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Don’t settle for light speed; take Safari to ludicrous speed


Being the default browser installed with an operating system has its advantages; just ask Internet Explorer on both the Mac and PC side. Yes, IE once shipped as the default choice for Mac users too, back in the dark days of OS 8/9. And it was fast, too, faster than anything else available at the time.

Today, Apple's browser of choice is Safari, based in part on the open source KHTML codebase and enhanced regularly through Apple's WebKit project. It's pretty fast, too, but not always. Sometimes, Safari can slow to a crawl depending on a variety of factors such as cache size or network congestion, or even how many tabs you have open at once. Sure, you could (and should!) switch to a better browser, but what if you don't want to?

MacFixit has an answer. Today's front page is devoted largely to a guide to speeding Safari back up, including some common and not-so-common fixes. Some of the highlights:

removing cached files in ~/Library/Safari, particularly the cached favicon data filesremoving the ~/Library/Preferences/ preference file (implicated in slow launch times)turn off AutoFill to improve browsing speed on pages with many text formsshorten the names of bookmarks to improve bookmark loading

In the comments for the article, you'll find two additional tips that I've personally found useful when trying to boost Safari's responsiveness: using the Activity Window (available, logically enough, under the Window menu or via Command-Option-A) to monitor individual page elements as they load; and enabling Safari's Debug menu to reveal an option for examining some of Safari's internal caches, including its JavaScript cache. This should help you out while you wait for Safari 3.0 to become available for 10.4…. we hope.

Don't forget that unless you're a MacFixit subscriber, the article will become unavailable after a couple of days, so if you're interested, better nab it now.