How to fix “can’t log into YouTube from Safari” on macOS

Something rather strange happened to me today: Safari 10 on macOS Sierra refused to let me login to YouTube. All it did was constantly refresh the page in an endless loop, or just display the front page of YouTube. I cleared the caches, reset the history, but no trick seemed to solve the problem.

When I dug deeper into the Preferences, I found something under Privacy that finally fixed it. Let me share with you what worked on my system.

  • head over to Safari – Preferences
  • select the Privacy tab
  • you’ll see a window like this one:

  • select Manage Website Data
  • after a few moments you’ll see a LONG list of websites that have saved cookies on your machine over time
  • in the top right corner, search for YouTube
  • you’ll see something like this:

  • select the entry and hit Remove, followed by Done
  • now surf back to YouTube and login – this time it’ll work

What we’ve just removed were not just cookies, but also HTML local storage data, as well as cache data specific to the YouTube website. I guess cached stuff can get outdated, or not properly deleted when we close our browser in a hurry.

The principle should work for other websites too, should they give you trouble. If you’re sick and tired of any website saving data to your system, consider switching to the “Always Block” option seen in the first screen shot.


About Jay Versluis

Jay is a medical miracle known as a Super Survivor. He runs two YouTube channels, five websites and several podcast feeds. To see what else he's up to, and to support him on his mission to make the world a better place, check out his Patreon Campaign.

11 thoughts on “How to fix “can’t log into YouTube from Safari” on macOS

  1. i have this problem, just started recently, November 2018. i understand the solution offered, to delete the cookies for youtube.

    i have High Sierra and it has slightly different wording in the privacy preferences. It says ‘cache, cookies, databases, local storage.’

    my question is, i don’t know what databases means and i want to make sure i don’t delete my playlists and favorites or bookmarks, or history.

    1. Hi Judy, the database is just a fancy way of storing data. Each app in macOS is confined to its own set of data, so clearing out the database in Safari will only affect Safari.

    1. I remember that time, and it was stressful indeed. Although it worked for me, another option that worked was indeed to use Firefox in addition to Safari. Don’t get me wrong, I love Safari, but it’s not cutting the mustard on several fronts. Always good to have a backup and get acquainted with that.

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