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Get Rid of ‘Top Hit’ in Safari on iPhone and Mac

Want to remove the 'Top Hits' section from your Safari browser's start page? Learn how to disable this feature within Customize homepage settings.

The Safari browser displays the Top Hits suggestion when searching for any matching term or website in the address bar we visited or saved as a bookmark. Unfortunately, there is no explicit option to disable this feature. Hence, the only way to stop Top Hit’s recommendation is to clear the stored site and browsing data.

Remove Top Hits suggestion links from Safari browser

Modern web browsers have incorporated some nifty features that make it relatively easy and efficient to carry out the intended tasks. More often than not, these functionalities are welcomed with open hands by everyone alike.

However, it could spell out an infuriating experience for some users. And the Top Hit feature of the Safari Browser probably falls in this domain.

For the unaware, as soon as you type in the keyword in the search bar, the browser will automatically bring up its related site as the first result in the Top Hit.

Top Hit feature in Safari browser

It also preloads that page, so you don’t have to wait for it to load when you click on that result.

In hindsight, all this results in the faster loading of the sites, which saves our precious time, so where’s the issue?

Well, the thing is, it’s not every time that one always clicks on the first results in the search result. But since the browser would load it anyways, it leads to several issues.

Moreover, the automatic pre-loading of the first search results (which you have no plan to interact with) would also lead to unnecessary network bandwidth consumption.

Quite a few problems are lined up with this feature; hence, many users want to get rid of the Top Hit feature in their Safar browser.

Remove Top Hit in Safari Mac

There isn’t any universal toggle that would straightaway turn off this feature. However, there do exist a few workarounds that have been known to work out for many users. And you can also turn off the pre-loading of top hits to save bandwidth.

The Top Hit retrieves the site URL suggestion from the saved bookmarks/favorites, browsing history, and reading list. The Top Hit suggestion will be removed if you clear all these stored data.

  1. Launch the Safari app on a Mac.
  2. Select History from the menubar options.
  3. Choose the Clear History… option under the History menu.
  4. It will open the Clear History dialog window.
  5. Select the date range from the drop-down as an all history option.
  6. Hit on the Clear History command button to remove history from Safari.
    Clear History from Safari MacOS computer

However, consider deleting your entire search history if you wish to take a more aggressive approach. Doing so will delete all the autocompleted URLs.

There’s no direct approach to carrying out this task, and deleting the search history seems to give out the best mileage for rectifying this issue.

You can follow this guide to manage bookmarks/favorites and reading lists in the Apple Safari browser. Once you remove the site from the Bookmarks and Reading list won’t appear on the Top Hit.

To stop preloading Top Hits, visit the Safari Preferences menu and switch to the Search tab. Disable the checkbox for Preload Top Hit in the background option.

Preload Top Hit in the background disabled in Safari browser

Disable Top Hit in Safari iPhone

Similarly, we can also clear history, bookmarks, and reading lists from Safari on iPhone to stop Top Hit suggestions.

Turning off this feature on iOS is a two-step process. It calls for disabling the Top Hit feature and then deleting your search history, as outlined below:

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Safari from the list and go to its Search section.
  3. Within that, disable the Preload Top Hit toggle.
    Disable Preload Top Hit in Safari iOS iPhone
  4. Once that is done, go back to the Safari settings.
  5. Tap on the Clear History and Website Data options.
    Clear History and Website Data from Safari iPhone
  6. Confirm to clear history and website data.

That’s it; combining both these tweaks should be enough to prevent the Top Hits from appearing in Safari’s search bar.

Bottom Line

So with this, we conclude the guide on how to get rid of the Top Hits in the Safari browser on Mac and iPhone. The underlying issue seems to be the browser’s behavior to load the site’s root directory first, followed by its sub-directories.

For example, if you prefer to visit, it would still show as the first result in the Top Hits.

On top of all this, the lack of a direct approach to disable this feature might infuriate the users even further. Safari should have the explicit option to disable the Top Hit feature under the Search section, just like Preload Top Hit option.

Fortunately, the workarounds mentioned in this guide seem to rectify this issue. With that said, if you still have any queries, do let us know.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Sadique Hassan

Sadique Hassan

Sadique is a Bachelor of Computer Application in Computer Science and an MBA professional. He became a tech writer by choice and has continued pursuing it for the last 7+ years. He is keenly interested in open-source technology like Android and also loves troubleshooting the tech. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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