Is it just me or has anyone else noticed the fact that opening new tabs and windows in Safari takes way longer that it used to? Especially when you are running a lot of other applications on your mac, or are using battery power? I for one think that Safari is not the fastest browser, to open or to use anymore, and sometimes FireFox even seems faster than it. I remember using the older version of Safari (version 3) and remarking how fast it opened on a Mac compared to Firefox. However, the newer version just seems a whole lot slower.
I think I have stumbled upon the main culprit – Top Sites. It seems as though Apple has tried to imitate the look and feel of Google Chrome and/or Opera. In fact, the beta versions of Safari 4 reminded me of Google Chrome, given the tabs at the top and the top sites feature that popped up when you opened a new window. Unfortunately, in imitating the most visited websites (or as Opera calls it... Speed dial) Apple has slowed down the speed of Safari. Of course, copying ideas is always good, because that means more competition. However, Apple has sacrificed speed for aesthetics, and turned the browser into a resource hog with its almost useless zooming effects and reflections. What I do find cool is the coverflow history pane. Now that is something beautiful and efficient.
However, luckily, there is a way to get rid of the beach ball of death that comes up whenever you open a new window or tab... disable Top Sites. I for one have found that Safari's speed has improved tenfold, and opening a million new tabs doesn't slow it down anymore. Of course, if you don't feel like disabling Top Sites has caused an improvement in speed, you can always switch it back. What I plan to do, as soon as I get some more time is to create a HTML page which you can use as the 'top sites' features. However, you'll have to pick and choose your 15 - 20 sites before hand and hard code it into the html. Nevertheless, that way you can have the top sites feature, and make sure that you wont be getting the spinning rainbow coloured ball as your cursor.
How to disable Top Sites in Safari for new windows and new tabs
Thankfully, disabling this feature is really simple.
- Open Safari and Click on Safari in the menubar
- Then click on Preferences...
- Under the General tab, change 'New windows open with:' to Empty Pages using the drop down menu and do the same for 'New tabs open with:'
- Close the Preferences window
That's all there is to it. Plus, if you still want to use top sites,you can! All you need to do is click on the top sites button in the bookmark toolbar (shown below in the red box with the arrow pointing to it), and top sites will open up in the current tab.
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