Apple Mac OS X ‘lookupd’ issues and possible workarounds for Safari slowdowns, glitches

“One of several buggy areas of Mac OS X is the ‘lookupd’ program, which is responsible for the critical job of translating hostnames (e.g. to IP addresses (e.g. needed to actually make a network connection. We discussed these problems last year and again this past spring, but they continue through today’s Tiger 10.4.2,” MacInTouch reports.

We’ve received a few (less than ten) emails reporting issues that may be related to this problem. We have not experienced it ourselves. If you are experiencing glitches, lockups, or crashes that occur when loading certain pages in Safari, MacInTouch offers are some notes from readers and the Web:

If you have any additional information, possible fixes, etc., please add them below or contact MacInTouch:

Apple’s Safari Support Discussions are here:


  1. At any time after the trouble begins, close lid. There will be a long delay, but it will eventually go to sleep…about 3 min. After waking up, things seem normal – can load pages in Safari and restart. I usually restart at this point, so I haven’t tested how long the “normal” state lasts.

  2. Speaking of Safari, I’m not to happy about the recent inability to block pop-ups on this site. Did Apple change something in Safari, or has MDN figured out a method to fake Safari out. I have noticed very slow resolution on switching domains with Safari. It wasn’t noticible to me until sometime withing the last month or few. I am on a full T-1 connection, so I know my bandwidth isn’t the issue.

  3. but always glad for a heads-up in case i do.

    re pop-ups, MDN didn’t figure out how to defeat popup blockers but their chosen ad company did.

    stay away from this site for a week or so, by the time you come back they’ll have stopped that behavior like they did before.

  4. About a week ago Safari starting hanging up when loading various pages, usually after having done several successful loads. After the hangup, the entire computer is frozen, with a forced shutdown being the only solution. This happens with Firefox as well.

  5. Ditto re recent lock ups while loading web pages on Safari. Almost never happened until a couple of weeks ago, when I updated with Apple’s recent patch. Now it’s TERRIBLE: about 50% of the web pages lock up in the midst of loading, sometimes for a LONG time.
    I love Apple, but this is VERY frustrating.
    MW: “freedom,” my freedom to surf the web has been curtailed significantly

  6. From MacFixit,
    This worked perfectly for me on two machines.

    “With Etherpeek running, I was able to force the failure by doing repeated reloads of a particular page in FireFox. It never took more than 6 reloads to fail. Every single time, the last DNS packet received was for I was then able to force a failure outside of FireFox using that address and ping. I added an entry to /etc/hosts:

    The method for modifying the /etc/hosts entry to disable access to the host — a company that hosts ads used on several Web sites is as follows:

    Enter the following command in the Terminal (located in Applications/Utilities) and press return:

    sudo /Applications/ /etc/hosts

    This will open the /etc/hosts file in the TextEdit application.

    Add the line:

    to the end of the file (under hosts) and save. You’ll be running in root at this point, so quit TextEdit immediately and do not modify any other files.

    Launch your favorite Web browser and check for persistence of the issue.

  7. Rog S and Jake Mine crashed while on the Version Tracker site repetedly and ended up doing a forced shutdown also. Safari ran great until then actually it was the first crash I’ve ever had on this machine (1ghz G4 mirrored door) and its over 2 years old.

  8. I’ve been having serious problems with safari for the past 2 weeks I have been forced to constantly go to firefox, which is not my preferred browser.
    Safari is constantly holding up and when I check on memory/cpu usage, it usually takes as much available memory as possible on my system from the usual 32 to 64 mb with my usual 10 tabs, to sometimes 512MB.
    the windows are still accessible via the Keyboard, but not the mouse, and not links on pages work.
    it really sucks.
    I really wish this wasn’t the case. as I really don’t like Firefox

  9. I’ve had the same issue with Safari on my laptop, but for some reason it has not affected my desktop — both of which are running the same version of Tiger. The problem appeared at about the same time for me as it did for the others — in the last couple weeks. In my case, Safari gets a spinning beach ball, I cannot start any new programs (although I can switch to any that were already running), and Finder is unresponsive (Cmd-Opt-ESC does not bring up the Force Quit dialog, no new Finder windows will open, and it is impossible to do a soft restart or shutdown). I hope for a fix SOON! I may try modifying the /etc/hosts file to see if that helps.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.