How to Fix Error “Safari Cannot Be Opened While It Is Being Updated”

Encountering, “Safari cannot be opened because of a problem”? Well, we’ve got it covered.

Whether you have been seeing “cannot open Safari on Mac or “Safari cannot be opened while it is being updated,” for weeks, hours, or days, we have got a solution for all.

You’re not alone seeing this message. There are others just like us. I, too, faced the same problem but was lucky to find the fix.

So, here I am sharing the same with you. Using these step by step instructions, you can fix Safari cannot be opened while it is being updated & other Safari related issues.

Now, let’s learn how to do all that in detail.

1. Check To See If Safari Is Being Updated

software update in mac

After restarting Mac, if you still face Safari cannot open an error message, the first thing you need to do is check whether it is updating or not. If it is updating, wait for it to finish. To check the same, follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Apple menu > About This Mac.
  2. Hit Software Update.
  3. If an update is available, you will see a progress bar, wait for it to finish. Do not use the browser when it is updating.
  4. If, for some reason, the update gets stuck, restart Mac.
  5. Now try to relaunch Safari so you should not face any problems.

tipsAdditional Tip

Sometimes, due to cache and cookies, junk files, clutter applications misbehave. The best way to remove such unwanted data is to use Disk Clean Pro. We’ll explain how to use this tool in the post later.

Furthermore, if you are curious to know about this tool, read a complete review on Disk Clean Pro.

2. Restart Safari

This one is the simplest and quickest solution, yet people miss doing that. To relaunch Safari, Force Quit or Exit Safari. To do so, press Esc+Option+Command. Now restart Safari, things should work just fine.

Restart Safari with command

3. Log out and log in to User Account

If restarting Safari did not work, you can try signing out of Account. This will close all running applications and their processes. Once you are logged out, press Q+Command+Shift.

After this try to launch Safari, you should not face Safari cannot be opened.

Log out and log in to User Account

4. Check Your Storage

Many times if you are running out of storage space, you might face cannot open Safari on Mac issue. To resolve it, we will need to check for the available storage space. To do so, follow the steps below:

Apple Menu> About this Mac > Storage Tab.

Here, you can see available and free storage space.

However, if you are running out of Mac’s space, you read our post on how to optimize storage space and make room for important files.

Once the system is optimized, restart Safari and see if the update issue is resolved or not.

5. Locate Safari’s Update Package

Sometimes, due to slow internet connection or sudden connection drop, Safari’s update does not get installed. In such a case, you can use Disk Clean Pro to clean partial downloads.

Besides this, check for Safari’s latest update. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Open your boot drive.
  2. Locate main directory Library folder

Note: To access Library Folder, right-click in the home folder. Select View Options > choose Show Library folder. Alternatively,

Head to Finder > Go Menu and press the option key. This will bring up the library folder. To see the hidden folder stored in Finder, read here.

  1. Scroll down & click folder updates.
  2. Here, search for a file named Safari.pkg.
  3. Double click to open it and run the installer.

Note: You will see a package number and version listed between the words Safari and .pkg

  1. Let the operation finish. Once done, restart your Mac and see if Safari is being updated error message is resolved or not.

6. Check For Safari’s Package Contents

  1. Head to the Applications folder & and find Safari
  2. Right-click > Show Package Contents
  3. Open the Content folder
  4. Look for the macOS folder and open it
  5. Search for the Safari exec file (Unix executable) and open it
  6. This will bring up Terminal windows and will force Safari to launch.

7.  Clear the App Store

Sometimes clearing temporary App Store files also helps fix, “Safari cannot be opened because of a problem.” To do so, you can use the best Mac cleanup and optimizer utilities or can head to Macintosh HD/Library/Updates

Clear the App Store, safari cannot be opened because of a problem

  • Here, Open System Preferences > App Store.
  • Uncheck Automatically Check for Updates or uncheck Download newly available updates in the background
    • Restart the system
    • Now head to App Store > Updates.
    • Try downloading and installing Safari manually.
    • If there aren’t any updates, open System Preferences > App Store and tap Show Updates  
    • Once done, head back to System Preferences > App Storecheckmark the boxes that you unchecked:
      • Automatically check for updates.
      • Download newly available updates in the background

tipsAdditional Tip

Sometimes, updating macOS or OS X also helps fix Safari cannot be opened because of a problem. To reinstall macOS, restart Mac in Recovery. To do so, press Command+R, install the latest version of macOS.


macos utility, cannot open safari on mac

Reinstalling macOS doesn’t remove data from your computer! However, to be on a safe side, backup data via Time Machine.

It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Note: Using these steps, you will not be able to update to any major macOS version–like High Sierra to Mojave or Sierra to High Sierra.

8. Use Activity Monitor

If you are still stuck with Safari cannot be opened while it is being updated, we need to dig deep. For this, we will head to Activity Monitor and see if Spotlight is using the SafariQuickLookExtension process. If that’s the case, then it is stopping Safari from being updated. So, we need to look for that extension in Activity Monitor.

  1. Head to Applications > Utilities and launch Activity Monitor.
  2. Type SafariQuickLookExtension into the search box.
  3. If this brings the extension we are looking for, select it, and hit the X button.
  4. In case you don’t see the process in Activity Monitor, cancel the search.
  5. Next, click the CPU tab.
  6. You’ll now see all the running processes.

If the process is not listed in Activity Monitor, cancel the search, and click the CPU tab. Here, you can see the process taking up most CPU resources. Select it and click X.

Now, try to launch Safari. You should not face any problem.

Using the above steps, you can quickly fix Safari cannot open on Mac.

However, if you face any other problems with Safari like its slow performance or pages are loading slow. We’ve got that covered. You can try using Disk Clean Pro, an ultimate Mac cleanup and optimization software.

In addition to this, if Safari is running slow, it seems like 20 or 30 tabs are open. Closing them will help fix the problem. This is all from our side on how to fix Safari cannot be opened while it is being updated. We would like to know which fix worked so; please leave us your feedback in the comments section.


  • comment_avtar
    I got to learn the Activity Monitor step from this blog. Thanks

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Camila Saunders
    Hi, Thanks for providing this amazing solution. Although, I tried Disk Clean Pro and it is a very good Optimization software.

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Mansi Vijay
    Hey Preeti, Thanks for providingthese workarounds. Clearing App Store helped me to fix the issue.

    4 years ago
  • comment_avtar
    Nice Read! Thankyou for sharing these fixes! I can now surely help my brother fix this issue on his Mac.

    4 years ago

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