There are a lot of things that just don’t go wrong on the Mac, like Windows BSOD (blue screen of death) or computer viruses and worms. Still, anyone who uses the fairer platform for more than few days is acquainted with the dreaded spinning cursor — here’s how to prevent perhaps the most common causes of the beach ball of death on Safari. And we do it all by the simple tip to clear safari’s cache, cookies and history
- Safari Slow or Crashing with iOS?
- Protect Your Privacy and Security on Safari
- Safari Unresponsive and Frozen on Mac, How-To Fix It!
It’s All About the Tools!
Buried amongst Safari’s many, many of features are a handful of tools that can help you keep Apple’s WebKit-based browser running smoothly and beach ball free. Because I live my life online and consume massive amounts of information, I do these three tasks at least once a week, though those with more modest online appetites can probably get along just fine cleaning up Safari’s cache, cookie, and history once a month.
Clear All Those Cookies!
If you’ve ever called your internet service provider complaining about poor performance, it’s entirely possible that whoever answered the phone walked you through the process of clearing your cookies. For whatever reason, cookies often cause Safari to hang intermittently and locating the offending one can be well nigh impossible.
That said, it’s a lot more efficient to clear the lot:
- In the Safari menu, go to Preferences (Command + comma)
- macOS-OS X Lion: Click the Privacy tab
- Snow Leopard and below: Click the Security tab, then click Show Cookies
- macOS: Select Manage Website Data and Remove All (or choose one at a time and Remove)
- For OS X: Click Remove All Website Data
- Snow Leopard and below: Click Remove All
Not sure if you are running macOS or OS X? From your mac’s Apple menu click About This Mac — this shows you the latest OS running on your Mac or if you partition your hard drive, what version runs on that particular partition.
Clear that Cache
When you surf the Internet, Safari automatically caches web pages and images in temporary storage for easy repeat access and faster page loads, which is perhaps more important for those using slower connections versus those with an ultra high-speed internet.
Regardless of your connection type, regularly dumping the contents of this folder can significantly improve performance:
1.) In the Safari, use the Empty Cache shortcut Command + Option + E
2.) If a dialog box appears, click Empty
I don’t believe clearing your history improves Safari performance, but regularly removing references to a bunch of websites you’ve visited once can’t be a bad thing.
- Go to Safari > Clear History
- For older versions: Go to History > Clear History
- Select what you want to clear: last hour, today, today and yesterday, or all history and Tap Clear History
- For older versions: Click Clear (note the option to simultaneously clear Top Sites)
One last thing
We strongly suggest that you perform these three actions on a regular schedule (ie set up a recurring Calendar event to remind yourself). Thereupon, when you’re done clearing the cookies, cache and history, you should notice a palpable improvement in Safari after logging out and back in, or restarting your Mac.
Know a nifty little trick for keeping your Mac running smoothly? Share your tip and a link in the comments below…