I've been seeing very odd behavior with current Safari on Mac. I've been trying to figure out exactly what's happening. I hope someone else is seeing similar odd behavior and we can somehow quantify it for a bug report to Apple.
In short, it seems as if Safari sometimes goes bonkers and does things I don't tell it to do. At first, I thought I had perhaps hit the wrong key combination. But now that it has happened multiple times, and I've become more attuned to the problem, I'm certain that Safari occasionally goes nuts and does random stuff. But it's very rare, and might happen once every few days at most.
It happened today, and I have a pretty firm grasp of what happened.
- I have four tabs open. I open a fifth tab and go to Google Drive. I open a sixth tab by opening a document in Google Drive. Everything is fine so far.
- I hit Command+W to close the Google Doc.
- The Google Doc closes, but now I'm looking at a newly opened tab, as if I also hit Command+T. Command+T is nowhere near Command+W, so this is impossible.
- I hit Command+W to close the new tab, but I get a warning telling me I have five open tabs, and do I really want to close them all? So now I'm pretty stumped, because I can't figure out why Command+W would try to close all my tabs. So I dig around and investigate. It turns out that I have somehow managed to show the sidebar. The keyboard shortcut for that is Command+Shift+L, and again, there's no way I could've hit that key combination by accident.
My conclusion is that, by hitting Command+W to close my Google Doc, both Command+T and Command+Shift+L were invoked and executed.
Yes, it's entirely possible that my keyboard might be failing. However, this behavior is new with the version of Safari that came with Monterey, and I don't experience the problem with any other apps - just Safari.
Is anyone seeing anything remotely like this? How would I describe something like this to Apple? They will certainly come back with "we can't reproduce it". Thanks for any insights.
Cannot Reproduce This Issue/Trackpad
I've tried to repro on a MacBook Pro running the latest version of Mac OS.
Is your Trackpad Commander on? I often find that I get spurious input from Trackpad Commander and odd behaviour.
If Trackpad Commander is off, you may be getting spurious input from the trackpad with tap to click enabled.
System Preferences>Trackpad>Point and Click tab.
Disable the checkbox that says Tap to Click.
I'd also try this with an external keyboard to see if you can reproduce the same issue to confirm whether it is a hardware problem.
Thanks for the thoughts. It's very sporadic. I might not experience the issue at all for two or three days. Then I close a window or open a tab or click a link, and - blammo! - Safari does all this weird unexpected stuff.
My system is a 2019 Mac Mini without a trackpad, so we can't blame the trackpad.
Trying a Bluetooth keyboard is a good idea, but I'm currently under a tight deadline and unable to incur the productivity hit inherent with a new keyboard layout. Again, I've only seen this in Safari. If my wired keyboard were flaky, it seems like other applications would exhibit random odd behavior. I see nothing like this when using Scrivener, which is where I spend most of my time.
On the other hand, if I'm the only chump with this problem, then it must be something specific to my system. Maybe I'll try resetting the PROMs. But it would be days before I would know if that makes a difference.
I just encountered another example of random odd behavior with Safari.
I had a tab open to nytimes.com. I hit VO+F to find the link for the crossword. But VoiceOver did not open its find tool. Instead, Safari behaved as if I hit Command+L and placed VoiceOver focus in the address bar.
It could still be a hardware issue with my keyboard, but its looking more and more like an issue specific to Safari with VoiceOver enabled.
Clean Install macOS
I don't have a Mac that can run Monterey, but that's definitely not supposed to happen. It sounds like something is seriously wrong with the system. If all the previous troubleshooting methods of resetting Safari cache, clearing data, etc don't work, you may want to consider backing up your important data and performing a clean install of Monterey. This is precisely why I never upgrade to new major versions of operating systems, instead preferring to perform a clean install. Yes, it takes a little longer to get the system back to the way I want it, but I've always thought it was very much worth it in the long run as I don't run into weird issues that tend to crop up.
Cannot reproduce here either
Hi Paul, could not reproduce that on my 2016 MVP, with the built-in keyboard nor with an external bluetooth one. Have not experienced that behavior before either, perhaps you could try with another keyboard just to troubleshoot...
Downgrade to Big Sur?
I’d wait until Monterey is released and for the moment consider downgrading to Big Sur.