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Travis, Mac-Trained Product Designer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 759
Experience:  19+ Years of Mac Experience, BSA in Design and 6 Years of Mac Training from University of Cincinnati
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Hi, I wonder if you can help. I have a lot of trouble logging

Resolved Question:

I wonder if you can help. I have a lot of trouble logging on to Safari. Not every time but too often when I try to call up safari I get the spinning Beachball. Just now i tried and was successful but when I went to open my bookmarks the Beachball appeared. What's going on? and how can I fix it?
Brian Doucette
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
If the following suggestions work, please let me know and you can Accept the answer (and if possible, leave positive feedback). If not, please DO NOT Accept the answer. Instead, let me know and we'll try some more things or I can refer you to another Expert who may be able to help you further.

First, there are a few questions I'd like you to answer so I can better help understand the problem.

1) What type of Mac (ie iMac, PowerBook, etc) and how old is it?

2) What is the Operating System (ie 9.2, 10.5.8, etc)? This info can be found in the apple menu, "About this Mac" (if it is running).

3) Have you recently installed anything new, updated the computer, upgraded OS or software? Did you start noticing the problems with Safari after a specific event took place?

4) Do you have Firefox? It's a free application, which I HIGHLY recommend. It is a more stable browser than Safari in my opinion and often runs more smoothly for most mac users. I suggest giving it a try as long as your computer meets the minimum system requirements:

Back to the Safari issue, I would suggest you run some general maintenance on the computer. It is an obvious square-one approach. I normally suggest this first because it is good practice plus if we dig too deep into a problem and simple measures could have repaired it in the beginning we'll be kicking ourselves later... This is going to be a long email so I suggest printing it out for your reference.

First let's reset the PRAM on the computer.
1) Shut down the computer.
2) While the computer is shut down, locate these keys: command (has an apple on it), option (sometimes called alt), P, and R.
3) Turn the computer on, then press and hold Command-Option-P-R before the gray screen appears.
4) Hold these keys down until you hear the startup sound a total of 3 times.
5) Release the keys.

Next, let's try a Safe Boot. This will perform several clean up procedures that may be affecting the machine's performance and startup.
1) Shut down your computer completely.
2) Start up the computer and immediately after the startup chime, press and hold the Shift key
3) Once the gray Apple and progress indicator appear, release the Shift key
4) Note: Startup will likely take substantially longer than normal
5) In Mac OS 10.4 or later, you will have to login to your account, even if it normally does so automatically.
6) Shut down the computer.

Now let's check / repair the disk permissions. Although this doesn't fix all problems it is a great way to start when working on a machine, besides it often cleans up any other smaller problems you may or may not be experiencing.
1) Restart the machine.
2) Before you have opened any programs, go to Applications / Utilities / Disk Utilities.
3) Run the Verify Permissions, then Repair any errors it finds.
4) Shut down the computer.
5) Restart your computer, how is Safari operating now?

What version of Safari are you using? This can be found in the Safari menu (about Safari) if/when the program is running.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Sorry to take so long answering, but I'm running errands all day today.
1. Intel Mac coming up to 4 years.
3. Recently I got a new Modem from AT&T. Also finally bought an external hard drive.
But this problem has been showing up for at least 2 months.
4. I do have Firefox, But I didn't start using that until a year ago so most of my bookmarks are on Safari and all my password XXXXX Also Firefox doesn't have that handy Return to Search Results thing that Safari has. Right now i'm using Firefox to communicate with you.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
So Firefox is running ok, the problem is with Safari only?

Before we go any further, I would suggest you use a program like Carbon Copy Cloner ( to create a restorable backup of your Hard Drive to an External Hard Drive. This free program will make a mirrored copy of your hard drive in it's current state that you can go back to if things go south after the following changes. I do this personally before I perform any kind of install, update or major change to my system.

Is Safari up to date with the newest version available for 10.4.11? If there is a new version available it would show up in Software Update.

Were you able to run through the PRAM reset, Safeboot and Permissions repair?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Safari version 4.0.3
Did not do the other steps, thought you wanted my answers to your question before i followed your instructions.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
That's ok. Go ahead and run the above maintenance on the machine.

Were you experiencing problems with Safari before you upgraded to Safari 4? Many users have experienced issues with the new version of Safari and have either returned to Safari 3 or switched to Firefox because of them. I currently do not use Safari at all unless I have to, so I am only going by what I've read and dealt with here with users with questions such as your own.

Also, if you haven't done so already, in Firefox, you can go to File / Import and import all of your bookmarks and settings from Safari. That would at least make your current use of Firefox more pleasant until we can fix Safari.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Followed the first command and the computer only made the startup sound twice, I kept the keys held down for over a minute.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
It can take a while for it to recycle through for the chime to sound. A minute between chimes is kind of long, but not unheard of. Go ahead and move on to the next step. You should be fine.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
I am about to head home from the office for the evening (lovelyXXXXXahead of me). I will be back online this evening though so please post any questions or comments here and I'll get back as soon as I can (about 3 hours from now). Thanks!
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thank You!
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
I am back now. Thanks for your patience. Let me know how the maintenance worked out for you.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I tried turning the computer on and then holding down the keys mentioned but I heard the stat up sound only twice. Now what?
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
That's fine. Not a problem. You have to hold the keys down for quite a while to hear the third and fourth sound. You can go ahead and skip to the Safeboot now though. Hearing the chme twich should be sufficient. Just be warned, the Safeboot may take a while (5 to 20 minutes).
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Okay. A time line for these actions is pretty handy.
You say I should skip the Safeboot?
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
No, skip to the Safeboot. Sorry, I worded it a little funny. Run the Safeboot then the Permissions Repair.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Safe Boot went fine.
Checking and repairing went okay till I got to Verify Permissions and Repair errors. Wasn't sure what I was doing. fudged it and hopefully things are ok.
Safari seems fine, but not sure if it'll last.
Expert:  Travis replied 7 years ago.
Great! I am sure you did it correctly. Especially if Safari is running properly so far. Let me know if there are any changes.
Travis and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

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