Safari bricked??

hawkeye9935

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
34
0
Edmonton, Canada
Hello,

Just did a clean install on a slowed-down mid-2012 MBP and upgraded to Mojave in the process. Everything went great, no major issues other than suddenly having issues with Safari a week on.

Opening Safari pops up the correct homepage but then the window is unresponsive, can't type in the search bar on the screen, can't type in the address bar (just hear the 'you can't do that' mac bong sound each time) and strangely, the Preferences and Quit options in the menu are greyed out and the program is only closed by Force Quit.

Tried restarting, opening program with Shift, my meagre skills have been exhausted and it appears simply deleting Safari and reinstalling is not an option.

Help please!
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,216
5,558
Suggestion (I realize this doesn't "fix" the Safari problem):

Try a few OTHER browsers to see if you can reproduce "the problem" while using them.

I'd suggest:
- Firefox
- iCab
- EPIC privacy browser
- Microsoft Edge Canary (yes, Microsoft!)

Do these work, when Safari will not?

One other thing:
You said its a 2012 MBP?
Is it "retina", or the "non-retina" version?
(the NON retina version has the DVD drive on the right side)

IF it's the non-retina, and IF you still have the original platter-based HDD inside, it's a "cheap and easy" upgrade to put an SSD into it instead.
It will make things go much MUCH faster.
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,478
889
By "clean install", did you restore anything from TimeMachine or other backup? If so, might have a bad extension. Bring up Safari and disable all the extensions via Safari > Preferences, then restart Safari.

Clear you cache and cookies: might be corrupt or huge (ie. have Safari > Preferences > General > Remove History Items set to "never" or something more than 30 days).

Maybe malware (seems like a lot of crypto-currency malware floating out there via "free"/cracked software, bad extensions, etc of late). Download MalwareBytes and EtreCheck to see if something amiss.
 

hawkeye9935

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
34
0
Edmonton, Canada
Suggestion (I realize this doesn't "fix" the Safari problem):

Try a few OTHER browsers to see if you can reproduce "the problem" while using them.

I'd suggest:
- Firefox
- iCab
- EPIC privacy browser
- Microsoft Edge Canary (yes, Microsoft!)

Do these work, when Safari will not?

One other thing:
You said its a 2012 MBP?
Is it "retina", or the "non-retina" version?
(the NON retina version has the DVD drive on the right side)

IF it's the non-retina, and IF you still have the original platter-based HDD inside, it's a "cheap and easy" upgrade to put an SSD into it instead.
It will make things go much MUCH faster.
Thanks for the suggestions!

Chrome and Firefox working normally. Non-Retina yes, I'm eyeing a SSD upgrade as my next move!
[doublepost=1561140668][/doublepost]
By "clean install", did you restore anything from TimeMachine or other backup? If so, might have a bad extension. Bring up Safari and disable all the extensions via Safari > Preferences, then restart Safari.

Clear you cache and cookies: might be corrupt or huge (ie. have Safari > Preferences > General > Remove History Items set to "never" or something more than 30 days).

Maybe malware (seems like a lot of crypto-currency malware floating out there via "free"/cracked software, bad extensions, etc of late). Download MalwareBytes and EtreCheck to see if something amiss.

Decided not to use TM to keep things fresh, only backed up Photos, iTunes and personal files manually from a separate drive.

When Safari launches, it briefly shows the 'don't you want to use Safari as default browser?' window then disappears immediately. After this the window becomes unresponsive to clicks - menu has Preferences greyed out (see photo) and only way to close is Force Quit.

Will try programs you suggested!
[doublepost=1561141036][/doublepost]
Create another user, log in as that user. Does Safari work now?
Tried logging in to Guest account and Safari worked normally, what would this mean as far as a problem only associated with my account?
[doublepost=1561142201][/doublepost]UPDATE:

MalwareBytes found no issues, EtreCheck did not find anything related to Safari
 

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hawkeye9935

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
34
0
Edmonton, Canada
Does the Duck mean you are using Duck Duck as the search engine? If so, try Google, Bind, or something else.
Would love to but at this point I can't do anything except launch and force quit Safari, once it opens I'm unable to type or click or interact with any part of the open window and many useful menu options (preferences, quit) are greyed out
 

jbarley

macrumors 68040
Jul 1, 2006
3,773
1,616
Vancouver Island
Would love to but at this point I can't do anything except launch and force quit Safari, once it opens I'm unable to type or click or interact with any part of the open window and many useful menu options (preferences, quit) are greyed out
Have you tried starting up in "Safe mode"? (hold down the shift key)
Then try running Safari, might point to something amiss...
 

NoBoMac

Moderator
Staff member
Jul 1, 2014
2,478
889
Since guest account worked, could be a couple of things.

First, just a really messed up account. Can try deleting anything with "Safari" in the name under Library (might need to do a Finder > Window (?) > Go and enter ~/Library to get to it as that folder is hidden by default). Among the sub folders, Preferences, Application Support. But, it's a last resort thing.

Never mentioned what Etrecheck said about Launch Agents/Daemons. From the behavior, pretty sure you have malware and is launching everytime you sign in and blocking certain Safari functions (usually just changing/setting
Home Page and or default search engine). If you installed some "free" or cracked software of late, that could be where the problems began as a payload.

Can always setup a new account and move files to that, but if launch scamware app there, can reintroduce the same problem.

Nuclear option: erase drive and reinstall fresh. Don't transfer settings. Strategic copy back of apps (read: nothing coming off interwebs from sketch sites).
 

G4DPII

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2015
245
295
I had this a few weeks ago on High Sierra.

No idea as to the cause of the issue. In the end I did a re-install of the OS. That sorted the issue. Would have been so much easier if you were still able to delete Safari and then re-install on its own as you were in the past.
 
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hawkeye9935

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
34
0
Edmonton, Canada
Since guest account worked, could be a couple of things.

First, just a really messed up account. Can try deleting anything with "Safari" in the name under Library (might need to do a Finder > Window (?) > Go and enter ~/Library to get to it as that folder is hidden by default). Among the sub folders, Preferences, Application Support. But, it's a last resort thing.

Never mentioned what Etrecheck said about Launch Agents/Daemons. From the behavior, pretty sure you have malware and is launching everytime you sign in and blocking certain Safari functions (usually just changing/setting
Home Page and or default search engine). If you installed some "free" or cracked software of late, that could be where the problems began as a payload.

Can always setup a new account and move files to that, but if launch scamware app there, can reintroduce the same problem.

Nuclear option: erase drive and reinstall fresh. Don't transfer settings. Strategic copy back of apps (read: nothing coming off interwebs from sketch sites).

Haha, I'd tend to agree with you though I can't for the life of me think what would have done it, I haven't had malware yet since moving to Mac in 2008 but there's always a first time. I only downloaded a couple apps after install and a couple extensions for Chrome, nothing for safari.

I'll try deleting the Library files...
[doublepost=1561178598][/doublepost]
I had this a few weeks ago on High Sierra.

No idea as to the cause of the issue. In the end I did a re-install of the OS. That sorted the issue. Would have been so much easier if you were still able to delete Safari and then re-install on its own as you were in the past.
So frustrating! I suppose I'll do a clean install if the next couple suggestions don't work out, thank for the message!
 

hawkeye9935

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 8, 2009
34
0
Edmonton, Canada
Finally got around to fixing this issue, going through another clean install restored Safari to original functionality. Never did find anything fishy on the malware/virus scans but that seems to be the most likely explanation.

Thanks for all the help!