If you’re using a limited data plan, this should come as a handy tip to save some bandwidth.

When you search/enter a keyword in the unified bar in Safari (iOS 7), you should see a ‘Top-Hit’. This is the first result of your search (based on whatever search engine you’ve chosen). Safari has the capability to preload top-hit results so that when you tap on it, the result links open faster.

Technically, this is a very useful feature when you’re searching. A preloaded top-hit website loads faster and quicker. And in many cases, this is very time-saving. When you’re looking for some generic information on movies, technical definitions, brand stores and addresses, this can be very handy.

How to Stop Safari from Preloading Top-Hit to Save Bandwidth on iOS 7

But there’s a price to pay for the nifty feature. Every time you search, whether or not you click on the top-hit, it gets preloaded in the background. This means data gets eaten up. On an unlimited plan or on Wi-fi, this is okay. But on a limited data plan, it can be bad. And we’re going to turn this feature off.

To stop Safari from preloading top-hits, here’s what you need to do:

  • Open the Settings app
  • Tap on Safari
  • Now tap on Smart Search Field

Smart Search Field in iOS 7

  • Turn off the switch that reads Preload Top Hit

Turn off Preload Top Hit in iOS 7

As simple as that. It’s not very often that you click the first Google or Bing result but it depends. As for me, turning off the Preload Top-Hit is definitely worth it.

Within the Smart Search Field, you’ll also notice another switch labeled Search Suggestions. This works very similar to how Chrome’s unified search bar suggests search keywords as you type a few letters or words. This is a handy tool and one can assume that it takes up far less bandwidth than the preload feature.