Safari 12.1 is crashing constantly. Possible to downgrade to prior version?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by riker1384, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. riker1384 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    West Coast
    I have a 2013 Retina 13 running High Sierra. Yesterday I upgraded to Safari 12.1. The description sounded like a minor update, so I just went ahead and did it. It has ruined Safari. Safari is now crashing constantly without any warning, multiple times per hour. I'm very lucky if I can get 15 minutes straight of browsing without a crash.

    Is there any way I can downgrade Safari to the previous version? (12.0.whatever) I have a backup drive but my last backup was weeks ago, so if I revert to that I will either lose a bunch of stuff or have to try to manually copy things over. Is there any way to just revert Safari and avoid having to do that?
  2. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.
  3. riker1384 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    West Coast
    I disabled all extensions and cleared cache, it had no effect. (The new Safari 12 version of Adblock didn't seem to do anything at all anyway.) Deleting most of my cookies seems to have helped a bit, reduced by 50 percent at most. Still an unacceptable number of crashes, a bunch per hour. My history automatically deletes items after 2 weeks so I doubt that's a problem.

    I do tend to keep a lot of browser windows/tabs open. I like to able to come back and finish things I as reading without losing my place. I have windows with tabs on various subjects: news, discussions, researching something I might buy, or researching things I need to fix such as this problem or a home repair, and so forth. I need to be able to find pages and then be able to come back to them later.

    I don't see any other way to do it. Creating, finding, and especially deleting bookmarks is incredibly slow compared to just opening, closing and switching between windows and tabs. Firefox apparently has a "tab suspender" extension that lets you stop running scripts on pages you're not currently looking at, but I find Firefox inferior overall: slower and uglier, with text that is harder to read. Last time I checked there was no such thing available for Safari. I haven't tried Chrome because I don't trust Google in regard to privacy.

    I have a number of windows open but minimized to the Dock so Safari doesn't actually open the webpage until I take the window out of the Dock. I'd like to sort through them, just close some of them and make bookmarks for some of them so I can close them-but it's hard to do that when the damn thing keeps crashing as soon as I try.

    There really ought to be some better way to keep track of pages I've been viewing without going through the unbelievably slow process of navigating menus and dialog boxes to deal with bookmarks, and especially having to navigate a separate menu system to delete them than you do to create or view them! (Why can't I just right-click a bookmark and delete it? It would be much easier that way.) There should be some quick graphical way to "bookmark" pages similar to the process of opening and closing windows, but without having to have the pages open, running scripts, consuming resources and causing these problems I'm having.

    I have written before about this issue in this thread:

    My browsing experience has gotten worse and worse with the software updates over the last couple years:

    -With El Capitan and earlier, Safari would hang up (unresponsive, with a beachball) sometimes. I would have to force-quit it, and relaunch Safari. Not a big deal.

    -When I upgraded to Sierra and continuing with High Sierra, instead of just Safari hanging up, my whole computer would become unresponsive whenever Safari hung up and I would have to force-shutdown the computer and then boot again, remount disk images, reopen applications and documents. Lots of wasted time.

    -When I upgraded to Safari 12, they disabled Adblock. This ate up more resources with ad videos and such, making these hangups and shutdowns happen even more. And it makes browsing generally slow and aggravating, annoying me with videos and such and making me click to close ads before viewing a page. This often doubles the time it takes to navigate between different pages looking for things. And it increases heat, fan usage and battery usage compared to running with Adblock. They should have warned us that it would do this.

    Now upgrading to Safari 12.1-which was supposedly just a security update that I didn't think would have any ill effects-the crashes are coming multiple times per hour, much more than before. On the plus side though, my whole computer doesn't hang up and require a shutdown. Safari just crashes with no warning and I have to relaunch it. But it's happening all the time and it often causes me to lose things I'm typing.

    These recent Safari updates have made me deeply regret when I have neglected to back up beforehand. In the past I have backed up before moving to a new OS version, but it didn't occur to me that just updating Safari could cause serious problems.

    It's been almost a month since my last backup I've done a lot of tidying up of unneeded documents and such. I will lose that work, and various new documents (unless I find them and manually copy them) and such if I revert to the backup. So I'd really like to find if there is a way to downgrade to the previous version of Safari. The lack of replies other than yours is making me think there isn't. There seems to be a site "tomsguide" that has a download link for Safari 12.0.1, but I have no idea if that's safe and legit, or if I could install it and keep my bookmarks.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    riker --
    Try this.
    It will hurt nothing, take only a few minutes, and be "removable" once you're done.

    1. Go to the users & groups preference pane (system preferences)
    2. Click the lock icon and enter your password
    3. Now, click the "+" sign (lower left). This will create a NEW account.
    4. BE SURE to give it administrative privileges. Give it an easily-remembered name and password.
    5. Now, LOG OUT of your regular account, and LOG INTO the brand-new temp account.

    Open Safari.
    Is it still "sluggish"?
    Or, does it run better?

    The point of doing this is to ascertain whether it's something WITHIN your current account and setup that is the source of your problems.
    If they magically "disappear" with the new account, that's a good indication.
    Of course, if it is, then you've "got some huntin' to do".

    I keep a "temp user account" like this around, even if I don't access it often.
    If you don't want it, just log into your regular account and then go to users & groups and delete it.

    One more thought:
    Try running with only A FEW tabs open (no more than 5).
    I'll bet things run much faster.

    Personal experience:
    I don't use browser tabs -- AT ALL. NEVER.
    If I "open a tab by mistake" I IMMEDIATELY close it.
    I -do- right click on links and then choose "open in a new window".
    But when I'm done, I close those windows as well.
    Safari generally works GREAT for me.
  5. riker1384 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    West Coast
    I made a new account. Starting with a completely blank history, it doesn't crash at first. But as soon as I start opening multiple windows, I still get lots of crashes, at around 1/4 the number of windows that Safari used to be able to handle having open with only 1 or 2 crashes a day. Also, I'm getting dropped frames on Youtube videos at 480p where before I always watched 720p, and 1080p60 usually worked as well. The 12.1 update seems to have radically reduced the performance/efficiency of Safari.

    I really want to be able to go back and finish web pages I've been reading earlier. I don't see any way to keep track of this other than keeping multiple windows open. Looking at my History is not useful because it doesn't distinguish between pages I do and don't want to go back to. Bookmarks are vastly too slow as I discussed. My whole browsing experience, that main thing I use my home computer for, has been ruined.

    And incidentally, it crashed while I was typing this post. Good thing this site saves drafts automatically. Now I have to periodically copy long web postings into TextEdit if I don't want to lose them. I've given up on several posts after neglecting to do this, and losing a long post that I was writing.
  6. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

    Aug 27, 2015
    on the land line mr. smith.

    Good testing....helps narrow things down.

    If you are correct, and 12.1 is the issue...there may be no real or easy resolution until an update resolves it.

    I have to ask: Why not switch browsers? I stopped using Safari as my primary browser years ago, finding both Firefox and Chrome to be better overall. I also like that they are cross platform...and long list of small niceties.

    I gave up troubleshooting Safari before issues got anywhere close to as bad as you are fighting, simply because the options were available. Though I doubt there will ever be a perfect browser, the good outweighs the bad by such a wide margin that switching made the most sense.

Share This Page

5 March 29, 2019