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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews Web Browsers
In Safari 4 Beta, the Top Sites page displays thumbnails of your top sites. This feature can take a lot of disk space; if you'd like to use Top Sites, but disable the thumbnails completely (as opposed to just disabling their updates, which you can do via Safari's menus), here's how.

Quit Safari, open Terminal (in Applications » Utilities), and enter this command:
defaults write com.apple.Safari DebugSnapshotsUpdatePolicy -int 2
Relaunch Safari, and it will no longer create snapshots of pages you visit.

[robg adds: I tested this, and it works. However, to really take advantage of it, you'll also want to delete the existing snapshots from your drive. The easy way is to use Safari -> Reset Safari, and leave only 'Remove all webpage preview images' checked, then click Reset.

If you delete all the existing previews and implement this hint, you'll see a generic placeholder for each page on the Top Sites screen. To get your previews back, quit Safari, and run this command in Terminal: defaults delete com.apple.Safari DebugSnapshotsUpdatePolicy. You won't see new previews until you visit each site on the Top Sites at least once.]
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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews | 17 comments | Create New Account
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The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
How to find the cache and temp directories
Authored by: lincd0 on Apr 20, '09 08:10:44AM

getconf DARWIN_USER_CACHE_DIR

getconf DARWIN_USER_TEMP_DIR

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Re: How to find the cache and temp directories
Authored by: sjk on Jul 03, '09 04:15:48PM

Thanks for the useful meta-hint.



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: paulw on Apr 20, '09 08:12:59AM
You'll have to do a bit of work to identify random1 and random2; open the /var/folders folder in the Finder and dig into the various folders you'll see there until you find the Webpage Previews folder.
You can also just use Spotlight (with the option "System Files: Include") to find the Webpage Previews folder, or an app like the free Easyfind.

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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: regulus on Apr 20, '09 08:56:18AM

Or this command in the Terminal... since you're already using the Terminal

sudo find /var/folders -name "*Webpage Previews*" -print



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: earthsaver on Apr 20, '09 08:16:43AM

Or you could tell Safari in Preferences not to show Top Sites in new tabs. Is the Top Sites icon really taking up too much space in the Bookmarks Bar?

---
- Ben Rosenthal
MBP 2.8 - Leopard



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: Perceval on Apr 20, '09 08:38:49AM
That's not the problem. The problem is that Safari creates two Webpage Previews of every webpage you visit. I had more than 1 GB.

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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: bcometa on Apr 20, '09 10:32:12AM

snaps! i have more than 3gbs!



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: Perceval on Apr 21, '09 07:27:22AM

Well I've been clearing mine now and then, but I pretty much got 1 GB of webpage previews in two weeks.



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: palahala on Apr 21, '09 08:19:17AM

I wonder if setting topsites to use small previews will help reducing the total file size. I did notice that resizing Safari, and then clicking the reload icon at the right in the location bar, slightly changes the preview images when they are re-fetched -- which is odd, as the history shows them much larger anyway.

Or maybe the size of the Safari window matters (thus: the size of the history view) and not the size due to the number of previews in topsites. But then: history should not be re-fetched at some later time.

I'll investigate...



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: Stef@nK on Apr 20, '09 12:20:36PM
I've disabled the Safari cache completely by replacing the folder com.apple.Safari in the cache folder by a zero-byte file
touch /private/var/folders/[random1]/[random2]/-Caches-/com.apple.Safari
This disables also the Top Sites. I doubt that all the debug flags in user defaults like DebugSnapshotsUpdatePolicy will persist in the final version of Safari 4

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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: NaOH-Lye on Apr 20, '09 02:46:31PM

Just so people know in advance, using this hint will also remove the page images shown when viewing your History in Cover Flow mode.



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i want to /use/ the previews!
Authored by: solsang on Apr 21, '09 02:40:38AM

i want to keep them visible, so i can use it offline, this would be such a great feature is it didn't change after 3 seconds to the blank offline message!!!



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i want to /use/ the previews!
Authored by: palahala on Apr 21, '09 03:10:57AM

Makes sense. You could use menu Safari, Report Bugs to Apple, to make sure they know about this!



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i want to /use/ the previews!
Authored by: solsang on Apr 21, '09 08:27:07AM

Thanks for answering, i already sent them two "bug" reports about this, i first couldn't believe my eyes, the big cache totally wasted, i guess developers who are high-speed online all the time don't think of normal users (we often have network down here on the countryside)



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: marriott on Jun 28, '09 05:22:01PM
The article says that this tip is
as opposed to just disabling their updates, which you can do via Safari's menus.
How can this be done? TIA.

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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: palahala on Jul 01, '09 12:20:43PM

Maybe the author simply meant "Stop" (the menu "View", "Stop" changes into "Stop Updating Preview Images" while showing Top Sites, and likewise clicking the cross at the right of the location field will stop the updates if those are in progress). But I assume the update will start again at some later time.



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Disable Safari 4 Beta's Top Sites web page previews
Authored by: palahala on Sep 16, '09 03:10:17AM

It seems that the location has changed to $HOME/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Webpage Previews.

(Note that these are automatically excluded from Time Machine backups.)



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