Mac Help Desk
Quick fixes for common Mac problems

Solved: Safari not working on Mac but Chrome does

It's annoying when suddenly Safari is not working on Mac but Chrome is. Frustrating as it is, browser glitches are not uncommon.

If Safari is refusing to work altogether, or you're experiencing crashing, freezing, or unexpected quitting, then you've landed in the right spot.

Why is Safari not working but Chrome is on Mac?

There can be a number of reasons why we run into browser issues. Let's take a quick glance at some of the most common causes:

  • Corrupt browser application

  • Outdated software

  • Excessive cookies and cache buildup

Give your MacBook a quick restart from the main Apple menu. This might sound simple, but a restart can often solve many Mac issues.

quick MacBook restart from the main Apple menu

Fixes: Safari not working on Mac but Chrome does

1. Check for software updates

If your Mac's operating system has become outdated, this could be the reason why Safari is struggling to perform. Keeping your Mac updated is always recommended. Every macOS update also comes with an updated version of preinstalled apps, including Safari. Here's a quick reminder on how to check:

  • Select the main Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software Update.
  • If an update is available, click Update Now and follow the on-screen instructions to install it.

System Preferences - Software Update

2. Remove Cookies and Cache

Another quick way to eliminate Safari glitches is to remove any built-up cookie or cache data. This can, over time, slow the browser down and cause performance issues. Here's how:

  • Open Safari and from the main Safari menu > Settings > Privacy.
  • Select Manage Website Data > Remove All.

Safari Privacy Settings

3. Reset Safari

You could also completely reset Safari, which would put the app back into its original state, removing glitches and issues. Use a trusted tool like CleanMyMac X to do this. Its Uninstaller module helps users reset apps in a few clicks; here's how:

  1. Open the app or get the free version.

  2. Select Uninstaller > View All Applications.

  3. Find and select Safari. 

  4. Next to its name, select Reset, and click Reset.

All apps selected in the Uninstaller module of CMMX

Hopefully, one of the fixes helped, and now you're back online. Happy browsing!

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