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Safari 12

Apple has released Safari 12 for macOS 10.12.6 Sierra and 10.13.6 High Sierra with the same new features and under-the-hood changes that will be included in the upcoming release of 10.14 Mojave. The new version of Apple’s Web browser gains the capability to display Web site icons on tabs, adds support for allowing or blocking pop-ups on specific Web sites, and automatically suggests and fills a strong, unique password when creating an account or changing a password.

Safari 12 also makes some big changes to how it interacts with extensions. It now automatically turns off Safari extensions that hurt browsing performance and discontinues support for extensions that have been signed only by developers (and not reviewed by Apple) and most NPAPI plug-ins. At the Eclectic Light Company, Howard Oakley has a more in-depth look at the changes. If you rely on Safari extensions, Jason Snell shares a workaround that lets you run disabled extensions.

On the security side, Safari 12 addresses a logic issue that could allow a malicious Web site to exfiltrate auto-filled data and improves data deletion to ensure clearing a history item actually clears visits with redirect chains. Safari 12 is available only via Software Update. (Free, release notes, macOS 10.12.6 and 10.13.6)

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Comments About Safari 12

Notable Replies

  1. Shoot. I just now updated Safari to Version 12.0 (13606.2.11),
    and it removed two extensions that I use a lot.
    “Ghostery” and “UBlock origin”

    I won’t use the newish version of UBlock, as it is now a paid app that needs a subscription.
    What ad Blockers do people recommend?

    As for Ghostery, there is a new thing called “Ghostery Lite” which I am testing now.

    Ghostery Lite

    Any ideas about all of this ??

  2. Thanks for the warning! Will follow with interest.

  3. My view of the App Store shows Ublock as free to download with in-app purchases available. However, the in-app purchases don’t provide any extra functionality but are only a vehicle to donate thanks to the develop.

  4. Corlin wrote: “What ad Blockers do people recommend?”

    You’re best bets for Safari are the Content Blocker extensions from the App stores (Mac and/or iOS). They can come in a flavor that makes it impossible for them to track you or access the pages you load–they basically hand a huge list (or several lists) of blocked addresses to Safari, and Safari does the blocking. Some will let you dynamically change the configuration in ways that could let them read your web pages and track you if they want to, but it’s clear in the Safari Prefs (Extensions) which is which, even if the app itself isn’t.

    I’ve been using 1Blocker, which comes in two parts, one that has preconfigured lists that you can turn on and off and also make changes to, and one part (1Blocker button) that lets you change the configuration dynamically, such as using a contextual menu item on a banner to hide it in the future. That part could watch what you do, so if you don’t need the features or don’t trust the developer (or whatever third party frameworks they might be using) you can turn that off and still keep the other blocking.

  5. Actually, it should not have removed those extensions, simply disabled them so that you will read the warning that those extensions “will slow down your web browsing”. You can easily re-enable them both. At least that’s what happened in my situation. If yours were actually removed then you can still find them here:

    https://safari-extensions.apple.com/details/?id=com.el1t.uBlock-3NU33NW2M3

    https://safari-extensions.apple.com/details/?id=com.betteradvertising.ghostery-HPY23A294X

    -Al-

  6. Thanks all who replied…
    I have tried 1 blocker in the past. did not like it.
    Yes I found the Ghostery extension in preferences and re enabled it… it works.
    The new Ghostery lite is still in beta, and I will continue to test it, on my other machine running Mojave beta.

  7. hi …i just got an automatic update Safari 12… that has automatically block all my safari extensions … the whole lot are gone … which means i can’t use the microsoft Silverlight plugin… all was working perfect before this automatic upgrade… does anyone know a fix… i need to use microsoft Silverlight plugin.

    I have a MacBook Air with software MAC OS high sierra version10.13.6

    would be most grateful for any help with this

  8. FYI, Dan Moren wrote an article recently entitled:

    Give new life to old extensions in Safari 12 …The good news is that there is still a way to run these extensions for the time being

    Maybe this will help. I haven’t tried this yet, but Silverlight plugin not working is troublesome to me, so maybe I will.

  9. jimmy wrote: "hi …i just got an automatic update Safari 12… that has automatically

    block all my safari extensions … the whole lot are gone "

    As a first step, see if you can download more recent versions that will work. Wait a week or three if they still seem to be supported.

    If there’s something truly essential and irreplaceable, there’s still hope. Dan Moren at Six Colors has a how-to for restoring them. It’s not trivial and involves the Terminal and Safari’s Extension Builder:

    Keep in mind that there’s a good reason why the old extensions were clobbered–they’re a security/privacy risk, and can potentially track your every browser move.

    sw

  10. Silverlight is a plug-in, not an extension. All browsers have been gradually deprecating support for them and now Safari 12 has dropped support for NPAPI plugins. Basically, they all only support Flash and even that they discourage.

    If I had to use a site that relies on a plugin, I’d probably keep a copy of Firefox ESR 52 just for that purpose. There are probably also forks or niche browsers using older underlying browser code that still supports plugins and hopefully include security updates in other areas.

  11. blm

    ESR 52 is already unsupported, so I’d avoid that if possible. Waterfox
    (https://www.waterfoxproject.org/) is a fork of Firefox 56, so it still
    runs plugins and old extensions, but it’s also updated with backported
    security fixes. That’s my choice of browser right now (at least Firefox
    browser, I also use Chrome, Opera, and Safari for various things as
    well), being I have a couple of old extensions I use a lot.

    Brian

  12. Wow, you must have had a lot of worthless extensions. I lost a few, but certainly not even close to all.

    I suspect that some of them were simply disabled so that you would realize that they “will slow down your web browsing”. Once you realize this, you are free to re-enable them. The others do not meet Apple’s rules with regard to privacy and/or vulnerability or use API’s that have been discontinued. If they have features you can’t do without, then you need to bug the developer to see if they will update them.

    As others have said, Silverlight isn’t an Extension. Check “Websites” to see if it’s listed there and make sure you have the latest version 5.1.50901.0 available from Microsoft:

    <https://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/>. Older versions have security vulnerabilities, some of them severe. And exactly why do you need that plugin? If it’s for Netflix, that’s no longer the case.

    -Al-

  13. After further review (and reinstalling Silverlight) I see that it does not show up in Websites, so it is no longer supported. I haven’t seen any workaround for it in Safari 12 nor any of the other browsers I have, so a legacy browser seems to be your only choice. Again, I have to wonder why you need it.

    -Al-

  14. I have been using silveright Flash for… Freestockcharts.com. Realtime charts for trading.

    I never had a problem with it before , sometimes had to update … the update was always prompt and completed in 10 mins.

    It seems the recent Safari 12 has an upgrade such as to block further use of this Silverlight Flash… both my MACs upgraded to Safari 12… and they both lost the Siverlight Flash function.

    I have now installed the seamonkey browser and problem solved
    https://www.seamonkey-project.org/releases/

    Due to such limitations from Apple software… I was contemplating deleting Safari from my MAC ( if at all possible)

    for other NPAPI compatible browsers here is some info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NPAPI

    Thanks very much for you help guys…very much appreciated

    Jimmy

  15. I just went to Netflix, and clicked on a film to start streaming it. The film will not play unless I install Silverlight. (I usually don’t watch Netflix on my desktop, so wasn’t certain what the current policy was)

    If there is a way to avoid using Silverlight, it is not obvious.

  16. After searching the web a bit, there is another more important class of Safari users who require Silverlight, namely those who use medical imaging viewing software.

    Hopefully Microsoft will issue a new version of their plugin, one that isn’t built using the NPAPI architecture.

  17. Hmmm. Well, I’m running Safari 12 / Mac OS 10.13.6, and Netflix insists I use Silverlight. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

    Edit, ah, hardware dependent apparently. I have a MacPro that was made before 2012, so I guess I’m out of luck. Oh well, I usually use my Apple TV to stream Netflix. Guess I cannot use Safari on my desktop.

  18. Yeah, I have the same problem with my old MacPro running 10.12.6 (the attempted upgrade to 10.13 didn’t go well, so I decided not to do it). Basically I can’t watch video on it in Safari, and it’s been that way for a while. Chrome sometimes works in those situations, but I have an Apple TV and various iPads so I don’t watch Netflix on my Mac Pro.

  19. Is it actually true that Ghostery and other ad/tracker blockers will slow your browser down like Apple claims? I mean, it might increase processing time on the computer, but won’t the actual speed up in loading the page more than make up for it 99% of the time?

  20. I use OsiriX for that. The Lite version is free, doesn’t require Silverlight and requires macOS 10.10.

    -Al-

  21. It’s not possible. SIP protected and the WebKit component is used by many other apps.

    -Al-

  22. The information says the hardware requirement is limited to Safari so HTML5 video should be used in other browsers, like Chrome. My guess it’s a bit of Apple paternalism, that older CPUs/chipsets lack H.264 hardware encoding.

    https://help.netflix.com/en/node/22822

  23. ---- Joseph [email protected] wrote:

    Is it actually true that Ghostery and other ad/tracker blockers will slow your browser down like Apple claims? I mean, it might increase processing time on the computer, but won’t the actual speed up in loading the page more than make up for it 99% of the time?

    If I recall correctly, and I heard this years ago so it might be outdated. Ad blockers scan and vet vet all the information on a page, which can slow
    loading times.

  24. Nope. They scan all outgoing requests, and block some of them, which is quite a bit different than scanning everything on the page.

  25. My problem is with Citrix Receiver and Java, it seems. I use these for two critical purposes at work. Neither seem to be extensions (I reviewed SixColors post and I have no extensions in the Library folder except 1Password, which does work). I updated Citrix and it works up to a point. There seems to be a plug-in, Citrix Viewer, that is necessary to connect to the application I need and it won’t work. It still works in Chrome. The other is a Java applet that won’t run any more. Am I stuck using two browsers? You all probably do that routinely, but it’s a bit of a hassle for lil’ ol’ me. Thanks.

  26. The speed up in loading a page comes from NOT loading the ads. The cost in checking for ad requests is relatively minimal.

  27. Right. That’s precisely why I wonder whether Apple’s claim is right.

  28. I’ve found the Safari 12 update disturbing for a few reasons.

    1. I’d already reported a bug in Safari 11 that causes videos in the browser to stall. I call it ‘The Seven Minute Safari Stall Bug.’ The time to stall is variable but averages to about seven minutes. I had it happening on all my boot partitions on all my Macs consistently. It has no relationship to hardware I can ascertain. It’s specifically a Safari bug. Apple ignored my report (a common outcome of the bug reports I’ve sent them via AppleSeed and one reason I don’t bother to beta test for them any longer). Safari 12 has the exact same bug, except now I find that after three video stalls, my Macs are prone to a total lockup apart from the cursor. macOS eventually cleans up the mess, but waiting around five or more minutes for it to do so is not tolerable.

    2. Similar to Apple’s poor rollout of their APFS, I’ve found Apple’s rollout of Safari extension blocking to be a mess. Messages that ad and JavaScript blockers ‘may slow down’ my Macs are nonsense. They actually speed up page loading, a well known fact. Having to play workaround games to get excellent extensions to work again is unacceptable. The stupefaction of great extensions into stunted app versions makes no sense.

    3. If I had a sense that real security was being accomplished by these changes, I would appreciate them. But I don’t at all. Instead, I now believe Safari is less secure. My prime example is the permanent disablement of the JS Blocker extension. How did Apple mess that up? I’ve chatted via email with the developer, Travis at Toggleable.com. Unless Apple changes its mind, JS Blocker is dead. I want it back. It only added to Safari security.

    All of this sadly fits into Apple consistent malaise regarding macOS over the last few years. Again, disturbing.

  29. I’ve managed to get uBlock Origin, the AdBlock Plus extension (vs the lame ‘app’ version), TamperMonkey (along with the AdBlock Blocker script) and the AdGuard extension to work again. I’ll be keeping them working.

    The saddest sacrifice to this blundering change by Apple is JS Blocker, which I used constantly. It did nothing but improve Safari security. Safari is now less secure without it. The developer has told me JS Blocker is dead unless Apple changes their Safari stupored minds.

    BTW: BIG thanks to Jason and Dan for their great article ‘Give new life to old extensions in Safari 12’. I’ll be busy working around Apple’s Safari mess tomorrow.

  30. I’ve not experienced that with Safari 11 or 12. Have you found others discussing this problem anywhere?

  31. If you’re running macOS 10.12.6 Sierra and Safari 12, are you seeing any problems with Spotlight crashing during searches? The workaround seems to be to disable Spotlight indexing of Bookmarks & History.

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8546951

  32. I had one last night during a couple of hour period of time I was running Sierra. I made several successful Spotlight searches before and after the crash.

  33. ARGH!!! I complained about this over a week ago - can’t wait to try the fix, it drives me nuts!

    Diane

  34. Hey Folks,

    With almost 100% consistency on macOS 10.12.6 if I type more than 1 word in the pop-up Spotlight UI.

    @dianed143 and others – Take Note of the workaround:

    The problem goes aways as soon as I disable Safari Bookmarks and History items in the Search Results panel of the System’s Spotlight preferences.

    (I use LaunchBar for this anyway, so it’s not a hardship for me.)

    An engineer friend and I sussed this out Thursday when we talked and found we were having the same problem.

    Until then we both thought the problem was local to our machines, and I suspect the issue is under-reported for that reason.

    -Chris

  35. I too can confirm the failure. I almost never use spotlight but after reading Christopher’s post and ACE’s reply thought I’d give it a go. 100% failure until I dialed Bookmarks & History in Spotlight’s system prefs. Am running on macOS 10.12.6 as well.

  36. Hey Seth,

    FWIW I just ran a vid on Netflix without Silverlight using Google Chrome v70.0.3538.22 on my venerable 17-inch, Mid 2010 i7 MacBook Pro.

    -Chris

  37. It worked for me! It’s been flawless since I made the change last night.

    I wasn’t even able to type an entire word. I’d have to hit command-space, wait, type the first letter and wait and see what showed up in the list, then select. If what I wanted wasn’t there I’d try another letter. I could rarely get more than 2 and sometimes could not even do one.

    I did discover the shortcut for searching in the finder which would work all the time, but I’d have to mouse over to click my selection.

    Diane

  38. You can for now go in and reactivate Ghostery which is what I did. Apple’s latest changes stop pixel tracking and social tracking, but Ghostery also blocked obnoxious ads and I missed that. I may switch to 1Blocker which I use on my phone.

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