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How to fix high memory usage on Safari browser on a Mac

If you’re a Mac user, you’re likely familiar with the Safari browser. It’s fast, easy to use, and comes pre-installed on all Macs. However, sometimes it can start to run slow and use up a lot of memory, which can be frustrating. In this post, we’ll discuss the best ways to fix high memory usage on Safari on a Mac.


  1. Close tabs and windows: The first step in fixing high memory usage on Safari is to close tabs and windows that you’re not currently using. This can help reduce the amount of memory being used by the browser.
  2. Clear the history and website data: Another way to reduce memory usage is to clear the history and website data from your browser. This can be done by going to the Safari menu and selecting “Clear History and Website Data.” This will remove any history or website data that may be causing memory issues.
  3. Disable extensions: Some extensions can consume a lot of memory, so disabling or removing any extensions that you have installed on Safari can help reduce memory usage.
  4. Update to the latest version: Make sure you’re running the latest version of Safari. Updates often include performance improvements and bug fixes, which can help reduce memory usage.
  5. Quit and restart Safari: Sometimes, quitting and restarting Safari can help clear any memory issues.
  6. Restart your Mac: If the above steps don’t help, restarting your Mac can clear any memory issues that may be caused by other apps or processes running on your computer.
  7. Check system activity monitor: Open Activity Monitor and check if any other app is consuming high memory. If found, you can force quit the app and see if it helps.

It’s also important to note that high memory usage can be caused by other apps running on your Mac, so it’s a good idea to check the Activity Monitor for any other apps that may be consuming a lot of memory. By following these steps, you should be able to reduce memory usage on Safari and improve its performance.

while Safari is one of the fastest and most-efficient web browsers on Mac, it isn’t void of issues. Sometime Safari keeps crashing on Mac, fails to find the server, and consumes abnormal memory usage. Such behavior raises the Mac temperature and slows down the system. Here are the best ways to fix Safari’s high memory usage on Mac.

Fix Safari's high memory usage


High memory usage by Safari also leads to glitches and errors in other apps. Since your Mac apps have less RAM, you need help with day-to-day operations. We will first show you how to confirm Safari’s high memory usage and go through troubleshooting steps to fix the problem.


Before making any changes to the Safari browser on Mac, you’ll need to confirm the default browser’s rogue behavior. We will use the built-in Activity Monitor in macOS. Follow the steps below.

Step 1: Press the Command + Space keys shortcut to open the Spotlight Search.

Step 2: Type Activity Monitor and hit Return.

open activity monitor

Step 3: Move to the Memory tab.

Step 4: You can check memory pressure, total physical memory, used memory, cached files, and swapped memory.

Step 5: Check Safari under the Process Name and see how much memory it consumes.

check Safari memory usage

Usually, 2GB-3GB memory usage is normal behavior from a desktop browser. If you notice Safari taking up 8GB-9GB RAM, it’s an alarming situation, and you need to fix it to keep your Mac running smoothly.


Safari doesn’t come with something like Sleeping tabs (Microsoft Edge) or Memory Saver (Google Chrome) to put irrelevant tabs to sleep and preserve memory. The browser keeps all the tabs actively running in the background all the time. You need to close unnecessary tabs frequently to prevent high memory usage on Mac.

Step 1: Open Safari on Mac.

Step 2: Glance over all the opened tabs at the top.

Step 3: Hit the ‘x’ mark beside the tabs you don’t want to use right now.

close tabs in Safari

If you plan to revisit the same article later, Bookmark it or add it to your Reading List.

Step 4: Click the small ‘+’ icon in the address bar and add the webpage to Reading List.

Step 5: Right-click on the same ‘+’ icon to Bookmark the page.

add articles to bookmark


Safari supports third-party web extensions to improve your browsing experience. The selection is slim compared to Chrome Web Store, but it still boasts many extensions.

Not every extension is regularly mainlined and updated. If you have several outdated, unnecessary extensions running in the background, it may consume high memory usage. You should review the installed Safari extension and uninstall irrelevant ones.

Step 1: Launch Safari on Mac.

Step 2: Select Safari in the top-right corner of the menu bar and select Settings.

open Safari settings

Step 3: Click on the Extensions tab. Select unknown extensions from the left sidebar.

Step 4: Hit Uninstall and confirm your decision.

uninstall extensions in Safari


Due to high memory usage, Safari may become unresponsive at times. You should force-stop Safari and try using it again.

Step 1: Launch Activity Monitor on Mac (refer to the steps above).

Step 2: Select Safari and hit the x mark at the top.

close safari

Step 3: Relaunch Safari and keep a close eye on memory usage.


Safari lets you customize the homepage with useful add-ons. But when you jam your homepage with Siri suggestions, Privacy Report, background images, and other menus, it may consume high memory usage. Here’s how you can simplify the Safari homepage on Mac.

Step 1: Open Safari and select the customize button in the bottom right corner.

Step 2: Disable the checkmark beside irrelevant menus and launch the app again.

disable safari wallpaper

5. UPDATE MACOS Safari browser

Safari is closely tied to macOS. Apple releases new Safari features and bug fixes with new macOS updates. An outdated macOS build may lead to high memory usage in Safari.

Step 1: Click the Apple icon in the top left corner and open System Settings.

Open mac settings

Step 2: Select General and open the Software Update menu.

open software update menuSafari browser

Step 3: Download and install the latest macOS update.

install macOS


If you are still facing issues with Safari, it’s time to ditch Safari in favor of other alternatives. The Mac ecosystem is packed with many capable browsers, and Microsoft Edge is one of the best among them. It has a long feature list, is compatible with all Chromium browsers, and works on all platforms.


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