Top Hits are the first results that appear on top when the user searches or enters a query in the unified bar of the safari browser. This is an algorithm activity, done in the browser to allow the search results of particular websites to open faster without the normal loading delays.
Top Hits in your Safari browser come from the data recorded in the browser history, your bookmarks, favorites, most visited and the pages saved in your reading list. Safari uses this data to guess what might interest the user and will generate Top Hits accordingly.
Normally, this is a very useful feature for searching, as the preloaded top hit websites load faster and are quick to respond to even the sub-links of that main link. It comes in handy with activities like searching movies, addresses, or even technical definitions.
The disadvantage of having this feature is every search activity preloads the top hit in the background. This leads to high consumption of data, which is only convenient to those with unlimited data plans or Wi-Fi connections.
It might also lead to time consumption while trying to return to a specific site. This happens due to misdirection caused, as the URL might be long and can’t be displayed fully to confirm if it is the actual website being visited.
Disable Top Hits on Safari iPhone
Safari is among the top-used applications in the Apple ecosystem. To clear out the Top Hits on Safari for your iPhone or iPad, follow the steps outlined below.
The few tested maneuvers that can be applied in an iPhone are;
- Disabling the Top Hit feature,
- Deleting the search history to make sure it stays disabled and
- Disabling the frequently visited sites (and this mostly applies to the iPhone device).
Follow the guidance below:
- Go to settings
- Click on the Safari option from the list of installed apps and navigate to its “Search” section.
- Next, select the “disable” toggle on the “Preload Top Hit” option.
- Now, Return to the settings window in the safari browser.
- Then click the “Clear History and Website Data” button.
- Confirm the deletion to save the changes, and you are done.
Another option is to disable frequently visited sites:
The iOS 9 and above have now an option to enable the user to disable the “Frequently Visited Sites” feature. This prevents Safari from using the frequently visited sites, from generating the top hits in the search bar.
To do this:
- Go to the settings app and select the safari app
- Click to open and navigate to the “Frequently Visited Sites” option under the General options.
- Toggle on the “Frequently Visited Sites” to disable the option
- To remove only one or a few frequently visited sites, while leaving the feature enabled, open the safari new tab page and look for icons of your frequented sites.
- Long press the icon and tap on delete to remove it.
These tweaks should be enough to stop the Top Hits feature when you load and search a web browser the next time.
Disable Top Hits on Safari Mac
Navigate to the safari preference > search > preload top hit in the background. Make sure the button remains unchecked.
Clearing the web history data is also important. This will prevent Safari from loading Top Hits using the browsing history, bookmarks, favorites, and even reading list.
To do that:
- Launch the Safari browser on the Mac device
- Navigate to the settings option, and select the history option
- Click on the Clear History option in the History menu
- On the drop-down menu, select the range of duration you want to delete the history from
- Click on the Clear History button to confirm they are erased.
Some Top Hits are the actual sites we want to visit. To remove specific Top Hits from the Safari address bar, you can simply navigate to the Show History section of the History menu and select the page of the Top Hit you want to delete. Right-click it and select “delete.” However, it is advisable to clear the whole browsing history timeline. This will prevent Safari from generating Top Hits from the remaining unclear data.
If the top hits still show on the safari even after disabling them, you can also do some additional tasks like:
- Check if the device has synced data with another Apple device. The syncing feature might allow the safari browser to still have a way to populate the top hits when the browser is launched. The solution is to simply prevent the syncing activity with the other devices entirely.
- Make sure to delete any added pages from the reading list. Safari has a tendency to pull up data stored in the reading list and can use it to generate the top hits. Remove them entirely to prevent it from happening.
- Using incognito mode is another way to combat the top hits. This is because, in private mode, data is never collected or stored during or after the use of the Safari browser.
By default, when you search for a keyword, Safari will automatically preload the top result in the background to make it ready before you click it. This is a feature that aims at saving browsing time and helping you work more seamlessly. However, if it is not necessary to preload the top search result, go on and disable Preload Top Hit on your device.
The problem with top hits is they can lead you to other websites than the intended one and will display some prepositions prompting the user to keenly type the full URL to avoid misdirection.
This issue is noticeable to most if not all bookmarked sites or by making them favorites for fast and easier navigation.
They become a nagging issue when you don’t want to delete the browsing history. This is because Safari, unlike Google Chrome, doesn’t have a feature that allows you to simply select that top result and delete it.
The methods outlined above have proven to rectify the issue and should be able to deactivate the Top Hits feature from appearing in your device’s Safari browser again.