How to fix Safari if it can’t view plugin content

For a while, I haven’t been able to view plugin content (Flash, QuickTime, etc.) in Safari. I decided to do some quick regression to determine the source of the problem.

First, I viewed the pages in another browser, Camino, and they appeared correctly. So my plugins themselves were not corrupt.

Next, I logged in as a different user and viewed the pages in Safari. They appeared correctly. So Safari itself was fine.

Third, I logged back in as my original user and looked for potential culprits:

  • I renamed ~/Library/Safari to ~/Library/Safari.orig and launched Safari. No luck—it was still broken.
  • I deleted ~/Library/Caches/Safari and relaunched Safari. No luck.
  • Then, I moved aside ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.plist and relaunched Safari. Aha! That was it.

Now, I didn’t want to lose all of my Safari preferences, so I deleted the newly-created com.apple.Safari.plist and put my old one back in place. I went into Terminal and issues this command:
defaults read com.apple.Safari

I searched through the pages of results, looking for anything relevant. I spotted “Saft Block Plugin,” but it was set to 0, or false. Wait — then I saw that WebKitPluginsEnabled had somehow been set to false.

I ran this command:
defaults write com.apple.Safari WebKitPluginsEnabled 1

and relaunched Safari and I was back in business.

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