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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
I posted this problem in bits and pieces awhile back. Thought I had it solved with Adguard for Safari, but obvious don't.

I have an early 2015 MacBook Air with 8 GB ram and a 1.6 Ghz dual core processor (I just looked it up). I browse the web using Safari and work through MSN.com. I know where the Activity Monitor is, can put it on the screen but honestly don't understand it very well.

My problem for the last several months is that I select some item on MSN that I want to look at, like news on the Las Vegas presidential convention, I select it, the progress indicator goes over about 20% and then stops and stays stopped. If I move the cursor, the screen goes completely blank until I back up to where I started. Never get to see the news item except if I type the headline into the search window and do it that way. When I first became aware of this I also noticed that the "beach ball" would appear if I scrolled quickly across the screen. That isn't happening again yet. At that point I thought perhaps my Mac was being overwhelmed by ads. Got AdGuard for Safari and installed it. Seemed to help, but not as much as I would have liked. Called AdGuard, got some help, then got some non-help. And the problem is back.

I would really like some novice oriented suggestions on what in the world I should do! I like MSN.com; have used it forever. Don't know what to get in its stead, and if I did know I wouldn't know how to get it set up. And if anyone believes looking at the Activity Monitor can give me a clue, please let me know how to decipher that!
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Let me add a bit more. Just was on MSN.com to experiment. Photo with headline that Meghan Trainor's Father Hit By Car was there. Selected it, and got no where - progress bar stopped without bringing up topic. Typed in Meghan Trainor's Father, etc, and got a number of articles about this. If I selected the one from MSN.com, it would not come up; got a blank screen with a spinning dial on it. If I selected the article from Bing.com Entertainment Tonight, People, etc, it always came up! Leads me to believe that something weird is happening in MSN.com.
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
Further exploration leads me to believe it is MSN Explorer that I am talking about, not MSN.com.

Nope! Looking at preferences it is set to MSN.com.
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
1,979
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MSN Explorer is an obsolete browser for Windows. You aren’t using MSN explorer on MacOS!

Msn.com is a “web portal”. Basically just a website where an editorial staff has made some decisions about what people might like to see.

No clue what you are talking about with preferences. Maybe you mean default home page for Safari?

Most people don’t use “portal”s any more. (I do have a neighbor, though, who only uses AOL because she somehow thinks it is “the Internet”) Nor do I think most people set a default home page any more. (Useful, though, for example at work if you have some internal website.)

most of us either type in URLs, make bookmarks, or use a search engine like Google, Bing, etc. to find what we are looking for.

if your problems are only with a msn.com then maybe you should try Microsoft’s new web browser Edge Chromium which is available for Windows, Linux, and MacOS. Presumably msn.com will work well with their own browser!


Do you have trouble with other websites? (For example, MacRumors!) or just msn.com?
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
Thank you, jtara. Yes, in Safari preferences I have msn.com set as the home page.

Things changed in the last two hours. Was on the phone with my daughter talking about what she used, got back on the computer to look at Google and Yahoo. Then checked MSN.com again. Must have seen I was about to change and scared it! Now it works just fine! Leads me to believe MSN.com was having problems.

From what you are saying, I think I may drop MSN.com. Yes, I have used it exclusively every since it came out albeit on DOS then Windows machines then. I am thinking Yahoo since they have a stock analysis page that I have used, and am thinking of Google because I hear more about them. I know nothing about the Chrome thing; figure that is for the Chrome operating systems. But I will look into Edge. This is the first I have heard of it.

Again, thanks!
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
Been looking at comments on Edge, and am confused again! I think I am currently using Safari as my browser and msn.com as my homepage. What I was thinking of doing is replacing msn.com with something else for my homepage. Is Edge a homepage? If not, what is/are?
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
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You do not need a home page. it’s just a setting for a URL that the browser will automatically navigate to when you open the browser.

if you do not set a home page, most browsers will conveniently display some icons that will take you to the sites you most frequently visit.

Safari is the web browser that comes with MacOS. There are other browsers, and some people prefer one over the other. Popular browsers are Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge. It is a matter of taste.

——
FWIW, the term “home page” is an anachronism from the very early days of the web. The early developers were bad at predicting the future. they had thought that most everybody would run a public web server in their homes. And that would be your “home page”.

Anybody could view your home page, and you might edit it from time to time with whatever you might like to publish to the world.

Two things didn’t work out as expected. The early “home pages” were mostly curated lists of links to pages that reflected the interests of the owner of the home page. And also it turns out that few web users ever created one.

Why were early users so keen on creating curated lists of pages that reflected their interests? There were no search engines! No Google! There were no master curated lists. No Yahoo! (Yahoo was originally just a big list of links to web pages organized by subject).

The closest thing to the original concept of “home page” today might be (sadly) your Facebook page.

Along the way, browsers added a setting so that the browser could automatically open to your “home page” when the browser is opened.

Today, ”home page” is just a goofy term for “a page that automatically opens when you start your browser” and has lost it‘s original meaning.
——
No offense intended, but it seems like you’ve just woken up from a deep 25-year sleep. It seems you were using the Internet from the very early days - mid 90s. Almost everything has changed since then. You have some catching up to do!

FWIW my first browser was NCSA Mosaic, and I was using it to access web sites on the ARPANet - precursor of the Internet. There were about 50 known public websites total, and NCSA maintained an index of them on - wait for it - their “home page”.

”home page” has also come to mean the “main page” of a website. A completely different meaning than the usage of the term in the context of web browsers.

Confused yet? Unfortunately, software developers are not renowned for the proper and clear use of (human) language! “Overlaying” of terminology is frustratingly common. We will take a common term well understood by everyone (“home”) and then misuse it in a completely different context, perhaps creating a derivative or compound word or phrase. (“Home page”) And then yet again use exactly the same term to mean something completely different! (E.g. “the page your browser opens up when you start the browser” vs “the main page of a website”)
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
No offense intended, but it seems like you’ve just woken up from a deep 25-year sleep. It seems you were using the Internet from the very early days - mid 90s. Almost everything has changed since then. You have some catching up to do!
No offense taken! You are absolutely correct (except maybe it's been longer than 25 years)! Think the first "computer" I used had at least 8 inch floppies, perhaps bigger. That would have been in 1967. Used it for word processing.

Re the rest, my email is probably an old Microsoft program, my "home page" is msn.com where all my bookmarks are, I do have OneDrive (where I have old documents from Windows stored), and I am afraid of losing things. Given I have Safari, what would happen if I made the "home page" in Safari preferences blank?
 
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jtara

macrumors 68000
Mar 23, 2009
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Given I have Safari, what would happen if I made the "home page" in Safari preferences blank?

You would have to type “msn.com” into the URL bar to go to MSN.

After a very short while, Safari will remember that you go there often, and will show an icon for MSN when you open Safari or open a new tab.

Or you can make a bookmark in Safari.

MSN IS JUST A WEBSITE.

I hope you know that you can search by just typing anything into the URL bar. By default, Safari will use Google for search. You can change that in Safari Settings if you prefer a different search engine.
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
A weird turn of events! Intermittently having the problem I cited originally. But today I noticed something very strange! Was having the typical problem of the search freezing, but then went to file and New Private Window. And there I get into the selected article without the progress bar freezing! Double checked with the same number of tabs opened in the original window and the new private window; with the original window it freezes but works fine with the new private window! What in the world could cause that?!?
 
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Erehy Dobon

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Feb 16, 2018
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Maybe a browser extension that is enabled in a normal window and disabled in a private window is causing the issue.

One way to investigate further is to create a new login account and use that to browse those specific sites without any web browser extensions whatsoever.
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
Maybe a browser extension that is enabled in a normal window and disabled in a private window is causing the issue.

One way to investigate further is to create a new login account and use that to browse those specific sites without any web browser extensions whatsoever.
Only extensions that show up under Safari preferences are Dashlane and AdGuard. Dashlane has been on since long before this problem showed up, and I added AdGuard trying to solve the problem (which it obviously hasn't). Plus have no idea how to create a new login account or what to do with it if I did.
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
Have not heard back on creating a new login account or what to do with it. Have discovered that this business of not loading "stories" does not occur 100% of the time; daily and for long periods, but does work from time to time. Went to Develop and turned the extensions off; that did not help. Only way to avoid the problem seems to be to go to File, then New Private Window. There MSN loads. On "normal" window, it doesn't. So I think I know that extensions have nothing to do with it. What is the difference between a "normal" window and a private window that could be doing this??? Only think I know is that private windows disappear from history when they are closed.
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Interesting! If I go to Google and search on news, it works fine. If I go to Google, search on MSN.com and bring up news, articles fail to load!! Is this telling me that MSN.com is the problem? But if so, why does it work in a private window? Now you see why this is driving me crazy!!

And just found out if, when MSN process bar freezes, I type in the title of the news article, I get a listing of everyone who has reported. If I select the MSN.com version, progress freezes. If I select New York Times version, it comes up!! Safari seems to be purposefully denying access to MSN.com except in New Private Window!
 
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chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
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Hellanback
... What is the difference between a "normal" window and a private window that could be doing this??? Only think I know is that private windows disappear from history when they are closed.
This article describes how Safari's Private Browsing works:

I found it by googling: safari private window
 
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jparker402

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2016
370
30
Bellevue, NE
This article describes how Safari's Private Browsing works:

I found it by googling: safari private window
Thanks! Nice to find out I could automatically open in a private window if I wanted to. Doesn't help explain my problem, though. And just discovered the MSN changed their whole opening page layout! Good grief what will they do next?!?
 
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