Living with Apple’s Safari

“Safari is different. We don’t hate it, far from it, and for many of us it is our default web browser in every sense of the word,” William Gallagher writes for MacNN. “Yet unlike most Living With subjects, we live with Safari yet we have trysts with other browsers. Never Internet Explorer, come on. But Firefox and Chrome, yes.”

“Browsers are weirdly personal tools considering they’re made to be used by millions and don’t really have all that many customisable bits,” Gallagher writes. “Yet to those of us who use, stick with and like Safari, we would argue the reverse. Safari seems lighter to us than Firefox. It also seems lighter than Chrome.”

“The fact that Safari is just there, is the default browser unless you change a preference on your Mac is certainly a big advantage to Apple. If the majority of Mac users are using Safari then it’s down to how it’s the default more than it is down to people making a positive choice to use it over the alternatives,” Gallagher writes. “We make a positive choice, though. It is also our default in the sense that if we need to read something on the web, it is Safari that we want to use.”

Tons more in the full review – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: 95% of our time is spent in Safari vs. other browsers. The other 5% is testing other browsers’ features and site rendering.


  1. Safari was incredibly slow, with all the video-demanding tabs open, until I upgraded my ram to 21 GB. Now I’m soooooo happy!

    Mac Pro (Mid 2010) running OS X 10.10.3.

    1. While I really like Safari’s UGI, there’s something fundamentally wrong in the OS architecture when a browser requires over 9 GB of RAM to be functional. Such is life with Safari. 🙁

      1. I only have 8 GB total memory and Safari works great with many windows and tabs open, but I agree there is a fundamental issue that affects performance over time. At least since 10.10.3 I don’t need to restart every couple days so they are moving in the right direction. I hoped these issues would have been ancient history by now. It seems we went the wrong direction after Mountain Lion.

  2. Apple REALLY needs to provide a means to stop the endless ads popping up on websites on iOS. Safari on my iPad is almost unusable due to these popups.

    Tried disabling Javascript, but some websites require it. I guess that’s the problem…

    1. Mal Advertizing 2

      When a pop-up window appears warning of a VIRUS and instructs you to click OK on the dialog box. DO NOT CLICK OK!!!!!!!

      Press Command w to close window.

      If that doesn’t work Force Quit Safari.

      In any case after Safari has quit, hold the shift key down and reopen. This will keep Safari from being redirected back to the site.

      If you don’t already have it installed:

      Download – Adware Medic and run to find and delete offending adware.

      Removing Ad Malware With Adware Medic

      You’ve got a Mac and, from what you’ve heard, there’s no evil that can touch you.

      No viruses.

      A Mac App Store with guaranteed clean applications.

      No worries whatsoever.

      And then…your favorite web browser suddenly seems to have a mind of its own; taking you places you have no interest in going and warning you of evils on your Mac that don’t actually exist.

      Over the last several months I’ve had several people report that their computers have been hijacked. This hijacking takes a variety of forms, but most often it’s an inescapable barrage of ads or warnings of impending doom. In many cases these result in pop-up windows loading that can’t be closed or navigated past. The screen shot in the upper right and the one below were taken from a client’s computer in such a state:

      This kind of browser hijacking attempts to create fear about an existing or impending problem on your computer and then offers a solution that consists of calling a toll-free number to get that problem resolved. At worst this is a phishing attempt or ransomware and at best it’s an attempt to sell you software of dubious value that is supposed to “remove” the software causing the problem. In every case it’s a pain in the arse.

      (For an in-depth look at how these scams work, check out Lenny Zeltser’s excellent Conversation With a Tech Support Scammer, which includes audio of conversations he had with “tech support” when calling one of these toll free numbers.)

      Avoiding adware and malware is pretty simple:

      Make sure your Mac’s Security & Privacy settings (System Preferences > Security & Privacy) are set to Allow apps downloaded from the Mac App Store or the Mac App Store and identified developers. Anywhereshould NOT be selected.

      To help avoid the installation of some adware and malware, make sure your security settings are anything but “Anywhere.”

      Don’t install software when you’re unsure of its origin. I know this seems obvious but, when you see a warning about software downloaded from the Internet, don’t open it unless you know what it is.

      If you see a message stating that something you’re opening was downloaded from the Internet and you’re not certain you’ve intentionally downloaded it, click Show Web Page before you open it.

      Avoid sketchy sites for downloading software.
      App developer’s site? Check!
      Mac App Store? Check!
      Softonic? Fred’s Undeniably Adware Free File Downloads? Nope, nope, nope!
      Avoid other equally sketchy sites, such as torrent hosting services and… oh… you know you know what I’m talking about…
      Adware Medic
      If you find that your Mac has been hijacked by Adware, not to worry, we’ve got a fix for you. The Safe Mac’s Adware Medic. (The Safe Mac also has an excellent website and Twitter feed if you want the latest, up-to-date info on Mac Adware, Malware, and security concerns.)

      One click in Adware Medic can cure all that ails you.

      Using the app is as simple as it gets.

      Download Adware Medic.
      Open the Adware Medic disk image and drag the app to your Applications folder. Then Open Adware Medic. You should see a message stating that this is an app you’ve just downloaded from the Internet. Go ahead and click Open if it appears, but if you don’t see the message, head on over to System Preferences, open Security & Privacy and change the setting to “Mac App Store and identified developers.”
      Adware Medic is Donationware, which, as the donationware window states, makes the app free for as long as you want it to be. But if it solves your Adware issues, send some cash their way. Seriously!
      Click the “Scan for Adware” button.
      Follow any further instructions you see after the scan is complete.
      Adware Medic can usually remove adware without requiring a restart of your Mac, but in some cases a restart will be required to fully remove any adware that was installed.

      If Adware Medic doesn’t resolve everything that ails your Mac, you can take additional steps to resolve these issues. In many cases these fixes may be as simple as avoiding certain websites, changing your broswer’s home page and search settings, or looking at removing browser extensions you may have installed.

      Instructions for Ad-Injection Software Removal from Apple Support below:

      Ad-injection software is advertising-supported software that can come from third-party download sites. Software that you download from such sites may have been customized to install both the software you want and the ad-injection software. If your Mac has ad-injection software installed, you might see pop-up windows, ads, and graphics while surfing the web, even if “Block pop-up windows” is selected in Safari preferences. Ad-injection software might also change your homepage and preferred search engine.
      Check Safari settings and extensions
      Go to Safari > Preferences, then follow these steps:
      1. Click the General icon and make sure that the Homepage field contains the website you want.
      2. Click the Search icon and make sure that the search engine setting shows your preferred search engine. Some versions of Safari have this setting in the General pane instead.
      3. Click the Extensions icon. If you don’t want an extension or don’t know what it does, select the extension from the list and click Uninstall. These are examples of ad-injection extensions, but there are others:
      • Amazon Shopping Assistant by Spigot Inc.
      • Ebay Shopping Assistant by Spigot Inc.
      • Searchme by Spigot, Inc.
      • Slick Savings by Spigot Inc.
      • GoPhoto.It
      • Omnibar
      Remove certain ad-injection software
      Use this “Go to Folder” method to find and remove each item listed in the sections below, one item at a time:
      1. Drag to select an entire line in the lists below, starting with /System/Library/Frameworks/v.framework, for example.
      2. Choose Edit > Copy.
      3. Open a Finder window, then choose View > As Columns.
      4. Choose Go > Go to Folder.
      5. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the line you copied into the text field.
      6. Press Return.
      • If the item is on your Mac, a window opens with the item you searched for already selected. Drag only that item to the Trash. If you’re asked to enter a password, enter your administrator password.
      • If the item is not on your Mac, you’ll see a message that the folder can’t be found. Continue to the next item in the list.
      Remove Downlite, VSearch, Conduit, Trovi, MyBrand, Search Protect
      Use Go to Folder to find and remove each of these items:
      /Library/Application Support/Conduit/
      ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ConduitNPAPIPlugin.plugin
      ~/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/TroviNPAPIPlugin.plugin
      After you remove the items above, restart your Mac. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove them.
      Remove Genieo, InstallMac
      First follow these steps to stop the Genieo or InstallMac processes, if they’re running. Be sure to restart your Mac when instructed.
      1. Open Activity Monitor.
      You can use Spotlight (Command-Space) to search for “Activity Monitor,” then choose Activity Monitor from the search results.
      2. In the Activity Monitor window, click the CPU tab, then click Process Name at the top of that column to sort the list alphabetically.
      3. Look for the process “Genieo.” Select it, then click the Force Quit button (x) in the upper-left corner of the window.
      4. Look for the process “InstallMac.” Select it, then click the Force Quit button.
      5. Quit Activity Monitor.
      6. Use Go to Folder to find and remove /private/etc/launchd.conf.
      Restart your Mac
      Use Go to Folder to find and remove each of these items:
      /Applications/Uninstall Genieo
      /Applications/Uninstall IM
      ~/Library/Application Support/Genieo/
      ~/Library/Application Support/com.genieoinnovation.Installer/
      Restart your Mac
      Now find and remove /Library/Frameworks/GenieoExtra.framework.
      Restart your Mac
      Choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove the items.
      Optionally remove other adware files
      You don’t need to remove these files to disable the adware. If you do remove them, first remove the other files listed in the sections above. Use the same Go to Folder method to find and remove each item.
      ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.genieo.RemoveGenieoMac.savedState
      ~/Library/Saved Application State/com.VSearch.bulk.installer.savedstate
      Go to the /Library/LaunchAgents/ folder and look for a file named com.*.agent.plist. The asterisk (*) could be any word, including “Apple.” Example: com.midnight.agent.plist. Move the file to the Trash.
      Go to the /Library/LaunchDaemons/ folder and look for a file named com.*.daemon.plist and a file named com.*.helper.plist. The asterisk (*) could be any word, but it will be the same word used in the LaunchAgents folder, above. Example: com.midnight.daemon.plist and com.midnight.helper.plist. Move the files to the Trash.
      Go to the /Library/Application Support/ folder and look for a file name that is the same word used in the LaunchAgents and LaunchDaemons folders, above. Example: midnight. Move the file to the Trash.
      Restart your Mac, then choose Finder > Empty Trash to permanently remove the items.
      Source: Apple Inc.


  3. I may be alone in this but I find Safari’s implementation of Autofill maddening compared to Chrome on my work computer. Nearly every time I use it in Safari I wonder if Apple’s developers have ever used it! But I did see it on the list of El Capitan improvements.
    My other gripe is when I open Safari and begin typing a search in the url; halfway through my phrase loads and the other half of my phrase gets typed on the web page. Very frustrating.
    But I love my tabs syncing.

  4. I require large type, larger than is possible without Safari’s type bleeding into and over adjoining type. This is not a problem with my iMac, thanks to the Firefox add-on NoSquint. (And I use iCab Mobile on the iPad because it can automatically enlarge the type without it bleeding over and uses the same adblocking software Firefox and the desktop Safari does).

    Other Firefox add-ons prevent Google tracking; Yahoo tracking; search-engine-blackhat spam; automatic cookie destruction; much smoother scrolling than in possible with Safari; cookie and history sanitizing with a right click; cookie-by-domain removal with a single click; colours, images and fonts toggling, JavaScript and Flash toggles; popup toggling; a referrer-on-and-off toggler and many, many other controls that are immediately at hand on every browser page (no having to haul up the preferences that don’t have most of these controls anyway.

    As long as Firefox exists, I’ll use it over Safari and any other browser.

  5. Unfortunately, I have to use a Windows PC at work, while I use an iMac/Macbook/iPad at home. Since Safari has been Apple only for a long time, it’s just too tedious to try and sync two sets of preferences between two browsers so I just stick with Chrome everywhere.

    1. Anything but Chrome!

      Safari works well enough and with an ad blocker and a bit of common sense I’ve kept my Mac clean and safe. If I need an alternative on occasion I click the E in my toolbar and load that page in Internet Explorer running in Win 7 on Parallels. It’s amazing how many sites are designed with IE in mind.

      If anything screws up all I have to do is copy the Windows container file from a backup.

      Amazing what i’ll do to avoid using Chrome.

  6. Safari’s cloud services are almost perfect. It synced everything in my icloud-history, credentials, tabs. The only problem is on iOS safari, the initial startup is a bit slow. I can’t press “go” on the address bar for 20 seconds. Anyone has problem like mine?

  7. From my perspective, the basic problem with any third party browser is that Apple has IP rights to fundamental browser interface aspects that they must work around. For instance, Firefox & Chrome *cannot* put their Tab-close buttons on the left as is consistent with the rest of the Mac OS unless they want to pay Apple, so they place them on the right in the Windows way. Their folder hierarchy is drop-down concentric rather than Finder based (which I hate). The end result is that third party browsers require a completely different operational mindset to use them. I find those small differences very frustrating so end up only using them when Safari fails or performs poorly.

  8. Safari is useless trash! Just downloaded 27 files to find out the little stupidware keeps only 20 items in the download history.

    Now I can go thru my 500+ items in my download folder or download everything again.


  9. Firefox is a beast. It eats memory and cpu over time. But the updates are only annoying to those who don’t like update notices in general. It updates immediately and restores your previous session. Firefox has the best web development tools and font rendering.

    Chrome is the lightest and fastest, and has really matured over the past couple years. Chrome updates most often but is usually automatic in the background. I tried using it as my primary browser before but it just wasn’t there yet. I think it is now.

    I wish Safari would update more often. It is now the lowest common denominator of the 3 due to waiting for next big release for the latest feature support.

    I use Safari as primary browser with Firefox for testing, and Xmarks to keep bookmarks in sync across all browsers.

    This reminds of the Mail/Thunderbird/OtherMailAppsHere discussion. Mail and Safari are basic and simple in a lot of ways but look so much better and provide a very consistent OS integration.

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