How to Remove Safari Extensions on Mac

Nov 9, 2016 - 7 Comments

Safari icon

Safari for Mac allows for optional third party browser extensions to be installed, performing functions like social sharing, note taking, interface with apps like 1password, amongst others. Sometimes Safari extensions can be useful, but sometimes they are no longer needed, or they can be problematic and cause freezes or trouble with Safari or for the ability to work with a specific website, and accordingly users often need to delete extensions from the browser.

This article will show you how to easily remove Safari extensions on a Mac. It’s important to note that Safari Extensions are different from Safari Plug-ins, which are removed separately.

Removing Safari Extensions on a Mac from Safari

This works to delete any Safari extension in macOS or Mac OS X:

  1. Open the Safari app and go to “Safari” menu and choose “Preferences”
  2. Go to the “Extensions” tab
  3. Click on any extension you no longer want in Safari and choose “Uninstall”
  4. Uninstall Safari extensions on Mac

  5. Confirm that you want to delete the selected extension from Safari to remove it
  6. remove-safari-extensions-mac

  7. Repeat with other extensions as necessary

This is the easy way to delete a Safari extension, but you can also manually intervene from the file system to remove extensions from Safari as well.

Manually Deleting Safari Extension on Mac

Sometimes if an extension is causing havoc with Safari, the Extensions manager won’t be able to load or the uninstall method above won’t work. This is somewhat rare, but it can happen in some particular haywire scenarios with an errant or incompatible extension that refuses to remove itself. If this happens, you can manually delete an extension by going to where Safari extensions are located in Mac OS and removing them, this is done with the following:

  1. Quit Safari on the Mac
  2. From the Finder, hit Command+Shift+G to bring up Go To Folder (also accessible from the Go menu) then enter the following path:
  3. ~/Library/Safari/Extensions/

  4. Choose “Go” and you’ll instantly be in the Safari Extensions folder on the Mac, delete any extensions you wish to remove from Safari
  5. Remove Safari extensions from Safari extensions location on Mac

  6. Relaunch Safari when finished

Don’t forget the tilde ~ when entering the file path to signify the users Extensions folder.

What about removing Safari Plug-ins?

As mentioned earlier, Safari Extensions are different from Safari Plug-ins. Safari Plug-ins include more functionality and tend to be feature-rich media viewers, like Adobe Acrobat reader in Safari, Adobe Flash, Silverlight, QuickTime, and similar. Without going too in-depth in this particular walkthrough, you can locate Safari plug-ins at the following file paths on a Mac:

System Level Safari plug-ins location: (available for all users)
/Library/Internet Plug-ins/

User level Safari plug-ins location: (available only for current user)
~/Library/Internet Plug-ins/

Extensions and plug-ins are often the first place to look if you are troubleshooting Safari crashes and have already updated the software and removed the cache. This is particularly true if you are experiencing Safari difficulties after updating the browser, when some plugins and extensions have not yet been updated to be compatible with the latest version. For the most part, most users don’t really need any Safari extensions or third party plug-ins, and having a simpler Safari installation often can ward off difficulties with the browser on any Mac.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS X, Tips & Tricks, Troubleshooting

7 Comments

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  1. Bev in TX says:

    When diagnosing an extension problem, does disabling it first correct the problem? Or would one have to uninstall it to determine whether it was the difficulty?

    • Opy Potal says:

      I would remove a problematic extension, most of them are useless anyway. You don’t need any, really.

    • Phred says:

      You do not need them. Most are security risk. I have no extentions on any of my browsers. I do not need them.

    • Patrick M says:

      The above two responses might very well be the dumbest things I’ve ever seen on the internet. Yes, you can try disabling an extension first. No, most of them are not useless. Have you heard of AdBlock??? No, most of them are not security risks.

      Don’t take advice from people who don’t even know how to grammar check their comments.

      • Phred says:

        Take less advice from people who refer to others (and others’ answers) as dumb, retarded, stupid, etc. It means he had issues with his “manhood”. Why else would he feel the need for such a childish attack?

        I have a Linux box that has been running on my desk for six years. I have been running Firefox with no extentions all along, and have never needed any.

        I have no extentions on my iPad (I am not sure extentions can be added to an iPad).

        I use my iPad for 80% of my browsing, and the Linux box 10%, and mac 10%.

        If you are using sites that require extentions, you are surfing the ghetto of the internet, and putting yourself at risk.

        • Patrick M says:

          Just because YOU don’t need extensions doesn’t mean nobody else does. Also, I’m very proud of you for running a Linux machine on your desktop for a whole 6 years, good for you.

          I have no issues whatsoever with my manhood, but thank you for checking. I have issues with people who presume what works for their specific need automatically applies to the other 7 billion people out there.

          You claim most extensions are “security risk”. I presume you have the data to back this up? No, of course you don’t.

  2. Sebby says:

    Life without extensions? Impossible. I have, let’s see, AdBlock, Rumola and Daring Fireball With Comments. I might install iGetter, too, if I need its integration (I only use iGetter to tackle particularly limiting servers or long lists of downloads). All work well and are pretty much rock solid.

    Plug-ins–now that’s a different matter. Zero. Zilch. Not even Flash. They are undesirable and unstable.

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