George Garside Blog

A place of many ramblings about macOS and development. If you find something useful on here, it's probably an accident.

It seems OS X Yosemite developer preview 4 (DP4) has broken Safari 8’s ability to access favourites, or Smart Search Field, or something, and whenever the browser attempts to access these features, it crashes. As by default, Safari 8 has the Smart Search Field which shows your favourites when you click the address bar, or having the default start page to the Top Sites, it’s possible that the Safari crash in Yosemite is immediate before you have the ability to change the settings.

Fortunately, there’s a quick fix to the Yosemite Safari crash to get Safari working again; simply run the following commands in Terminal without Safari being open, then launch Safari.

defaults write ShowFavoritesUnderSmartSearchField 0
defaults write NewWindowBehavior 1
defaults write NewTabBehavior 1Code language: CSS (css)

These commands set a number of preferences in the property list, which will hide the favourites from under the Smart Search Field, fixing the crash that occurs when you click on the address bar, as well as fixing the crash caused by showing the Top Sites page by changing the new window behaviour and new tab behaviour to showing the about:blank page.

If Safari still crashes, ensure that no background Safari processes are running by checking in Activity Monitor. These commands will be overwritten and ignored if any Safari processes are running and the crash will not be resolved. If all else fails, log out immediately after running these commands, or run these commands in another user account:

defaults write ~username/Library/Preferences/ ShowFavoritesUnderSmartSearchField 0
defaults write ~username/Library/Preferences/ NewWindowBehavior 1
defaults write ~username/Library/Preferences/ NewTabBehavior 1

Make sure to replace “username” with the username of your original OS X account.

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Safari on all three of my Macs crashed (2007, 2009 and 2014 models) when I upgraded to Yosemite. I wasted two days with Apple support and tried all the tips I could find online - remove all plugins, remove all extensions, install Java 8. And none of these worked. Today I pasted the commands above into Terminal, and now Safari in all three Macs works, minus the drop-down favorites - a small loss considering I lost an entire week of work messing with the buggy Safari.


Seems to work so far for me, generally slow Safari though...


I spoke too soon. I let the computers Sleep overnight, and woke up to the same Safari jam. Again, webpages will not open. A blue line ooches across the address bar about an inch and then stops. Page does not open.


i will copy and paste this in the terminal then press enter?


These command does not work for my case. In my Macbook it crashes every time I start tying in address bar since the first time I upgraded to Safari 8.


Much better than before and seems to work for awhile although still unpredictable. I just get the spinning Kathryn Wheel when changing to some Web pages. Have tried every thing I can find throughout the Forums but nothing is 100%. Seriously considering going back to Mavericks.

Apple seem very quiet on this one, they must know very well about the problem....................