Why is Safari slow on Mac and How to make it faster?

Why is Safari slow on Mac and How to make it faster?

Your MacBook should have been very fast when you bought it. As time goes by, Safari – the default browser in Mac OS, responds slower and takes forever to load webpages. Although certain webpages using consecutive modal dialogs can be blamed for this problem, there are other issues too. This article will throw light on various aspects that bring down browser performance and various ways to tackle this issue.

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Delete the Cache Contents

Browser Cache, a hidden storage location that contains web page elements that a browse needs to load over again. It is a mechanism used by Safari and other browsers to store certain element such as scripts, animations, GIFs that take relatively longer time to load.

1. Exit the web browser first. Some files cannot be deleted while they are in use.

2. Click the Go menu, select Go to Folder option.


3. Insert the following folder path:

  • ~/Library/Cache/com.apple.safari


4. Do you see a file named cache.db? Move it to the trash. (Right click > Move to Trash)


Delete Website Data

Try clearing up the website data for all websites. Here’s how:

1. Open up the Safari browser.

2. Click the Safari menu, choose Preferences.


3. Click the Privacy tab in the new dialog that opens.

4. Click Manage Website Data.


5.Click Remove All.


Delete Auto-Fill Entries

Auto-Fill, also called as Auto-Complete, is a browser feature that tracks and saves important entries on webpages and suggests matching results every time you visit webpages. This information may include stored credit card details, first/ last name, residential address, telephone number, and so on. Safari creates a list of auto-fill entries you’ve typed before. You might want to delete the auto-fill history to check if it fixes the issue.

1. Click the Safari menu, select Preferences.

2. Click the AutoFill tab.

3. Click the Edit button next to an element you’d like to clear.


4. Select all and delete the items in each category.

Clean Out Cluttered Desktop

A cluttered Desktop with tons of files, folders increases the load time of thumbnails – small image versions of original images. Move all the stuff from your Desktop to some other folder. Keep the Desktop clutter-free.

Reset Safari

Safari may experience glitches due to incorrect browser settings and corrupted browser components. It’s worth resetting it to system defaults.

1. Click the Safari menu.

2. Select Reset Safari.

Delete Third Party Browser Extensions

Safari is already packed with tons of features to enhance your Internet experience. An extension – a small piece of software, provide add-on features such as email check-up, reverse image locator, and so on. Some faulty extensions might have caused Safari to response slower.

1. Open the Safari Preferences dialog again. (Refer Steps # 1-2 under Delete Website Data)

2. Click the Extensions tab.

3. Disable all the extensions on the screen.


Turn Off DNS Prefetching

The DNS Prefetching feature allow quick loading of pages when you click a browser element. For example: A web page may contain navigational links to multiple websites, a picture/ button element may redirect user to a custom web page of his choice. Safari pro-actively retrieves the IP Address – a sequence of numbers that relate to a particular domain, of each browser element. Sometimes things may go wrong and this feature may not work correctly. You might want to disable it temporarily.

1. Close Safari.

2. Click the Go menu.

3. Select Utilities.

4. Open the Terminal from the new screen.


5. In the Terminal window, execute the following command:

  • defaults write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false


Note: If you wish to turn on DNS Prefetching at any point of time, use the following command:

  • defaults delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled

Re-plug the Router

A router plays an important role connecting your MacBook to the Internet by forwarding data packets between computer networks. Turn off your router; remove its power cord and Internet cable. Wait for a moment and then re-plug them again.

Temporarily Deactivate Flash Player

Adobe Flash Player, a plug-in that facilitates viewing of multimedia content, videos, animations on webpages, may become unresponsive and cause Safari to slow down. To prevent this delay, temporarily disable the plug-in.

1. Open up the Safari Preferences dialog box. (Refer Steps # 1-2 under Delete Website Data)

2. Click the Security tab.

3. Click Plug-in Settings button.


4. Un-check the box labeled Adobe Flash Player.

5. Click on Done.


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