Slow Safari in OSX Lion

I’ve just recently updated my MacBook Pro to OSX Lion. In general I’m pretty happy with it but there were a few issues, relating to speed that really significantly annoyed me. This blog post is to remind me what I did to solve those issues and perhaps if someone else reads them and is helped too then that’s a bonus!

Safari. This issue isn’t specifically related to Lion because I dropped using Safari months ago because it was just too slow. But Safari is the only browser that plays really nicely with Lions finger sweep gestures and so I was determined to get it back to proper functionality. With that in mind I went searching and discovered a useful tidbit. The 64bit version of Safari is, in general it seems, a bag of nails. So to fix it, open up your Applications folder, right click over Safari and select Get Info. In the info box that pops up you should see a tick box that says ‘Open in 32bit mode’. Put a tick in there and restart Safari… Since doing this my Safari has returned to its zippy self.

Wi-Fi. The performance of my network seemed to be really slow after the Lion upgrade. I can’t quantify it and have no hard firm data to back up my claims. But it just seemed really slow. I changed a couple of things which seem to have brought it back into line. Not sure which one did the trick but here they are;

First, open System Preferences and choose Network. At the top, where it says Location, choose Edit Locations from the drop down. Create a new location – in my case I called it Home. Then, select Home from the drop down. I’ve no idea why this might’ve helped – perhaps someone can comment on why.

Secondly, I also changed the MTU setting to 1492 as per a recommendation from the net. This is the standard setting for a device using PPPoE – and it’s the same setting as the router which connects to the internet. This sort of makes sense that having the same MTU as the internet device would speed things up since packets are getting fragmented the same for each device.

Once I did those three things, the net seems to be back to being happy and Safari is much happier. I’m now happy with Lion – love the new trackpad gestures and Mission Control is a welcome addition!