In this article, I’ll show you how to troubleshoot when Top Sites in Safari feature is not working properly on your Mac. The Top Sites page in Safari displays a selection of sites you visit frequently in thumbnail view, giving you the ability to quickly scan multiple web sites for new information.
Here are some of the reported issues:
- The Top Sites feature is not working as expected.
- Top Sites not refreshing.
- Missing Top Sites on Safari.
- Safari top sites thumbnails not updating.
- Top Sites page displays error messages.
Causes of Safari Top Sites Errors
Safari’s Top Sites feature may stop working properly if you lose your Internet connection, even for just a short period. Whether the cause is your home network router, DNS problems, or your ISP going offline due to a severe storm in your location, an interrupted connection can sometimes cause the thumbnails in Safari Top Sites to either stop updating or display error messages.
How to Fix Safari Top Site not Working Issue
1. Force quit and restart
Try force quitting Safari and then open again. This may resolve your problem. Here is how:
- Press the Option, Command, and Esc (Escape) keys together (or click the Apple menu and Force Quit).
- The force quit window will appear.
- Select Safari.
- Click Force Quit.
- Now open Safari.
2. Restart your Mac
Restart your Mac and router. This may resolve your problem.
- Mac: You can restart your Mac by choosing the Restart option from the Apple menu in the upper-left corner of the display.
- Router: disconnect the power, wait 10 seconds, and then connect. Wait at least two minutes to allow the router to completely turn on.
You may also want to reset your router to its factory default settings. Doing so will wipe out all of your settings. You can start over with fresh settings. Most routers include a reset button (on the back or bottom). You will need to push this button using a paperclip (or something similar.) Insert your paperclip and hold down for 30 seconds. Then wait for your router to turn on.
3. Update your Mac
Make sure that your Mac is running the latest version of the macOS software. Here’s how to update your Mac:
- macOS Mojave or higher: Go to System Preferences and then Software Update.
- macOS High Sierra or earlier: Launch the App Store on your Mac and then click the Updates tab.
4. reset network settings on your Mac.
5. Forget Wi-Fi
Forgetting the network can resolve the issue. Before we start, make sure to have your Wi-Fi password handy. Here is how:
- From the Apple menu, go to System Preferences.
- Click Network.
- On the left, you will see a list. Choose Wi-Fi.
- Click Advanced.
- Click the Wi-Fi tab.
- Select the Wi-Fi network that you wish your Mac to forget.
- Click the remove button (-) and agree to remove it.
- Click Ok and Apply.
Now you will need to reconnect to the Wi-Fi network. You will need to type in your password again.
6. Empty caches
- Click on the Safari tab at the top right of your display. From the dropdown menu, choose Preferences.
- Click the Advanced tab of the menu that appears.
- At the end of the tab, select the “Show Develop menu in menu bar” box and close the Preferences menu.
- Click the Develop tab from the Safari menu at the top of the page.
- From the dropdown menu, click Empty Caches.
7. remove Top Sites setting file
If you are still experiencing the Top Sites problem, then there is a higher chance that Top Sites setting file (plist) may become corrupted. If this is the case, your Top Sites page will not function as corrupted files are unusable. Here is how you can remove this file:
- Launch Finder
- Hold down the option key, then click Go and Library when the option key is held
- The Library folder will launch
- Locate and click the Safari folder
- In Safari folder, locate the ‘TopSites.plist’ file
- Drag this file to your desktop.
- Head over to the Apple menu and Restart your Mac
- Start the Safari App and test to see if Top Sites is working as you wanted. If it is working as expected, you may go ahead and delete the plist file that you just placed on your Desktop. if it is still not working, if you are facing problems, move back this plist file to its original place (Library > Safari) and overwrite the one Safari just created after you removed the original.
8. Safe Mode
Starting your Mac in Safe Mode may fix your problem. Please start your Mac in Safe Mode, then in Safe Mode check if Safari Top Sites feature is working. Then restart your Mac normally to exit Safe Mode. Here is how:
- Turn off your Mac: Go to Apple menu > and choose Shut down.
- Turn on your Mac and immediately press and hold the Shift key.
- Keep holding the Shift key until you see the login screen.
- When the login screen appears, release the Shift key.
- Now your Mac is running in Safe Mode. Your Mac will run slower, this is normal. Now Safari and check if Safari Top Sites feature is working.
- Either case, exit Safe Mode. Simply restart your Mac and do not press any keys.
9. Reset PRAM or NVRAM
Resetting PRAM or NVRAM may fix this problem. PRAM or NVRAM are different things, but they are reset in the same way. Here is how:
- Press and hold the power button on your Mac to fully shut it down. Hard discs and fans need to stop spinning, and the screen needs to turn dark.
- Turn on your Mac.
- Immediately after you hear the startup sound, press and hold the “Command + Option + P + R” keys.
- Keep holding them down until you hear the start up sound again and the Apple logo appears.
- Let go the keys, and the PRAM/NVRAM will have been reset. This will reset some of your settings such as display, volume, time zone, and more.