8 Replies Latest reply: Nov 27, 2010 5:11 PM by DeaconMac
Space Kraft Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My Safari on my iMac & MacBook frequently suffers from stalls (blue bar stops midway through the http address line), frequently spinning ball and then times out ("Safari cannot find the server").

I tried several of the tips on line related to cache, resetting Safari, forms, etc. None of the tips seemed to result in any noticeable performance increases.

I've taken my iMac into my local Genius bar to resolve) and they seemingly did by restoring Safari. [We thought I may have imported a conflicting Safari setting/version when I used the Migrate feature from my old G4 to the iMac.] Worked great in the store but still doesn't work well at home. Which led the Genius Bar folks and I suspected my internet connectivity.

I've trouble shot and reset my Netgear router, cable modem and checked the cabling. It is the same on both the Wi-Fi connection and Ethernet connection. I've checked for packet loss with the Network utility and have 100% packet transmission (the ping times are ~55ms).

I also have an AirPort Express hooked up (to stream iTunes to the stereo) and wonder if that is interfering with the signal (or using my bandwidth); however, the stereo is rarely on.

I did not notice this poor Safari performance before when I was still on my G4 last spring. I didn't notice it on the MacBook either.

I'm looking for other trouble shooting tips or advice.

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.4), MacBook
  • Klaus1 Level 8 Level 8 (47,310 points)
    If Safari is getting very slow:

    Adding Open DNS codes to your Network Preferences, should give good results in terms of speed-up as well as added security:

    If you are using a single computer: Open System Preferences/Network. Double click on your connection type, or select it in the drop-down menu, and in the box marked 'DNS Servers' add the following two numbers:

    (You can also enter them if you click on Advanced and then DNS)

    Sometimes reversing the order of the DNS numbers can be beneficial in cases where there is a long delay before web pages start to load, and then suddenly load at normal speed:


    If your computer is part of a network: please refer to this page: http://www.opendns.com/start/bestpractices/#yournetwork and follow the advice given.

    You could also try these codes as well: &

    If you use a Router, make sure it has the latest firmware installed.

    One reason for a slowness in page loading may be the 'DNS Pre-fetching' feature of Safari 5.x

    This is described here:


    If Safari seems to hang for ages:

    If you have a lot of tabs open and/or a lot of pages running Flash, Safari can sometimes 'hang', requiring a restart of Safari. This can often be inconvenient, and as it is rarely Safari itself that is hanging but merely one of its plug-ins, usually Flash, there is a way using Terminal to restart the plug-ins (without restarting Safari and losing your tabs) by quitting the WebPluginHost process:

    Open the Terminal from the Utilities folder in /Applications and type

    killall -9 WebKitPluginHost

    Note that this command kills all Safari plug-ins, not just Flash. All plug-ins should start back up when you reload the page.

    Then go back to Safari and refresh any pages that were using the Flash plug-in. This also fixes the Beachball of Death. Try this whenever Safari gets slow or freezes. The latest versions of Flash 10.1 appear to have improved the situation somewhat, but haven't completed eliminated it.
  • Carolyn Samit Level 10 Level 10 (101,615 points)

    Try here for troubleshooting third party Safari add-ons. At least you can rule that out.

    Also, if you haven't tried, login to another user account. Try Safari there. If Safari stalls loading pages there, then it could be a problem the startup disk.

    See, "Try Disk Utility" here. http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1417

  • SimpsonR Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the Open DNS info, safari was getting unbearable, switched to chrome & firefox (which also started to slow too), now seems back to snappy
  • ~Bee Level 7 Level 7 (31,270 points)
    Simpson --
    To be clear, are you saying that Klaus's suggestion of the Open DNS solved your problem?
  • mbuser Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I also encounter slow downs, hangs, and spinning wheels under safari since last updates (I think since safari 5 in fact).
    The spinning wheel regularly shows up when just clicking an already loaded tab, hence, I don't see what it could have to do with DNS. Moreover, I do not think that the DNS situation has changed between safari 4 and safari 5.
    My conclusion currently is rather simple : Safari 5 is slow and buggy, and without an update that solves this out, I am going to switch to Chrome or maybe the new Firefox 4 beta which is 64 bits.

    Anyone else getting spinning wheels and hangs up with safari around ?
  • ufookoro Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    When updated my computer. All I got from the Safari is the beach ball constantly. I was also unable to load BBC Video. Just too frustrating.
    I aslo have opted to using Google Chrome. Much faster and stable I am afraid.
  • John Scott1 Level 2 Level 2 (305 points)
    For some I think the issue with Safari could be with your ISP's DNS servers. What Safari 5 does is prefetches the links in a web page to make things faster. At least that is what is supposed to happen.
    Sometimes, this prefetching actually is picked up by some DNS as a request overload like in a Denial attack. So some have suggested using DNS like Open DNS which by design allows this better.
    Personally after switching between Open DNS and my ISp's DNS. I really do not find it works any better.
    My personal opinion in my case is that Safari has issues resolving some web content either Java code or Flash. Mine seems to work much better without Flash installed but I find that solution rather frustrating in itself.
  • DeaconMac Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    I don't have any solutions, but just wanted to chime in so you'll know you aren't alone. I've also been having the spinning beachball, incomplete URL problem, and it's been getting progressively worse, especially after the upgrade to 5.0.3 and the associated System upgrade. I've tried using Open DNS, I've rebuilt preferences, I've run Disk Utility on the hard disk. Nothing has helped. Safari continues to hang on average about every 50th web page. Sometimes, I can just quit Safari; other times, I have to use Activity Monitor to force quit, and sometimes I have to use Command-Option-Esc to force quit and reboot my Mac. None of these crashes registers in Crash Reporter (in fact, I haven't had a Safari crash register there in about 6 months, even though Safari hangs regularly!).

    Of course, Flash also crashes regularly, but I'm not convinced that the Safari freezes are related to that. I don't think I'm running any other Safari plug-ins (though when I just went to look, I couldn't find ANY plug-ins or even a plug-in folder anywhere -- where is it supposed to be?).

    Lastly, sometimes the hang can occur on the very first page I try to load after launching Safari, or on the tenth - in other words, it doesn't seem to be related to any "pile up" after loading many, many pages.

    I'm at a loss to know what else to look at.