Fix Unknown File Download on Safari for Mac


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If you are inside the Apple ecosystem, you probably should be using Safari browser across all your devices. Safari is a light-weight, fast and secure browser with lots of continuity and sync features when it is used inside the Apple ecosystem. When Apple announced the latest version of Safari on macOS Mojave, I felt little goofy about Apple as they exaggerated about the favicon displaying on tabs, but remember it has the ability to show you two different favicons when the favicon is dark or when it is light. It’s all in the hands of the developer of the website that you are visiting if they have supported this feature. Safari for MacOS Mojave is buggy. Recently when I tried to visit some website, an unknown file download occurred on my browser.

Safari is fast and websites load smoothly every time with minimal use of power. However, the Safari for MacOS Mojave disappointed me by introducing few bugs. There were several bugs in the browser but one bug appeared critical to me. I do not have the habit of bookmarking websites that I frequently visit or if I know the URL very well.

Let’s say I am visiting a website www.example.com quite often. Safari caches it and it pulls that website for me at lightning speed. If I feel like the website hasn’t updated, either they haven’t really updated or I had to press Command + R to reload the website so I will be getting the live version of the website.

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The cache of the frequently visited website sometime crashes in Safari and next time when I request for that website, the Safari downloads an unknown file with 0 bytes. When I open the file with TextEdit, the file does not contain any content.

To fix unknown file download on Safar for MacOS Mojave, I did a simple workaround.

  1. Go to Safari > Preferences.
  2. Under the Advanced tab, check on Show Develop menu in menu bar.
    Develop Menu for Fixing Unknown File Download
  3. Now your menu bar will display a new menu “Develop”.
  4. Click on Develop and press Empty Cache.

That’s it! Your website is loaded without the unknown file download. However, this is temporary. Next time if Safari crashes your cache stored for that website, you will again end up in unknown file download. Apple, at least in the next update should be fixing this bug on Safari.

Unknown file download bug is not a new one to Safari for MacOS Mojave alone, but users who are using older versions were also facing the problem, however, Apple fixed it in the next update. The bug was again introduced in the new Safari version 12.0.1. Let us wait for Apple to provide an update for the fixing unknown file download bug.

Is your Mac affected by this bug? Did you try emptying the cache and reloaded the site again? Share your experience in the comments below. It is really hard to leave Safari just for this bug as all your devices are synced in Safari. The bookmarks, reading list, iCloud keychain works on Safari only.

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