Although Safari may not be perfect, as far as truly native iPhone browsers go, it’s all we’ve got. If one of your major problems with Apple’s mobile browser is how long it takes to load, you’re in good company.

It’s Safari’s built-in session saving feature that makes the browser so sluggish. In most cases, it will completely reload you’re previous page you were on at launch. iOS doesn’t have an option to disable this feature, but there might be a way around it…

MacWorld drops this nice little trick for speeding up Safari load times, and you don’t even have to be jailbroken to try it.  All you need to do is create a shortcut to a blank page on your home screen, here’s how:

Step 1: Launch Safari on any iDevice

Step 2: Type in about:blank in the URL field. After tapping ‘Go’ you should be looking at a blank page.

Step 3: Tap the Share icon and select Add to Home Screen

That’s all there is to this little trick. From now on, instead of waiting for Safari to load your previous page, you can instantly start browsing. As the article mentions, this will also save you the extra steps of opening a new page in Safari.

Obviously a major drawback to the home screen icon is that it’s blank. You could combat this by publishing a blank page with a cool site icon. Since the icon is based off of the site’s favicon, I don’t know if you could change it by editing a .lib file or using a tool like IconHarvester.

Does anyone use this shortcut? Or has everyone already left Safari for a better browser?

  • Ives

    Doesn’t make any faster, but thanks for the tip anyway…

  • Georg W. Bush

    All it dose is give you a blank screen, thats why it loads fast. You will still need to load a page that you want and it will still be slow. Sorry for the busting your bubble but this is a bad post.

    • No, it will still be faster than opening a non-blank page because Safari won’t try to reload the page.

  • Rich

    This works – I’ve been doing something similar for a long time. If no tabs are open then safari doesn’t fast task-switch – it fully closes (you can confirm this with switchermod), and loads from scratch next time. If any full pages are left open then they can reload on launch, which is slower (especially with no wifi). Using this bookmark, or leaving just a single tab with about:blank open ensures safari fast-switches and doesn’t bother reloading the tab you forgot to close last time. It’s not a life changer – but a subtle and useful tweak to make safari ready that little bit quicker.

  • Edgar

    A blank page with [link rel=”apple-touch-icon” href=”image.png” /] Inside [HEADER]

  • Apple lover

    I love using terra .. It’s so much faster than safari

  • Skyfire or Opera are faster then Safari. i still use it but not as often as Skyfire.

  • E_ARMY

    Very good tip, works with my iphone 4

  • iPhoneTech3

    I prefer to use Opera Mini. It is surprisingly faster, slicker and I don’t know why, but it consumes less cellular data (for those who care about it). Safari is good too.

    • Truther

      It’s not a mystery, Opera Mini uses compression. They load the page on their end then just send you a condensed version.

  • yrteght

    To change the icon, go to /var/mobile/library/webclips and then find the one that has a blank icon and edit it.

  • DoubleAron

    But now it is considered a web app so it won’t use the Nitro engine. Correct?

    • Matt

      Oh snap!

    • yrteght

      Who needs nitro engine for a blank page man?

      • DoubleAron

        I could be wrong but it will be for the entire session not just the first page you load.

  • You can also just hit the browsers stop x button, when you open Safari, or just click in the URL box. You don’t technically have to wait for the page to load. Clicking in the box allows for you to type a URL instantly.

    • bc

      Exactly my thought. If I don’t want the page that is reloading when I launch Safari I either tap in the url box, tap in the google search, or tap the bookmarks button. You don’t have to wait for the page to load to do any of those things. What am I missing? Does everybody wait for the current page to load before they do anything in Safari? I never do that, unless I’m revisiting the same page.

  • MrA

    I love iDB.

  • cool but i think its a old trick ..isnt it..??

  • >.< !

    I think it was a ridiculous post. Unless I just misunderstood the post but y dnt u just hit the x on the URL bar and type were ur trying to go ie iphonedownloadblog.com…… Or I guess it would save u the half a sec I takes to do that whole process… W/e dude I’m goin home

  • fiveolddogs

    This is very helpful for those will slower hardware.

    On the iPhone4, I agree – just let the page load or hit the X to stop it. But on my 3GS and on iPhone3’s I’ve used, there is an aggravating delay and lack of responsiveness when Safari starts and begins to load that last page. This trick preempts that while preserving the other “tabs” previously open.

  • fiveolddogs

    Found a bookmarklet that lets you choose an image (you need a URL for the image) to associate with a site when using as a home screen link.

    Create a shortcut in safari, then edit the shortcut address to the following and save:

    javascript:var%20links=document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)%5B0%5D.getElementsByTagName(‘link’);for(var%20i=0;i%3Clinks.length;i++)%7Bif(links%5Bi%5D.getAttribute(‘rel’)==’apple-touch-icon’)%7Blinks%5Bi%5D.parentNode.removeChild(links%5Bi%5D)%7D;%20break;%7D;var%20s=document.createElement(‘link’);s.setAttribute(‘rel’,%20’apple-touch-icon’);s.setAttribute(‘href’,prompt(‘Touch%20icon%20URL?’,’http://’));document.getElementsByTagName(‘head’)%5B0%5D.appendChild(s);void(s);

  • Igor

    Hold on just a second!
    Everybody lost the point here.
    I mean, sure, it’s a neat trick not to load all the pages you were using the last time you opened Safari, but you also have to consider that you would surely loose every info you found during that last session.
    Even so, speeding-up-the-Safari is only needed if you’re using your iDevice to its full extent (read: jailbroken).
    Cause only then you would need every single bit of RAM for some new app or functionality.
    In my case, I’ve had my 3GS for almost a year and a half, jailbroke it the first day I got it, and can, proudly say, been using it like crazy (the battery won’t last me for longer than 15 hours). Occasionally I use only Safari for browsing and, almost always leave a couple of web-pages/results opened, ones that I’m planning on using a bit later, but also never forget to kill the app via SBSettings.
    Leaving Safari running is something those so-called i-Guys do, not knowing that they can do that, or really just jailbroke their device to use it with a different carier.
    So, to sum up,
    NEAT TRICK, but not awesome.

    Over ‘n Out

  • I agree, it totally is a neat trick. Just throwing into the discussion. How about multiple pages at once? This way you never lose what you want to keep open. I typically have about 10 pages open at a time that I can scroll through.

  • Shre

    This doesnt work.. I am on iOS 4.1 on iPH 3G. ‘Go’ is greyed out to execute an empty URL. If an empty page is loaded via tabs management, ‘+’ is greved out to add to favourites. You might want to update the page.

    • fiveolddogs

      Re-read the post. You don’t leave the address field blank, you type in “about:blank”.

  • Anonymus

    U can use “home page for safari” along with this URL to make it faster

  • So nobody can create a jailbreak fix for this?