Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: May 3, 2013 3:35 PM by Rob Keniger
G Robert Lewis Level 2 Level 2

I recently upgraded my Mac mini from 4GB RAM to 8GB in the hope of avoiding the constant problem of running out of RAM while using Safari (currently v. 6.0.2). But all it did was postpone the inevitable a bit.


Activity Monitor just told me that Safari Web Content was using more than 4.6GB of RAM—with no windows open! Plus another 100MB for Safari itself.


Is it just me, or is this totally insane? Surely the software geniuses at Apple can figure out a way to release RAM when windows are closed! (I asked a developer friend and he said Safari probably has what he called "object-oriented disease". But come on, this is 2012!) My Mac regularly turns into a beachball-spinning slug because Safari is so poorly designed.


Has anyone done comparisons to see if the other available browsers are more parsimonious with RAM?

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.5), 8 GB RAM
  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    What usability problem do you have? A number in Activity Monitor is not a problem in itself.

  • G Robert Lewis Level 2 Level 2

    "beachball-spinning slug" not evocative enough for you? I click on a tab in a browser window and have to wait sometimes 30 seconds or more before the tab is actually brought forward. I try to switch to another application and it takes forever.


    This is quite predictable: I have Activity Monitor displaying the RAM pie chart in the Dock, and I can watch the green "Free RAM" pie section get smaller and smaller until it goes away completely and the computer becomes virtually unusable. I log out and back in—or even just re-launch Safari—and all is well for a while.


    It's to the point where, when the green pie section gets down to a sliver, I say "Well, time to quit Safari."


    This, by the way, is nothing new. I've been observing it for years, through multiple versions of Safari.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10

    The next time you have the problem, note the exact times when it starts and ends: hour, minute, second.


    If you have more than one user account, these instructions must be carried out as an administrator.


    Launch the Console application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Console in the icon grid.


    Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left.


    Scroll back in the log to the time you noted above. Post any messages timestamped during that interval – the text, please, not a screenshot.

    When posting a log extract, be selective. In most cases, a few dozen lines are more than enough.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into a message.


    Important: Some private information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Edit it out by search-and-replace in a text editor before posting.

  • ~Bee Level 7 Level 7
    Mac OS X

    GR --


    The behavior you're seeing in not at all typical of Safari.  I've been using it exclusively since it first came out and have never experienced your problems.  There's something amiss in your Mac. So, you've emptied your cache, and reset Safari?


    Do you suppose there is a connection between this problem and your Airport problem?


    Same problem here with disappearing Airport Express units, but mine are connected withwired Ethernet so it's not a WiFi problem.


    Example: I'll be playing Pandora via Safari and Airfoil to them, and it works fine for a while, then poof!—they just suddenly disappear from Airfoil's list of available devices.


    Airport Utility can see the units, but since in its wisdom Apple has decided that newer versions of the utility won't support these older Airport Express models—and older versions of the utility won't install under Lion—I'm kind of stuck.



    One other thing . . . You're asking other Mac users here for their volunteer help.  Complaining about Apple will not be helpful, as we are just others users here.

  • G Robert Lewis Level 2 Level 2

    Yes, I've tried flushing the caches, etc., and disabling all Safari extensions (trying that again right now). The extensions I normally use are 1Password, Evernote Web Clipper, ClickToFlash, YouTube5, and Invisible Hand.


    This behavior may not be typical in your world (lucky!) but as I noted, it has been a constant feature of my system through multiple versions of both the OS and Safari. I typically let my system run for days between restarts, and often have several Safari windows open, with multiple tabs on each. But the really amazing thing to me is that even after I close all the windows, Safari can still (according to Activity Monitor) be using several gigabytes of RAM.


    And no, it's not related to my problem with the Airport Express units: restarting my router fixed that (go figure).


    I do have some background processes running, for example MySQL, BOINC (sometimes), and a home automation app called XTension. The latter two run in a separate user account that is normally in the background. I don't see why these should affect Safari running in a different user account.

  • corth Level 1 Level 1

    Glad I'm not alone on this. The only difference is that only happens to me since Safari 6.0.2.

    Even when closing the lid on my MBP the machine does not go into standby and Safari keeps running. Eating up more RAM while it should actually be asleep.

    Cleared caches, disabled my 1Password extension, etc. but no change in the behaviour.

  • mrsbaer Level 1 Level 1

    I have the same issue with 6.0.2 slowly using more memory and then leading up to slow response.

    Does anyone of you have any of these extensions installed: DoNotTrackMe, ADBlock, RoboForm ?

    So far I have been reading some posts about ADBlock apparently causing this issue. Will monitor with the plugin disabled for a while.

  • G Robert Lewis Level 2 Level 2

    I've disabled all my extensions and have been trying re-enabling them one at a time. I still see Safari gobbling up RAM, but so far at least, when I close all its windows Safari seems to (usually, anyway) terminate the Safari Web Content process and release its RAM. Also it seems that Safari Web Content isn't quite so piggish with RAM with most extensions disabled. Right now, for instance, it's using "only" 1.2GB.


    I've discovered something else interesting too, by enabling the Debug menu's World Leaks:Check on All Builds option. Whenever I close all Safari windows, I get a message that usually looks like this:


    "World Leaks: the following world leaks were detected (the check is done when all browser windows are closed): 4 JavaScript global objects. Please write a bug report about this, along with reproducible steps if possible."


    I've seen other variations of the message, too, like this:


    "World Leaks: The following world leaks were detected (the check is done when all browser windows are closed): 3 JavaScript global objects, 1 WKView object, 1 WKPageRef object, 1 WKFrameRef object.

    Please write a bug report about this, along with reproducible steps if possible."


    I did file a bug but I don't really understand what these messages mean. I've asked makers of some of the extensions, and they all say it's very unlikely that their software is to blame; in fact the "WK" at the start of the object names apparently means "WebKit".


    So as of right now, I'm still testing extensions and thinking that one or more of them may be at fault (especially for not allowing the Safari Web Content process to quit when all windows are closed). Sure would like to get this resolved!

  • mrsbaer Level 1 Level 1

    Great write-up, Robert. Once I uninstalled ADBlock the memory usage jovers around 1 GB which is far less than before and it works better. I will keep that extension off for a while to monitor it.

  • Lexiepex Level 6 Level 6
    Mac OS X

    Robert, 1.2 Gb for Safari Webcontent is very MUCH. Right now writing this post and having 7 Safari windows open, it is about 440MB here. iTunes is playing Alan Parsons Project. Paralles is running a Windows XP VM. Mail is running to get mails in, Activity Monitor running, and so on.

    I tried Chrome and Firefox, but there the memory brunch is not better, worse in fact.

    There is something else going on.

    If you think it is Safari, do the reset of Safari, quit it and download the latest version and reinstall it.

    I am not sure what is causing it, but it may help.

  • octafish Level 1 Level 1

    I am having the same issue. Using 4.5GB of RAM on my Mac Pro. I'll try playing around with extensions and such, but it sounds like something else may be afoot......

  • LokeshJoshi Level 1 Level 1

    Frequently reset Safari to reduce the RAM eating habit of Safari.

    The option is available in Safari Tab,

    By doing this my MCA is again smooth and fluid, hope this technique resolves the issue for you as well.


    All the best!!

  • Saxman Level 2 Level 2

    How full a reset do you recommend doing "frequently"?  If I wipe all the cookies, passwords, forms information, etc, that will greatly slow down my use of the web as well, so it's not so great an option, is it? It's not too much for us to expect Apple to have a browser that functions the way it is supposed to, is it?

  • LokeshJoshi Level 1 Level 1

    I recommend reseting safari before doing all high level coding stuff, however obviously you can avoid deleting forms and passwords in reset options.

    I checked with other MBP guy, he too is frequently does the same to keep his machine fast and smooth. 

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