10 Replies Latest reply: Mar 1, 2014 7:12 AM by Lyssa
TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

I'm having a problem with Safari Web Content.


I've jst re-loaded Mountain Lion in a brute forcve attempt to resolve my issue, but it's still occurring.


The issue is:  with very little running, if I run Safari and bounce around a few websites, I can easily consume all my memory.  I end up with this:




As you see, Active memory is too high (before this test I had Mail open, and Avtive memory was about 2GBm what you might expect normally).


Actibve memory had actually peaked at about 3/4 of the total, but then some must have got swapped out to Inactive.....giving us the picture above.


But look at the Real Mem occupied by Safai Web Content!  That can't be right, surely.


Nevertheless, I'm led to believe that OSX's memory management algorithm's will swap out Inactive for Free when it is required....well, this isn't happening.  I saw Free memory down to 7MB at one point, not a typo.  Everything grinds to a halt.


If I am patient, and try to Quit Safari, I end up back here:



Clearly showing that if I manage to kill Safari, the memory gets freed up again.


I understand why OSX wants to handle memory with the Inactive concept - "you've just closed Word, but maybe you'll open it again in the next ten minutes so we'll leave it in memory, inactive, so when you try and open it, it will open really quickly".  Right now, I'd rather turn that freature off and have memory behave more primitively and take the hit on re-opening.


As I mentioned, I reloaded OSX Mountain Lion and the problem persists.  When you re-load or upgrade your OS, there are many configuration settings (desktop, mail, safari) that are kept so that the upgrade looks seamless;  clearly whatever is corrupting me here has been kept also.  For that reason I'm loathe to go to Mavericks, because I presume the same corruption would exist (and also I hear Mavericks is still a bit shaky with the native Mail app).


What config type files should I look to safely delete and have the OS rebuild?  Any ideas?

iMac 9,1 4GB 2.66GHz 640GB, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

    Extra info:  I've also tried disabling my two Safari extensions (LastPass and Evernote) and no change.


    Likewise, I deleted the Safari preferences .plist file.  Still happening.


    Utterly baffled.

  • Lyssa Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Is this a fresh install of Mountain Lion? Did you restore from a backup?


    Two things to try are:


    1) Create a new user account. Log out of the current one & into the new one. Use Safari and monitor memory usage


    2) In the original user account, download another browser, such as Firefox or Chrome. Use either one and monitor memory usage


    These steps help determine if the issue is system-wide or just in your account & confirm that Safari itself has issues (rather than web-browsing in general).



  • TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

    I've been on ML since it came out.....the re-install was a frssh one from a Recovery Disk.


    There is a second account on this machine, and it is impacted by this issue - if I test and consume memory on one account, and dlip to the second, the second account is instantly impacted by the state of the memory usage and adds to the use at the same rate.


    I tried Firefox - it consumes active memory, but at nowhere near th rate that causes the problem.



  • Lyssa Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Okay, so Safari itself is misbehaving.


    Have you tried using the Reset Safari option (this is located in the Safari menu) to see if that helps.


    Also, head into Preferences>Security and turn off Java and Javascript. You may need to turn them back on later, but it won't hurt to disable them for a little while.



  • TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

    Ok, I've Reset Safari (both accounts), and disabled Java & Javascript.  The memory consumption was not at the same horrible levels, so I turned Java and Javascript back on.  I also reset PRAM.  I'll see how performance goes over the next couple of days.  Thanks for your help so far....

  • Lyssa Level 6 (17,825 points)

    Fingers crossed for you - let me know how things go!



  • TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

    The problem still exists.  In a relatively short amount of time/browsing, Safari can consume all my memory, and only quitting it will resolve the issue.  Active and Inactive memory just gets wholly taken over by this.  I'd welcome any other good ideas to investigate.  I suppose I might end up going to Mavericks (at the risk of encountering Mail issues)......very frustrating!

  • Lyssa Level 6 (17,825 points)

    It would be worth testing in Safe Mode also. Boot up the computer with the Shift key held down. Eventually you will see the login screen with the words Safe Boot in red. Test Safari there and see if the issue persists.


    Another thing to try is to just open 1 tab and leave it open - don't visit additional sites and see if the RAM runs away from you. Visit another site, wait a while, and continue on that way.


    Sites that do a "soft refresh" (adding content without fully reloading the page) can be extremely greedy with RAM. Facebook is one of these sites.


    If so, you may be best off either switching to another browser or upgrading to Mavericks to see if Safari works better there.


    I switched away from Safari several OS's ago and haven't had a good reason to go back yet - I prefer Chrome these days as I can see which tab is hogging my memory, rather than just seeing Safari in general hogging it.



  • TumblingYak Level 1 (0 points)

    OK, so I tried a Safe Boot.  It wired 5GB of memory, and for a while I thought what was left would behave itself, but within about 10 minutes I consumed everything again.


    Here's the before:


    Screenshot in Safe Boot mode.jpg


    And here's 10 minutes later, after bouncing around a few websites:

    Screenshot 2 in Safe Boot mode.jpg


    I also tried firing up Safari, going to Facebook, and letting it sit for a while.  No effect.


    So, the problem occurs when visiting multiple sites - memory isn't getting released properly.


    I think I'm left with a move to Mavericks.

  • Lyssa Level 6 (17,825 points)

    I'm inclined to agree with you.


    Wiring 5GB of RAM in Safe Mode does not seem normal, either. I (unfortunately) haven't a clue what that could mean. Checking the logs in Console might be worth doing.


    If you're not dead-set on Safari, you could switch to either Firefox or Google Chrome - both of those handle releasing memory as expected.


    Hopefully Mavericks fixes things for you, otherwise.