Safari 13.1.1 and the lost pages

Way back in Mojave, I reported a strange problem using a local page as Safari’s Home page. Since the release of Safari 13, this has become worse, and the browser now seems to remember and forget pages as it fancies. Does this ring a bell with anyone else?

This is quite an elaborate issue to reproduce, but depends on having a plain HTML file somewhere local and accessible to Safari. I avoided putting this in ~/Documents because of the new privacy restrictions which cover that folder, so now it goes at the top level of my Home folder ~/. I’ve also tried putting the page in ~/Sites, which doesn’t make any difference.

Here are the steps to reproduce the problem in full:

  1. Create a simple Home page in HTML, and save it to the top level of your Home folder ~/.
  2. Open it in Safari to confirm that it opens and renders without error.
  3. Open Safari’s preferences, and in General set that page as your Home page, and for new windows and tabs to open with Homepage.
  4. Close that window and quit Safari.
  5. Open Safari, which should then open with the new Home page.
  6. Navigate at least 2 pages ‘deep’ on a website, so there are now at least 3 items in the Previous page popup menu of the Previous button.
  7. Using the Previous page button and its popup menu, go straight back to the first item, which is shown as being the file. This should display a ‘Failed to open page’ error instead of the Home page, and all pages in the Next page list are promptly lost.
  8. Now the Previous page button shows another previous page. Select that and you should be back to the Home page.
  9. The Next page button now only has the error page listed, and the previous chain of pages has been removed.


The full description of the error shown on the ‘Failed to open page’ error page reads:
Safari Can't Open the Page
Safari can't open the page. The error is: "The operation couldn't be completed. (kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork error 1.)" (kCFErrorDomainCFNetwork: 1)

If you repeat the same steps from number 3 above, but use an external web page instead, Safari works absolutely fine.

I’m keen to try to understand whether I’m the only person experiencing this, or whether I’m just doing something stupid. If this can be reproduced and isn’t my fault, then I intend submitting a bug report. And with Safari and WebKit issues, I’m confident that it will be addressed.