Mac Safari closes window when opening new tab

Safari v. 11.1.2 on a 2013 iMac… (it’s been doing this for a couple of months… don’t know when the last update was, or if it started then…)

About 20 percent of the time, when I open a new tab (or open a tab and then put the cursor in the URL field), the entire window closes. I’ve tried ALL the following, but it persists:

  • Safari/Preferences/Advanced - enable the Develop menu, then go there and Empty Caches. Quit/reopen Safari and test.

  • Safari/History/Show History and delete all history items. Quit/reopen Safari and test.

  • Safari/Clear History

  • Select Library/Caches/ and move it to the trash.

  • Go to Safari Preferences/Extensions and turn all extensions off. Test. If okay, turn the extensions on one by one until you figure out what extension is causing the problem.

I’m at a loss… Is there anything else I can try?


If you use Safe Boot and the problem persists, it’d probably be worth backing up and reinstalling the OS.

Thanks. I may have to give this a try. Can I reinstall the OS without a full “nuke and pave?”

That seems far too extreme. I’d first try to create a new user account and see if the problem is there.

Reinstalling the system is a bit drastic. I’d try resetting Safari first, among other things.

First of all, back up your computer.

Then try the following. It may not seem that some of these would cause the problem, but strange things can happen and these are fairly benign:

  1. Disable all your Safari extensions. If this fixes, it, you can iteratively figure out where the problem is by replacing them one by one.

  2. Clear the Safari history. It’s an item under the Safari menu.

  3. Clear the Safari caches. The easiest way to do this is to use the Develop menu. If you don’t have it enabled, you can do so by going to Safari>Preferences>advanced and checking the box.

  4. Quit Safari. Then go to ~/Library and move the Safari file to the desktop. This clears almost all the settings. Restart Safari and see if it works. If this does not fix it, you can always move the original file back to restore settings you want to keep. You might delay dong this until you first try step 5:

  5. Quit Safari. Go back to the library folder and open the caches folder. Delete anything that starts with… restart and see if things are better.

Hopefully, one of these will work.

Sorry, yes, I meant to just reinstall without wiping. Backing is just always wise as a precaution. I imagine you’ve resolved things by now - what was the outcome?

No, it still happens after all the steps Quahog suggested, and even after upgrading from Sierra to Mojave. I’ve about given up, resorting to the keyboard shortcut to reopen last closed window. :frowning:

I know I’m resurrecting an old thread, but just wondering if you ever found a solution to this. I’m not 100% positive, but pretty sure it just started for me with Monterey. I would say about 70% of the time, when I open a new tab, it closes almost immediately, or when I type a new url in an existing tab, it starts to load then goes back to what was previously in the tab (e.g. do a search, loads results, then goes back to previous page). It’s not a dealbreaker but still extremely annoying. It feels like I’ve got some hardware switch accidentally pressed or something to go back, but I don’t. I was going to post a new topic, but searched, but sounds like you were having the same issue.

I’m really not sure when the problem went away, so I don’t remember the last time it happened. I went from Mojave to Catalina, skipped Big Sur, and am now using Monterey on a MacBook Air (M1) I got in December. Sorry I can’t be of more help.

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