How to Turn Off Auto-Reloading Tabs in Safari 5.1

When Apple released Safari 5.1 recently, it ignited a bit of outrage amongst its users. For whatever reason, Safari began refresh the page content of a tab whenever you switched to it. This kind of defeats the purpose of tabs, as you can’t leave Pandora running or flip between a form you’re filling out and something you’re referencing.

Oddly enough, there’s a quick and easy fix.

  1. Open the Preferences window (Command+,).
  2. Switch to the Security tab.
  3. In the “Web content” section, uncheck Java. (But leave JavaScript checked!)
  4. Close the Preferences dialog. Now tabs should no longer reload whenever you switch between them. You won’t be able to run Java applets embedded in web pages, though.

I’m guessing that the behavior is the result of a bug, and not some weird decision of Apple’s.