Safari is an excellent browser for your Mac, as it provides a seamless browsing experience within the Apple ecosystem. But if you have experienced a slight jitter or frame drop on your Mac while using Safari, don’t worry; you’re not alone.

safari using too much memory on mac

Safari using too much memory on Mac isn’t a new problem at all. And it’s not a problem that’s limited to old Intel Macs, as many people on the Internet have discussed in various forums that their new Apple Silicon Macs are also affected. Regardless of whether you are using an Intel Mac or a newer Apple Silicon Mac, today we are going to share with you six solutions you can use to stop Safari from using too much memory on your Mac.

Let us get started.

The newer Apple Silicon Macs with the updated macOS have changed the name of the previously mentioned System Preferences to System Settings. In addition, the UI has also changed. So do not get confused; just follow the option names, and you will be fine.

Close Large Tabs

Unused tabs running in the background for hours are one of the main causes of a Safari memory leak on your Mac. Using the Activity Monitor app on your Mac, you can determine which tabs are consuming the memory and slowing down your Mac. By closing these tabs, you can significantly improve your Mac’s performance.

Here are the simple steps you need to follow:

  1. Open the Activity Monitor app on your Mac by using Spotlight search.activity monitor app window open on mac
  2. Click on the %CPU to view the names of the processes using the memory in descending order.activity monitor showing running processes on mac in decreasing order by cpu usage
  3. Now switch to Safari and close the unused tab with the same name. You can also try to kill the process via the Activity Monitor but note that this will only refresh the tabs (not close them) and free some memory in the meantime.closing tabs on safari on mac

Close Unnecessary Windows/Tabs

While working or doing some casual browsing, sometimes the number of Safari tabs or windows can get a little out of control. In most cases, your Mac will keep the current Window/tab in memory and clear the tabs running in the background.

However, to better control your Mac’s memory, we recommend that you close the Safari windows or tabs that you no longer want to use. And if you don’t want to lose all the tabs in a window, you can bookmark all the tabs at once by going to Bookmarks in the menu bar > Add bookmarks for these “n” tabs (n = number of tabs). After that, you can close the windows or tabs on your Mac.

Disable Auto-Play on Safari

Many websites on the Internet have videos embedded with automatic playback. At first glance, these videos may look harmless, but they can make Safari on your Mac very memory-hungry. They can also hog memory when you switch to another tab or window. To solve this problem, Safari gives you the option to disable autoplay for all websites permanently.

Let us take a look at the simple steps required to do this:

  1. Click on the Safari > Settings from the menu bar.accessing safari menu from the menu bar on mac
  2. Safari Settings will open; click on Websites > Auto-Play.safari autoplay settings on mac
  3. Click and select the Never Auto-Play option for “When visiting other websites”.disabling auto play on safari on mac

Uninstall Obsolete Extensions

Safari Extensions can be very helpful, but if you have too many extensions installed and only use a few on a regular basis, this could also be the cause of this issue. Even if you are not actively using these extensions, they might be running in the background along with Safari, which can cause Safari to consume too much memory even if you only have one or two tabs open. Therefore, uninstalling outdated extensions can be your salvation.

Here are the steps to do so:

  1. Open the Safari Settings by going to Safari > Settings from the menu bar.accessing safari menu from the menu bar on mac
  2. The Safari Settings page will open; click on the Extensions tab. Select the extension and click on uninstall, and then follow the prompts to uninstall the extension from Safari on your Mac.safari extensions uninstall settings on mac

Related Read: 15 Best Safari Extensions for Mac

Clear Safari’s Cache

Sometimes, Safari can build a pile of cache on your system in the span of a long time, which can also lead to Safari using too much memory on your Mac. In such scenarios, we suggest you clear the cache of Safari for a smooth-buttery performance.

Let us take a look at the steps to follow:

  1. Open the Safari drop-down menu from the menu bar and click on Settings.accessing safari menu from the menu bar on mac
  2. Navigate to the Advanced tab and enable the Show Develop menu in menu bar option from there.enabling developer menu in advanced safari settings on mac
  3. Now close the Safari Settings and open the Develop menu from the menu bar. Click on Empty Cache (Opt + Cmd + E) to clear the cache for Safari.clearing safari cache on mac

Update Safari and macOS

Just like many other issues on macOS, Safari is also prone to bugs. So, if you have tried all the above solutions and the problem still persists, we recommend you update Safari in such a case. Because Apple usually takes care of these bugs and fixes them in future updates. Since Apple likes to integrate Safari updates with macOS updates, you should try to update the whole macOS on your Mac.

And here are the simple steps you need to follow:

  1. Open System Settings on your Mac and go to General > Software Update.general system settings on mac
  2. Click on Update Now if there’s an update available for your Mac. It will update both the macOS and the Safari on your update settings on mac

Take Control of Safari

The best way to fix this problem and regain control of Safari is first to determine if Safari as a whole is the cause of your Mac’s slowdown or if only some tabs/windows are running in the background. You can do this by checking your Mac’s activity meter.

If the problem is with tabs or windows, try closing them, and if the problem is with Safari overall, you can try updating your macOS and Safari. However, if the problem persists, you may want to try a different browser on your Mac.

If you want to get the most out of Safari on your Mac, here are the 11 Essential Safari Settings Tweaks to Improve Your Browsing Experience on Mac.

FAQs about Safari Using Too Much Memory on Mac

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Here are some tips on how to reduce Safari memory usage on your Mac:

  1. Close unused tabs. The more tabs you have open, the more memory Safari will use. Try to close any tabs that you're not actively using.
  2. Disable extensions. Extensions can add features to Safari, but they can also use up memory. If you're not using an extension, disable it to free up some memory.
  3. Clear your cache and cookies. Safari stores a cache of websites that you've visited, as well as cookies that websites use to track your browsing activity. Clearing your cache and cookies can free up some memory and improve your browsing experience.
  4. Update Safari. Apple releases regular updates for Safari that include performance improvements and bug fixes. Keeping Safari up to date will help ensure that it's running as efficiently as possible.
  5. Upgrade your Mac. If you have an older Mac with less RAM, upgrading to a newer Mac with more RAM can help reduce Safari memory usage.

There are a few ways to clear RAM on Safari.

  1. Close unnecessary tabs. The easiest way to free up RAM is to close any tabs that you're not currently using. To do this, simply click on the "x" button in the top-right corner of each tab.
  2. Empty the cache. The cache is a temporary storage area for website data. When you visit a website, Safari stores the website's images, CSS, and JavaScript files in the cache so that it doesn't have to download them again the next time you visit the website. However, the cache can also take up a lot of RAM. To empty the cache, open Safari and go to Preferences > Advanced. Check the box next to "Show Develop menu in menu bar" and then click on the Develop menu > Empty Caches.
  3. Quit Safari. If you're still having trouble freeing up RAM, you can try quitting Safari altogether. To do this, click on the Safari menu > Quit Safari.
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