Slow downloads on Safari can be a real buzzkill, especially when you’re eagerly waiting for that important file or the latest episode of your favorite show. But don’t worry! We’ve got your back. This guide dives into the best solutions to fix slow download speeds on Safari.
How to Increase Safari’s Slow Download Speed
Below, you can find step-by-step instructions on fixing slow Safari download speeds and even increasing it.
1. Check Your Internet Connection
Before diving into browser-specific tweaks, ensuring the basis is solid is important. Your internet connection is that basis.
- Test your internet speed: Head over to a reliable speed test website. If your connection isn’t delivering the speeds you’re paying for, it might be time to have a chat with your ISP.
- Device Check: Try downloading something on another device. If the issue persists across devices, it’s likely an internet issue.
Remember, even the best browser can’t make up for a shaky internet connection. Ensuring you have a stable connection is the first step to resolving slow downloads.
2. Close Unused Tabs While Downloading
We all love multitasking, but sometimes, having too many tabs open can be counterproductive, especially when you’re trying to download something on Safari.
- Resource Hog: Each tab consumes resources. If you’ve got a ton of tabs open, they could be eating into the bandwidth that your download needs.
- Tab Management: Consider closing tabs you’re not actively using. If you’re worried about losing a page, you can always bookmark it for later.
- Safari’s Task Manager: It’s a handy tool to see which tabs or extensions are using the most resources. To access it, go to Menu > More > Task Manager and close the ones that are consuming your download bandwidth.
You might just see those speeds pick up by giving your active download more breathing room.
3. Opt for a Wired Connection
While the freedom of Wi-Fi is undeniable, a wired connection often takes the crown when it comes to consistent high download speeds.
- Wi-Fi Woes: Wi-Fi signals can be fickle. Walls, other devices, or even distance from the router can cause fluctuations in speed.
- The Wired Advantage: Plugging directly into your router with an Ethernet cable can provide a more stable and often faster connection. This is especially true for big downloads.
- Making the Switch: If you’re on a desktop, consider routing an Ethernet cable. For laptop users, if you’re downloading a large file, plugging it in temporarily can make a difference.
4. Adjust Download Settings in Safari
Safari offers a range of settings that can influence your download speeds. Let’s ensure they’re optimized for the best performance.
- Download Location: Ensure the folder you’re downloading to isn’t full or on a slow-performing drive. Sometimes, switching to a faster drive can improve download speeds.
- Parallel Downloads: Some browsers, including Safari, allow for parallel downloading, where multiple parts of a file are downloaded simultaneously. Check if this feature is enabled for a potential speed boost.
5. Update Network Adapter Driver
Your network adapter is the bridge between your PC and the internet. Keeping its driver updated ensures a smooth connection and can potentially boost your download speeds on Safari.
- Why Update? Outdated drivers might not be optimized for the latest network protocols or might have minor bugs. An update can address these issues.
- The Update Process:
- Open ‘Device Manager‘ on your PC.
- Locate ‘Network Adapters‘ and expand the list.
- Right-click on your network adapter and select ‘Update driver‘.
- Follow the on-screen instructions, opting to search automatically for updated driver software.
6. Modify DNS Settings
The Domain Name System (DNS) is like the phonebook of the internet. Sometimes, switching to a faster DNS can lead to quicker download speeds.
- Why Change DNS? Your default DNS, usually provided by your ISP, might not always be the fastest. Alternative DNS servers, like Google DNS or Cloudflare, can sometimes offer better performance.
- Switching to a New DNS:
- Open ‘Control Panel’ and navigate to ‘Network and Sharing Center‘.
- Click on your connection, then click ‘Properties’.
- Select ‘Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)‘ and click ‘Properties‘.
- Choose ‘Use the following DNS server addresses‘ and enter the addresses of your preferred DNS.
- For Google DNS, you can use 18.104.22.168 and 22.214.171.124.
After making the change, restart your computer and see if Safari’s download speed improves.
7. Disable VPN and Other Network Tools
While VPNs and certain network tools can be great for privacy and security, they might be slowing down your Safari downloads.
- VPN Impact: VPNs route your traffic through different servers, which can sometimes reduce download speeds. If you’re using a VPN, try disabling it temporarily to see if it makes a difference.
- Network Tools: Some network monitoring or optimization tools can interfere with Safari’s ability to download efficiently. Consider pausing or disabling these tools while downloading.
- Check for Improvements: Once you’ve made these changes, restart Safari and see if your download speeds have improved. If they have, you might want to consider adjusting your VPN settings or finding alternative network tools that don’t impact performance.
If you absolutely need to be connected to a VPN, then make sure to use one that has the highest-speed servers. NordVPN is your best bet.
8. Clear Download Cache
Like a closet needing occasional decluttering, Safari’s cache can accumulate data over time. Clearing it out can sometimes lead to improved download speeds.
- Why Clear the Cache? Over time, cache data can become outdated or even corrupted. This can slow down various browser functions, including downloads.
- Steps to Clear Cache in Safari:
- Click on the three horizontal lines (menu icon) in the top right corner of Safari.
- Navigate to ‘Options‘ or ‘Preferences‘.
- Go to the ‘Privacy & Security‘ tab on the left.
- Scroll down to ‘Cookies and Site Data‘ and click on ‘Clear Data‘.
- Ensure ‘Cached Web Content‘ is checked and then click ‘Clear‘.
Once you’ve cleared the cache, restart Safari and see if your downloads are moving faster.
9. Disable Firewalls and Antivirus Software
While these tools are essential for your computer’s security, they can sometimes interfere with Steam’s download speed.
- Potential Interference: Some security software might mistakenly flag Safari downloads as suspicious, slowing down or even stopping the process.
- Temporary Disabling:
- Locate your antivirus or firewall software on your system tray or within your applications.
- Opt to disable it temporarily. (Make sure to re-enable it once your downloads are complete!)
- Restart Safari and check if the download speeds have improved.
- Whitelisting: If you notice a consistent improvement with the security software disabled, consider adding Steam to the software’s whitelist or exceptions list. This way, you can keep your protection active without slowing download speeds.
10. Close Other Applications Running in Parallel
Your computer’s resources are shared among all running applications. If other apps are hogging bandwidth, it can impact Safari’s download speeds.
- Resource Management: Be mindful of other applications, especially those that use the internet, like streaming services, other browsers, or large file downloads.
- Using Task Manager:
- On Windows, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Del and select ‘Task Manager‘.
- Look for applications that are using a significant amount of network resources and consider closing them temporarily.
By ensuring Safari has all the resources it needs, you can potentially boost your download speeds and overall browsing experience.
11. Flush DNS Cache
The DNS cache stores IP addresses of websites you’ve visited, helping to speed up subsequent visits. However, if this cache becomes outdated or corrupted, it can slow down your browsing and download speeds.
- Understanding DNS Cache: Think of it as a phonebook. Instead of looking up a website’s IP address every time, your computer checks the DNS cache first. But sometimes, this “phonebook” needs a refresh.
- How to Flush DNS Cache on Windows:
- Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type in cmd and press Enter to open the Command Prompt.
- In the Command Prompt, type ipconfig /flushdns and press Enter.
- You should see a message saying, “Successfully flushed the DNS Resolver Cache.”
After flushing the DNS cache, restart Safari and check if your download speeds have improved.
12. Disable Extensions
Extensions can enhance your browsing experience by adding extra functionality to Safari. However, some might interfere with downloads or slow down the browser.
- Identifying Problematic Extensions: It might be the issue if you’ve recently added a new extension and noticed a drop in download speeds. Or if you have a lot of Safari extensions installed, they could interfere with each other.
- How to Disable Extensions in Safari:
- Click on the three horizontal lines (menu icon) in the top right corner of Safari.
- Select ‘Add-ons‘ or ‘Extensions‘.
- Here, you’ll see a list of all your installed extensions. Click ‘Disable‘ next to any you suspect might be causing issues.
- Restart Safari and test your download speeds.
If you identify a particular extension causing the slowdown, consider looking for an alternative or checking if there’s an update available that resolves the issue.
13. Reinstall Safari
Sometimes, the most effective solution is to start from scratch. If you’ve tried numerous fixes and still aren’t seeing improvements, a fresh installation of Safari might be the answer to your slow download issues.
- Backup First: Before uninstalling, make sure to backup your bookmarks, extensions, and any other important data to avoid losing them.
- Uninstalling Safari:
- Navigate to your computer’s ‘Apps & Features‘.
- Locate Safari in the list, select it, and click ‘Uninstall‘.
- Fresh Start:
- Visit the official Safari website to download the latest version.
- Install Safari and log in with your credentials, if needed.
- Restoring Data: Once reinstalled, you can restore your bookmarks, extensions, and other data.
Can browser themes or skins impact download speeds in Safari?
While themes or skins primarily affect the visual appearance of Safari, they don’t have a direct impact on download speeds.
Does the number of bookmarks I have in Safari affect download speeds?
No, bookmarks are simply saved URLs and won’t impact your download speeds.
I’ve heard about Safari’s ‘Safe Mode.’ Can it help diagnose slow downloads?
Yes, Safari’s ‘Safe Mode’ temporarily turns off extensions, themes, and some other features. If downloads are faster in this mode, an extension or setting might be the cause of the slowdown.
Can having multiple user profiles in Safari affect my download speeds?
Each user profile operates independently, so having multiple profiles shouldn’t directly impact download speeds. However, if multiple profiles are running simultaneously, they will share system resources, which could affect performance.