-ons, toolbars and extensions, however, doing so increases the risk of Safari quitting unexpectedly.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Computer
  • Internet connection
  • Safari Web browser

Show MoreHide



  1. 1

    Open the Safari browser. Click on the gear shaped “Menu” icon on the upper right of the screen,and then click on the “Preferences” tag in the drop-down menu; this opens a small window. Next, click on the “Extensions” icon shaped like the piece of a jigsaw puzzle to reveal all your installed extensions.

  2. 2

    Click on the “Updates” icon on the lower left of the window, and then click on the “Install Updates Automatically” check box. Close the window and continue surfing to see if this corrected the problem. If not, go to the next step.

  3. 3

    Repeat Step 1 and open the “Extensions” window again. Turn the switch on the upper right to the “Off” position. Quit the browser, turn it back on and continue surfing. If no further unexpected crashes occur, one or more of your add-ons or extensions are either damaged or incompatible with Safari.

  4. 4

    Make a list of all your add-ons and extensions. Click on each one in turn and then click the grey “Uninstall” button on the right. After removing all the extensions, reload the first one and test the system. Continue in this manner until your browser closes unexpectedly. Uninstall the faulty extension and reload the next one in line.

  5. 5

    Repeat this procedure until you have weeded out all the troublesome toolbars, download managers, add-ons and extensions. If your browser still experiences the occasional crash, go to the next Section.


  1. 1

    Check your Network connections. If connections on your modem or wireless router are loose, or if the hardware is prone to intermittent failure, Safari will stop working.

  2. 2

    Press the “Reset” button on the modem or router and test the browser. If Safari continues to fail, refer to the “Troubleshooting” section in your modem or router user manual and follow the guidelines.

  3. 3

    Contact your ISP as a last resort. Ask them to check the integrity of your connection. If your system passes their test, they will show you how to identify a faulty modem or router. Replace the hardware if necessary and retest the browser. If you still encounter crashes, go to the next section.

    Reset Safari

  1. 1

    Open the browser menu with the gear shaped button on the top right of the screen. If the browser continues to fail, one or more of the Safari files may be corrupted. Repeat Step 1 of the above “Extensions” section. Select the "Reset Safari" function from the drop-down menu.

  2. 2

    De-select any of the functions you want to keep, for example: “Remove all Website Icons” or “Remove Saved names and passwords”.

  3. 3

    Click the “Reset” button. This will clear the browser cache of cookies -- small text files downloaded onto your computer to track browsing preferences -- saved passwords, and website history. Test your browser and go to the next section if the problem persists. NOTE: This function will not remove your saved bookmarks. In addition, you can restore all deleted files if necessary by undoing this function.

    Reinstall Safari

  1. 1

    Go to the “Mac Update” website if you have an Apple computer. If you have a Windows PC, choose one of the “Safari for Windows” websites and download the latest version.

  2. 2

    Choose the “Save File” feature. Download the file to your desktop and click on the “Safari Setup” icon. This will install the latest version and overwrite any old corrupted files on your computer.

  3. 3

    Reboot your computer. Open Safari and start surfing to ensure that the problem no longer exists. You’ll also notice that all your preferences, bookmarks and trusted add-0ns and extensions have been automatically reinstalled on the replacement browser.

Tips and warnings

  • If you’re running an Apple computer and Safari continues to quit unexpectedly, create a new administrator account. If this corrects the problem, the original administrator account was the cause of your browser problems. In addition, go to the dashboard and delete all installed widgets to improve browser performance; some third-party widgets are known to cause browser issues.
  • If you use an Apple computer, click on the Apple logo and select the “Software Update” link to automatically install available updates and improve your computer’s performance. If you use a Windows PC, load the control panel and click on the “Uninstall a program” icon. Scan the list of installed software to ensure that the “Apple Software Update” application was automatically installed along with the Safari installation.

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