Safari 5.0.1 or later: Slow or partial webpage loading, or webpage cannot be found

When loading webpages in Safari 5.0.1 or later, you might experience the following:

  • Slow performance
  • Partially-loaded pages
  • Webpage "cannot be found" message

Your DNS server(s) or your router might be affected by DNS prefetching in Safari 5.0.1 or later.

First, try a different DNS service

Try a different DNS service, such as one of the DNS services below. This will test to see if the root cause of your issue lies with your selected DNS servers.

For information about how to change DNS settings in Mac OS X, see Editing DNS and search domain settings.

If the issue persists in Safari, return to your original DNS server settings if desired, then continue with the next section.

If the issue persists, disable DNS prefetching

Choose your operating system below to learn how to disable DNS prefetching.

Mac OS X steps to disable DNS prefetching

  1. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities).
  2. Execute the Terminal command below to disable DNS prefetching:
    defaults write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false
    
  3. Quit Safari, then open it again and test for the issue.

Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 (32-bit) steps to disable DNS prefetching

  1. Open the Command Prompt (Choose Windows > Run).
  2. Execute the Command Prompt command below to disable DNS prefetching (include quotes):
    “\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support\defaults.exe” write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false
    
  3. Quit Safari, then open it again and test for the issue.

Microsoft Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7 (64-bit) steps to disable DNS prefetching

  1. Open the Command Prompt (Choose Windows > Run).
  2. Execute the Command Prompt command below to disable DNS prefetching (include quotes):
    “\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support\defaults.exe” write com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled -boolean false
    
  3. Quit Safari, then open it again and test for the issue.

If disabling DNS prefetching resolves the issue, your router might be the root cause. Consider one of these options:

  • Keep DNS prefetching disabled.
  • See if your router has a firmware upgrade available that might address this issue. Contact your router's support staff or visit its website for more information about how to obtain and install router firmware updates.
  • Upgrade to a more modern and robust router.

Enable DNS prefetching if the issue persists, or after upgrading your router/firmware.

Steps to re-enable DNS prefetching in Mac OS X

  1. Open Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities).
  2. Execute the Terminal command below to re-enable DNS prefetching:
    defaults delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled
    

Steps to re-enable DNS prefetching in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (32-bit)

  1. Open the Command Prompt (Choose Windows > Run).
  2. Execute the Command Prompt command below to re-enable DNS prefetching (include quotes):
    “\Program Files\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support\defaults.exe” delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled
    

Steps to re-enable DNS prefetching in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 (64-bit)

  1. Open the Command Prompt (Choose Windows > Run).
  2. Execute the Command Prompt command below to reenable DNS prefetching (include quotes):
    “\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Apple\Apple Application Support\defaults.exe” delete com.apple.safari WebKitDNSPrefetchingEnabled
    

This article covers one possible reason for issues loading webpages in Safari. Mac users can review Mac OS X: Connect to the Internet, troubleshoot your Internet connection, and set up a small network to troubleshoot other Internet connection issues.

Information about products not manufactured by Apple, or independent websites not controlled or tested by Apple, is provided without recommendation or endorsement. Apple assumes no responsibility with regard to the selection, performance, or use of third-party websites or products. Apple makes no representations regarding third-party website accuracy or reliability. Risks are inherent in the use of the Internet. Contact the vendor for additional information.

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