How to Improve Safari Performance for Mac OS X

Safari is the default web browser for Mac OS X and most Mac users swear by it – with just cause. Safari is generally reliable, streamlined, and optimized to perform well on Apple computers. However, there are a few commonly reported issues that Mac Safari users have come across, which is why we’re here to tell you that it’s simple to improve Safari performance for Mac OS X.

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The most common Safari issues for Mac OS X

You know them and you dread them, precisely because they’re nuisances – they don’t necessarily mean there’s something very wrong with your computer, but they interrupt your flow of work and/or entertainment. Here are some of the most common causes for which you might be looking to improve Safari performance for Mac OS X:

–          Suddenly inaccessible pages – pages that you had been previously able to access with Safari suddenly stopped working properly;

–          Poorly displaying pages in Safari for Mac OS X – as a rule of thumb it’s best to keep Safari ‘slim’, i.e. not overload it with too many plugins or add-ons. But if you do have added features for your browser, trying to figure out which one is causing you problems is going to be a pain;

–          Stale cache deliveries – as you may already know, web browsers (and most other software) creates cache files, as to optimize access times. In other words, your browser will download information about certain pages and deliver it when you try to access them. Stale cache, as the name suggests, means that instead of seeing the newest version of a web page you’re receiving an older one;

–          Numerous notifications and other dialogs created by webpages, informing you that performance is being hindered.

–          Slow scrolling and/or performance in general.

Improve Safari performance for Mac OS X with a simple reset

The easiest way to start anew in Safari is to perform a reset, which will basically restore the browser’s initial settings, thus giving you the opportunity to side-step any issues that may have cropped up as a result of intense usage. Restoring default settings will clear the history of your browser, clear the top visited websites list generated, reset location warnings, notifications for particular websites (SSL certificated and domain redirects, for instance), clear website data (including automatically saved data and the page cache), clear download windows and close the browser. It’s very easy to perform a reset, doesn’t take much time and only involves following the steps below.

  1. Open Safari and click the Safari menu in the top left corner of the window.
  2. Select the ‘reset Safari’ option. A dialog window will pop up, prompting you to select the items you want to reset. These operations cannot be reverted once they’ve been performed, so make sure they would not cost you any unsaved work or information you need, but cannot retrieve otherwise. The reset will be effective immediately and there is no confirmation dialog for it, so make sure you want to go through with it.
  3. Select all the items on the list for maximum efficiency and the best results, then click ‘Reset’.
  4. Quit and relaunch the program – the reset will only take full effect after the program has been closed and then reopened.

Of course, if the issues persist and you’re sure you cannot improve Safari performance for Mac OS X any further, you can always opt to download a different browser. Some swear by Firefox, though it also has its issues – it’s usually the preferred browser for users that have recently switched from Windows to Mac. Chrome is also a viable option for Mac users.