How-To

How to Get Rid of Top Hits on Safari

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Safari will suggest the most likely website when you start typing, but this can cause problems. Here’s how to get rid of Top Hits on Safari.

When you type in Safari’s search bar on Mac or iPhone, you’ll often see some websites listed under Top Hits. This can help you find frequently used or favorite websites more easily.

There may be times, however, when you don’t want these Top Hits to appear. Getting rid of them isn’t straightforward, but it is possible. Here’s how to get rid of top hits on Safari.

Why Would You Want to Get Rid of Top Hits?
safari top hit

Top Hits provides Safari’s best guess of the website that you want to visit when you start typing in the search box. In many instances, this can be very useful, saving you from typing out the full name of a website. However, there are a few reasons why you may want to get rid of Top Hits.

One of the biggest reasons is that Safari preloads the Top Hit result before you select it. That means if you do click it, the page will appear much faster than if it had to load from scratch. However, if the Top Hit isn’t the page you actually want to open, you’ve used up some data preloading a page you’re not visiting, wasting data in the process.

Top Hits is also based on your search history. Depending on what you’ve been searching for, you might not be so keen for websites you’ve visited to appear as the Top Hit when other people are using your computer.

How to Stop Top Hits from Preloading on Mac

The good news is that it’s simple to stop Top Hits from preloading in Safari by tweaking a simple setting. You can do this both on Mac and on iPhone.

To stop Top Hits preloading on Mac:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. In the menu bar, click Safari.
    safari menu mac
  3. Select Preferences.
    safari preferences mac
  4. Click the Search tab.
    mac safari search settings
  5. Uncheck Preload Top Hit In The Background.
    mac safari preload top hit
  6. Your Top Hit will no longer preload. Top Hit pages may therefore take slightly longer to load than they did before.
  7. To turn preloading back on, repeat the steps above, and check Preload Top Hit In The Background.

How to Stop Top Hits from Preloading on iPhone

You can also stop Top Hits from preloading in Safari on your iPhone. This is particularly useful if you don’t want to waste data preloading pages you’re not going to open.

To stop Top Hits preloading on iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app.
    iphone settings
  2. Scroll down and tap Safari.
    safari settings iphone
  3. Toggle Preload Top Hit to the Off position.
    safari preload top hits iphone
  4. Top Hits will now no longer preload on your iPhone.
  5. To turn preloading back on, repeat the steps above and toggle Preload Top Hit to the On position.

How to Get Rid of Top Hits on Safari for Mac

Top Hits are mostly based on your browser history, but will also appear for any websites in your Safari Favorites.

You can stop Top Hits from appearing by removing any Favorites and deleting your browser history. Deleting your entire history will remove all Top Hits, but if you only want to remove specific sites from Top Hits, you can just delete the history associated with that website.

How to Remove All Top Hits in Safari on Mac

Deleting Safari Favorites and your browser history will stop Top Hits from appearing for all websites. This is a fairly drastic option, however, as it means all of your browser history will be lost, and all of your Favorites removed.

If you only want to stop specific Top Hits from appearing, use the method in the next section.

To remove all Top Hits in Safari on Mac:

  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. In the menu bar, click Bookmarks.
    safari bookmarks menu mac
  3. Select Edit Bookmarks.
    safari edit bookmarks
  4. Under Favorites right-click on Favorite and select Delete.
    safari delete bookmarks mac
  5. Repeat to remove all Favorites.
  6. In the menu bar, click History.
    safari history menu mac
  7. Select Clear History.
    safari clear history mac
  8. In the drop-down box, select All History.
    safari clear all history mac
  9. Click Clear History.
    safari clear mac
  10. Once your history has been deleted, you should find that Top Hits no longer appear.
  11. When you continue to use Safari, your history will fill up again, and Top Hits will start showing again. To stop this from happening, once you have deleted your history, use Private Browsing, by going to File > New Private Window. Private Browsing does not save your history, so it should stop Top Hits from reappearing. You’ll need to delete history first, however, as a Private Browsing window will still create Top Hits based on your Safari history.

How to Remove Specific Top Hits in Safari on Mac

If you don’t want to delete your entire browsing history, you can stop specific sites from appearing in Top Hits by deleting the browsing history only for web pages from those sites. This won’t work for any sites that are baked in, such as the Apple website.

To remove specific Top Hits in Safari on Mac:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. If you want to remove one of your Favorites from your Top Hits, in the menu bar, click Bookmarks.
    safari bookmarks menu mac
  3. Select Edit Bookmarks.
    safari edit bookmarks
  4. Under Favorites right-click on the Favorite you want to remove and select Delete.
    safari delete bookmarks mac
  5. Repeat to remove any Favorites that you don’t want to appear as Top Hits.
  6. In the menu bar, click History.
    safari history menu mac
  7. Select Show All History.
    safari show all history mac
  8. In the search field, type the name of the website you want to remove from Top Hits.
    safari search history mac
  9. Highlight all the results that are from the website you want to remove from Top Hits and press Backspace.
  10. Ensure that all history entries for that website are removed.
  11. You should find that the Top Hit no longer appears.
  12. If you revisit that website in the future, it may return to Top Hits. If so, repeat the steps above.

How to Get Rid of Top Hits on Safari for iPhone

Removing Favorites and deleting all browser history will also remove Top Hits from Safari on your iPhone. You can opt to delete only specific websites if you don’t want to delete your entire history.

How to Remove All Top Hits in Safari on iPhone

You can remove all Favorites and clear your entire history to stop any Top Hits from appearing. Be warned that deleting all history will also delete the full history of other devices signed in to your iCloud account.

To remove all Top Hits on iPhone:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap the Bookmarks icon at the bottom of the screen.
    safari bookmarks icon iphone
  3. Under the Bookmarks tab, tap Favorites.
    safari iphone favorites
  4. Swipe each Favorite to the left and tap Delete.
    safari delete favorite iphone
  5. Repeat for all Favorites.
  6. Tap the History tab.
    safari history tab iphone
  7. In the bottom right-hand corner of the screen, tap Clear.
    safari clear history iphone
  8. Select All Time. Be aware that this will delete history from any devices signed in to the same iCloud account.
    safari delete all history iphone
  9. Your Top Hits should now be gone.

How to Remove Specific Top Hits in Safari on iPhone

If you only want to remove specific Top Hits, you can delete this history just for that site.

To remove specific Top Hits on iPhone:

  1. Open Safari.
  2. Tap the Bookmarks icon.
    safari bookmarks icon iphone
  3. If you want to remove a Top Hit that is in your Favorites, in the Bookmarks tab, tap Favorites.
    safari iphone favorites
  4. Swipe the specific Favorite to the left and tap Delete.
    safari delete favorite iphone
  5. Tap the History tab.
    safari history tab iphone
  6. In the search field, type the name of the website you want to remove from Top Hits.
    safari search history iphone
  7. For each result, swipe left and tap Delete.
    safari delete history entry iphone
  8. When all the results have been deleted, your specific Top Hits should no longer appear.

Take Control of Safari

Learning how to get rid of top hits on Safari can help you take control of your search and stop you from using data unnecessarily. There are plenty of other ways to take more control of Safari.

You can move the Safari search bar back to the top if you don’t like it at the bottom of the screen. You can save articles to read for later or personalize your Safari Start Page on Mac.

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