For years I’ve had problems with Safari simply pausing for a few seconds when I type something into the search field, especially when a new tab has been opened for the purpose.
I’ve literally tried everything across several different Macs — disabling prefetching (resets itself randomly), deleting the cache, deleting cookies, resetting Safari, disabling extensions… Nothing has worked.
But now think I’ve found a solution.
Close Safari, open Terminal (it’s in the Utility folder of the Applications list) and paste in the following:
rm -rf ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Cache.db
Then restart Safari. It should now be faster and your cookies won’t be deleted either!