I started noticing that my MacBook Pro’s performance was getting sluggish compared to my iMac’s performance. I was wondering if I needed a reinstall but I narrowed it down to Safari. Firefox was still working well as were my other apps. Rebooting didn’t help it.
I further narrowed down the issue to Flash videos like those on YouTube skipping from around 7 seconds to 10 seconds. The rest of it played well. I tried removing Startup Items and Preference Panes but none of it did anything.
Then I tried the Reset Safari menu item, which is under the Safari menu, below Private Browsing and Empty Cache. Well it took a while, not as slow as an iPhone 2.0 upgrade, but definitely longer than you would expect.
However, the results were great. Its like I have a new Mac again. Its sort of amazing how much cruft can build up in your web browser and how dependent on it you are for day-to-day tasks.
So in summary: If your Safari is sluggish, try choosing the Safari > Reset Safari… menu item. I personally checked all the boxes, but you could try different settings. It is probably good to back up your Mac or at least your Keychain before clearing out the saved names and passwords. However, if you use 1Password like I do then they’ll be safe in 1Password’s database.