How to Reset Safari to Default Settings

Restoring default settings is a multistep process

Safari, Apple's built-in web browser, no longer has a reset button that returns it to the default state. You'll need to perform a multistep process to reset Safari to default settings, including removing Safari's history and cookies, clearing the cache, and disabling extensions.

This article's instructions cover Safari versions 14 through 11.

Remove Browser History

The first step when resetting Safari is to remove your browser history. When you clear your browsing history, Safari removes data such as recent searches, the frequently visited site list, web page icons, the history of web pages you've visited, and more.

From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Clear History.

From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Clear History.
  1. In the drop-down menu, select All History.

    In the drop-down menu, select All History.
  2. Select Clear History to complete the process.

    Select Clear History to complete the process.

    To clear a particular website instead, navigate to History > Show History, select the website you want to clear, and press Delete.

Remove Cookies

When you remove all cookies from Safari, you'll lose personal registration data such as your name and address, shopping cart contents, preferred web page layouts, and more.

  1. From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.

    From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.
  2. Select the Privacy tab.

    Select the Privacy tab.
  3. Select Manage Website Data.

    Select Manage Website Data.
  4. Select Remove All.

    Select Remove All.
  5. Select Remove Now.

    Select Remove Now.
  6. Select Done.

    Select Done.

Clear Safari's Cache

When you clear Safari's cache, you're removing stored website data.

  1. From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.

    From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.
  2. Select the Advanced tab.

    Select the Advanced tab.
  3. Place a check next to Show Develop menu in menu bar, and then exit out of Preferences.

    Place a check next to Show Develop menu in menu bar, and then exit out of Preferences.
  4. From Safari's menu bar, select Develop > Empty Caches.

    From Safari's menu bar, select Develop > Empty Caches.

Disable or Uninstall Extensions

Safari extensions are like mini-apps that add functionality to the browser. If you're trying to reset Safari, you'll want to disable or uninstall any extensions.

  1. From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.

    From Safari's menu bar, select Safari > Preferences.
  2. Select the Extensions tab.

    Select the Extensions tab.
  3. Select an extension, and then deselect the checkbox next to the extension to disable it.

    Select an extension, and then deselect the checkbox next to the extension to disable it.

    Many extensions have several sub-extensions, so you'll need to uncheck all of them.

  4. After you've disabled an extension, you can uninstall it. Select Uninstall.

    After you've disabled an extension, you can uninstall it. Select Uninstall.
  5. You'll see a message that the extension is part of an application, and that you'll need to remove the application. Select Show in Finder.

    Select Show in Finder.
  6. Finder will open with the app selected. Right-click on the application and select Move to Trash.

    Righ-click on the application and select Move to Trash.
  7. Enter your password and select OK. You've deleted the extension.

Clear Website Data on Safari for iOS

To clear Safari's settings on an iPhone or iPad:

  1. Open the iOS device's Settings app.

  2. Scroll down and select Safari.

  3. Under Privacy & Security, select Clear History and Website Data.

  4. Select Clear History and Data to confirm.

    Clear History and Website Data in Safari for iOS
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