Safari experienced one of the biggest overhauls when macOS Big Sur was introduced. As the built-in browser for Mac, Safari has become a lot faster and more flexible in terms of extensions. This improvement enabled the browser to compete with some of the major browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox.
However, have you tried opening a webpage only to be greeted by the “Safari Can’t Open Page” error on Mac? This error message usually stops you from browsing your desired website because it won’t load the page at all.
There are various reasons why you’re seeing this error, from something as trivial as incorrect URL to complicated proxy issues. So, if you suddenly see the Safari error “Safari Can’t Open Page” when trying to browse a page, this article should help you access it successfully and resolve this Mac error.
What You Need to Know About the Mac Error “Safari Can’t Open Page”
The “Safari Can’t Open Page” error on Mac is not a new problem. It has been around since Safari was introduced way back in 2003.
You’ll also come across different error messages, such as:
- Safari can’t open page because it can’t establish a secure connection to the server.
- Safari can’t open page because the server unexpectedly dropped the connection. This sometimes occurs when the server is busy. Wait for a few minutes, and then try again.
- Safari can’t open page. The error is: “unknown error” (NSURLErrorDomain:-1)
- Safari can’t open page. The error is: “The operation couldn’t be completed.”
- Safari can’t open page because the server stopped responding.
- Safari can’t open page because the address is invalid.
- Safari can’t open page because the certificate is invalid or expired.
There are many variations to this error message, but the end result is the same: you won’t be able to access the webpage you want to visit.
You might think, “So, what? It’s not a big deal because I can always find another webpage to access the information I want.” However, what if this happens to your online banking website or a form that you are trying to fill out? That’s going to be a huge problem.
What Causes the Safari Error “Safari Can’t Open Page”?
As mentioned earlier, there are various reasons why you can’t open a webpage on Safari, and here’s a list of them:
If you are trying to access a URL that is not complete, misspelled, or has an error somewhere, then this error message will appear. You need to double-check the URL to make sure you’re typing the correct address.
The cache is a temporary storage where information about the websites you visited is saved. Safari accesses this cache to load your websites quickly. When the cache is corrupted, it can trigger issues on your browser.
Incorrect DNS Settings
Domain Name Servers or DNS usually works properly with your ISP to serve you the website you want to visit. However, if there are any issues with your DNS settings, you might not be able to connect to the Internet and visit your desired URL.
Network Connection Problems
Any issues with your Internet connection, whether slow or unstable, will cause you to receive the “Safari Can’t Open Page” error on Mac.
Sometimes Safari malfunctions because of a temporary bug or glitch in the system. The only solution to this problem is to restart your Safari browser.
Restricted VPN Connection
Are you using a VPN to access websites not available in your region? If so, the website administrator might have detected it, automatically blocking you from accessing the website.
How to Resolve the Mac Error “Safari Can’t Open Page”
Fix #1: Check Your Internet Connection
The first thing you need to do is check your Internet connection and make sure that it is active and enabled. This does not only apply to your Mac, but other devices which use Safari, including your iPhone and iPad.
If your device is not connected to the Internet or you are experiencing poor Wi-Fi signal, encountering the Safari error “Safari Can’t Open Page” is not surprising. You’ll also notice that this issue pops up no matter what URL you visit.
Confirm that your Internet connection is active and functioning by opening other services such as Mail, Skype, or other browsers. If your Internet connection is down, switching to a different network or connecting via cable will easily resolve this error.
Fix #2: Check the URL
If you are typing the web address from an image or copying it from a non-clickable app, double-check the spelling and other elements of the web address. A single extra dot or typo will prevent the webpage from loading. So, you should confirm that there is no mistake in the URL. It would be better if you can copy-paste the URL to the address bar instead of typing it manually.
Fix #3: Reload the Web Page
If the error is caused by a temporary glitch in Safari, refreshing the web page should do the trick. This is the case if the connection was interrupted for one reason or another.
To reload the page, simply click the refresh button which looks like a circular arrow located beside the address URL bar. You can also do a force-refresh without the cache by holding down the Option button on the keyboard.
Fix #4: Reload Safari
If reloading the web page does not work, you should quit Safari completely, then relaunch it to see if you are now able to access the URL.
Fix #5: Change Your DNS Settings
If you’re having trouble with the DNS servers of your Internet service provider, you can choose to use a public DNS instead. Your best option is to use Google DNS servers.
To do this:
- Go to the Apple menu > System Preferences.
- Choose Network > Advanced.
- Click on the DNS tab at the top.
- Click on the + button to add a new DNS server.
- Add the value for the Google DNS server (126.96.36.199 and 188.8.131.52).
- Hit OK > Apply.
- Reload Safari and try again.
Fix #6: Delete Browser Cache and Site Data
Old cached data on your Safari browser can sometimes prevent you from accessing certain websites. What’s more, it can trigger the “Safari Can’t Open Page” error on Mac. You need to delete the browser cache and site data to remedy this issue.
To empty browser data on Mac, click Safari from the top menu, then choose Preferences > Privacy > Remove all website data. Confirm that you want to delete website data. Remember that clearing caches, cookies, and website data on Safari means that you will have to login again to the websites you previously visited.
It also helps to clear old cache files on your Mac using Outbyte MacRepair. This tool helps get rid of junk files that might be interfering with your apps, such as Safari.
Fix #7: Update Safari
Another reason why you might be having problems accessing certain websites is because your version of Safari is outdated. Check for any available Safari updates in the Mac App Store and install them on your Mac.
The Safari error “Safari Can’t Open Page” is a very common problem encountered by Safari users on Mac. However, the above fixes should be able to help you resolve this problem quickly. If they don’t work at all, you can then use a different browser and see if the webpage you are trying to access loads successfully.