How do I reset Safari 8 (and fix HTML5 video)?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jerwin, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. jerwin macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    I've got a really annoying problem with Safari that was imported from my last machine onto my new one.

    Unless I set my user agent to "Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_9_0) AppleWebKit/600.6.3 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/7.1.6 Safari/537.85.15", Youtube will refuse to play videos-- offering me a choice of 240p, 360p, or 720p.

    If I set my user agent to the above-- i get access to 1080p, and even 4k, and the video plays... I think this has to do with HTML5. and Flash. By making sure that a custom user agent is used, it saves me some annoyance, as I don't need to manually select the user agent each time I restart Safari.

    If I try to use Vimeo, the above trick doesn't work, suggesting that Vimeo hates flash. I usually end up watching the video using Firefox, or chrome.

    None of this happens when I use my Guest user option-- videos play fine, suggesting that at some point in time, my Safari preferences picked up some cruft. I have the Develop and Debug menus turned on, (as probably was evident from my discussion of UserAgent strings.)

    How can I either:

    resolve my issue directly
    reset my Safari installation, including any preferences I may have changed, to factory specs, in hopes that this will resolve the issue?

  2. jerwin thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jun 13, 2015
    Never mind. I was able to create a new user account, enable the debug and develop menus in that account; verify that youtube and vimeo were working, and then start transferring obscure settings from the new working account ("Enable Media Source Extensions" was the culprit; it should be checked)
    and then to restore the default user agent of safari 8, I wrote

    "defaults delete CustomUserAgent", which coupled with the Media Source Extensions setting, got Vimeo working agin.

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