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It sounds like we need to run a quick repair, and then reset safari
So lets start with this repair.
Open your finder ( magnifying glass ) type in disk utility, and launch the disk utility application.On the left side of the disk utility window, click your mac hd, then at the lower right hand side, click repair permissions .
And while that is running, lets reset safari.
There is a nice visual guide on this page. Please follow steps 1-3
Once thats done, safari should be appearing, and working normally again. If you have further questions, let me know.
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Question though. When you clicked safari, reset safari, and checked all the boxes. Were you able to complete that reset at least?
If so, then we should now be able to add the buttons again. Heres how. With safari open.
Go to the Safari menu: View/Customize Toolbar, and drag the back/forward button to your toolbar. That should do the trick!