Downgrade from Safari 5.0 to Safari 4.0.5

As a last resort to crashing and performance issues with Safari 5.0, you can downgrade to Safari 4.0.5. Unfortunately, although Apple maintains a Safari 4.0.5 download page, the Safari 4.0.5 installer installer will not run once Safari 5.0 is installed, stating that an older version of Safari cannot be installed over a new one.

To get around this problem, you’ll need to use one of the following options:

Archive and Install Mac OS X Use your Mac OS X installation disc to perform an archive and install process as described here. Install all available updates except for Safari 5.0. Instead, download Safari 4.0.5 from this page if that version is not installed by your Mac OS X disc.

Force install Download Pacifist and the Safari 4.0.5 installer. Drag the Safari 4.0.5 installer package onto the Pacifist application icon to open it.
Once the Safari 4.0.5 package is open in Pacifist, select it from the list, then click “Install” in the upper left corner of the Pacifist window. Leave the “use administrator privileges” box checked.

You’ll be presented with a dialog box that states “Application already exists.” Check “Don’t ask again for this installation” then click “Replace.”
After performing this process, restart your Mac. You’ll be left with an earlier version of Safari.


  1. says

    Or you could do what I did, and just revert back using Time Machine. Piece of cake and a lot less work than all the above.

  2. says

    I just deleted Safari 5, copied Safari 4 from another mac. Then to make it worked well a had to reset all safari settings, reinstalled my plugins and done.

  3. says

    Thanks for this info and here is what worked for me:

    1. Manually deleted safari 4.1 (app and 4.1 receipt ONLY — not the plists or webkit anything else). THEN
    2. I used Pacifist and followed the instructions above by appletoolbox — again, I did NOT archive and install os x. And after that
    3. Restarted, and voila! Safari 4.0.5 is back in its place and so far so good.

    Setup: using Tiger 10.4.11 on a PPC G5; as always proceed with care if attempting such things. a backup is always wise too.

    Slipknot Macs & AppleToolBox Rock on dude!

  4. says

    Thanks for the lead on Pacifist. Like its namesake, I am one and am grateful for your selfless, noble guidance. Pacifist worked like a charm. I now have Safari 4.0.5 working relatively well after removing the debacle that is 5.0. Looks like Microsoft’s idiots have migrated over to Apple’s browser division. To this moment in time, Safari 5.0 is an abortion.

  5. says

    Questions before I attempt this Pacifist fix : being poor, we operate a coupla aging macs. One – an eMac (tiger 10.4.11) upgraded to safari 4.1 so far no problem. The other an old g3 iBook (tiger 4.11) with many problems – safari 4.1 won’t launch, neither will Mail nor software update.
    Will this method sort out what I am assuming is a webkit problem caused by this atrocious worm in the trojan Apple -Safari 4.1? Or should I just archive ‘n install and get it over with?
    Also can I trust that the eMac is alright if it hasn’t screwed up yet? -Snek

  6. says

    Just ran system update, and Apple installed a new version of Safari, version 5, and now it no longer works. WTƒ is that all about ??

  7. says

    Decided to go ahead. Pacifist is a good app. I hope Apple will accept my bill for Pacifist and time wasted.
    All is working now – typing this with safari 4.0.5.
    I guess I’ll do it for the eMac as well just in case.
    I don’t want people at Apple to lose Jobs over this but if the responsible party woke up screaming in the night …. I’d be fine with that. I’d like to know if no one actually caught this or if there is a certain amount of acceptable collateral damage with these updates.

  8. says

    Thanks for the time machine suggestion. We’re up and running as should be. Thanks for the easy peasy suggestion to what had been driving me crazy all evening.

  9. says

    This is excellent – thank you. After many hours, now I finally have Safari back and running.
    I had to use admin priveledges otherwise it could not replace.
    Incidentally, my troubles all started with Safari 5.o after I downloaded FrostWire.

  10. says

    Slipknot…I had already deleted the plist in trying to solve this #!@#&%! problem. Will it still work? Where to I find the Receipt (I am trying to go from Safari 5 back to 4.0.5). Help please!!

  11. says

    AARRGHH! I, too, can no longer open tabs or windows using Safari 5. Question — can I just delete Safari altogether, then use Firefox to download 4.05 version (again)? This makes sense to me, but almost seems TOO easy! If it can be done this way, where do I go to install necessary plugins again, and what ARE the necessary plugins? Thanks in advance for any help!

  12. says

    Thank you so much for showing the Pacifist-way to get out of this!
    Only this downgrading-advice solved the numerous heavy performance- and networking-issues the Safari5.0-update had introduced.
    Yes, this definitely was a ‘last resort’ after three days of frustration (tried everything else that’s suggested anywhere else to get my system working again – invain).
    I just used Pacifist (all heavens and goddesses be with You!), by the way, like Slipknot above, without re-installing MacOS.
    Thanks again.

  13. says

    partially solved downloading firefox from another mac and now browsing the internet with it but I want my Safari 4.0.5 back.
    I tried what suggested (except time machine because my last backup was too old) and more but it doesn’t work for me. Being a computer illiterate doesn’t help too :(

  14. says

    I followed the “Force Install” directions above, and it worked like a champ!! Takes a few minutes, but well worth it, if you don’t have your stuff backed up on Time Machine. Thanks, and I, too, hope Apple gets it together with Safari 5.0.

  15. says

    I use Graphic Converter every day and Safari 5 messed up GC’s email component. I re-installed Safari version 4.0.3 from Time Machine, but it didn’t solve the problem. I’m now going to try the Pacifist route.

  16. says

    I just completed the PACIFIST reinstall, and it worked perfectly. After a restart, my problems with Graphic Converter are ove and I’m back to running Safari 4.0.3.
    Thanks for the good advice. Apple has acknowledged the problem with safari 5 but their workaround solution is a joke. Pacifist is the way to go.

  17. says

    These directions worked exactly has you suggested they would. Thank you. Safari is alive and well on my mac again. I would rather have this earlier version that actually works for now. Let the bugs work their way out. Thanks again.

  18. says

    Time Machine worked for me. I didn’t know how to use it so I went to youtube and they had a tutorial on it. So simple. Thanks.

  19. says

    I’m using Safari 5 on an Acer laptop, will this all still work for me?

    Safari 5 has been shutting down on me since I installed it two days ago.


  20. says

    Ok. I could not downgrade to safari4 because it said I have to have a 10.6.3 update. I currently have a 10.6.4 version. How can I downgrade this update? Thanks

  21. says

    Fantastic and easy fix for downgrading from Safari 5 using Pacifist. Worked perfectly for me.
    Speed of loading pages is back to what it used to be with OS X 10.6.3.
    Many thanks.

  22. says

    Mac Mini 2GHz
    Updated Safari as part of a major overhaul that began with backing up HD to new external & installing OS 10.5.8. Severe beachballing on startup and then found Safari would not open at all.
    Hooray for FireFox – could find this page.

    Did an archive & install which erased several hours work as I install & restart each item individually.

    Don’t use Time Machine because I’ve already had one HD failure. (Don’t ask)sa

    I am now back to Safari 3.2.1 & strangely enough Software Update isn’t listing Safari 5.

  23. says

    I was able to reinstall Safari 4, using Pacifist, as described above. Thank you, so much.

    With Safari 5, i had experienced the following issues (primarily):
    1. Unable to open a folder of tabs (if the number of tabs was more than 5 or so).
    2. Random non-loading of full pages/images.

    I really had no use for the READER feature in 5, so i don’t feel like i’m losing anything in this ‘regression.’

    Apple is not having such a good year in many respects. They come out with the iPad, for which i have no use (i have a Macbook Pro and iPhone, so…..). Then the Safari 5 “debacle.” Then, the iPhone 4 antenna issues…. They had better get back to being “Apple-ish” very soon. I hate the feeling of hypocrisy when i defend them.

  24. says

    Unfortunately, this is the answer folks. I cannot believe I had to dump Safari 5.0 and re-load 4.05 with Pacifist, but I tried everything and nothing else worked. Only took 5 minutes, and all problems solved. No loss of Favorites, etc.

    Are we seeing Apple blurring into Microsoft? This whole aggravating experience reminded me of Windows. Especially the dead silence regarding any kind of fix.

    Except that I don’t have ANY problems with Windows 7, which I run on the iMac with BootCamp. I never thought I would admit to liking a Microsoft product better than Apple’s, but they win hands-down on the Internet browser.

  25. says

    At the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, can someone interpret the Pacifist instructions for downgrading to 4 in step-by-step, newbie terms?
    I’m on a MacBook Pro running OS X.


  26. says

    I can not get on the Safari on my mac but im useing a laptop at the moment so there is no way i can download anything on my mac cause i cant access the safari… unless i could buy a USB flash card thing and download safari 4 on my laptop and transfer it to the card to put into the mac and load it to there… i hope it works!

  27. macaddict says

    how can i go to pacifist? im new to all of this and just recently updated my safari to 5.1. i cant open any web pages either!

  28. Bruce says

    this also worked a treat downgrading from 5.1 to 5.05 on Snow Leopard, I needed to because Cosmopod stopped working but now I’m back on 5.05 all is well

    who needs 5.1 anyway ??

  29. PommeG4 says

    I use WebKit (Google WebKit) on my G4. I had to re-install the WebKit after downloading Pacifist 3.0.10 (for Mac OS X 10.5.8) to get it to open. Then all went as described. After re-start, I still have Safari 5.0. Will try another re-start..

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