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Ask Max: Why is Safari Running So Slow?

Asked on 05/26/2006:

I am running Safari on OS 10.4.3 on a new G5 power mac. I have a wireless DSL connection and it is now running slower than when I used IE with dial up. In fact it is excruciating -- might as well as go for coffee-slow. I'm using an Actiontec wireless modem with service provided by MSN through QWEST. I've tried emptying the cache and dumping the icons folder from the library as well as shortening all of my bookmark names. All of these suggestions I found online but none of them have helped. The local computer store says I need more memory. It's hard to believe when it makes no difference if Safari is the only application open. I'm slowly going out of my mind watching the spinning beachball of death... Any ideas?


The first thing to try would be a different web browser. I always keep a copy of Firefox on my computers to test my connection. You can get a copy here. If Firefox is loading pages much faster than Safari that will tell you that your copy of Safari is broken. If it is Safari, then you will need to trash Safari and all of your Safari files. You can find those files from doing a Spotlight search on "Safari" and then "" Before you trash Safari export your bookmarks, it is an option under the Safari menu in the application. Next download a new copy of Safari from here. Now, if the new version is just as slow as the first version then I would recommend repairing your Disk Permissions.

Now if Firefox was just as slow as Safari, you have some network problems. Double check your network settings provided by Quest and MSN. Look hard at your DNS settings, as they are often the cause of slow connections. You may also have some problems with the wireless router provided by you ISP. In my experience Mac users can stump customer service people. So if you call into Quest or MSN for support, be persistent that your computer is in good working order and it is a settings error.

Hope that helps get you working up to speed.

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