Safari uses tons of memory? Rarely any free memory?

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.7 Lion' started by Mavec, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie


    I am a new Mac user and just bought a Macbook Air i5 13" 4 GB Ram running Lion.

    "Safari Web Content" seems to use tons of memory, an inordinate amount. It always uses more than 1 GB, usually 1.5 and sometimes 2 GB.

    I regularly have only around 15 MB of memory free even if there are only a few other small programs running.

    Is something wrong here?

  2. macrumors regular

    Yes, there's something wrong. It's a bug with Lion; I thought it had been fixed in a software update (check to see if you have updated Lion, by the way), but it may still persist. If you're updated and still get it, the easiest way around the bug is to just download Google Chrome.
  3. macrumors regular

    There's a fix actually.

    Close Activity Monitor and get on with your life. Pretty simple huh?
  4. macrumors newbie

    I did update so it must still be persisting. I'll download Chrome... thanks.


    What a dumb, trollish answer. There is a significant and noticeable performance drop from the lack of free memory.
  5. macrumors member


    That is definitely out of the ordinary. I usually have 5 or 6 tabs open in Safari, transmission in the background, adium, itunes,, spotify, ical, and mail open at the minimum, and about 1GB free of 4GB.
  6. macrumors 68020


    If you don't have anything helpful to say please don't even comment. Like seriously all these sarcastic remarks are unnecessary.
  7. macrumors 68000

    Yes it is a bug somewhere. I see it too, but I am not sure if it is just Safari or a combination of Lion and Safari. When doing intensive tasks with Safari I can see as much as 5 gigs of ram listed as inactive, but free ram will go down to as low as 5 MB! There is a huge performance hit too. Closing Safari will bring a few hundred mb of ram back to free ram, but the inactive seems to stay there and it appears like OSX does not use it, because the performance is terrible. The only way to clear it is a reboot. This is true of a few other bugs I have found.

    Before I could live my laptop sleep for weeks on end, waking and sleeping as needed, however now with Lion, it seems every few days it needs a reboot to get the performance back or to reset some bugs that pop up.
  8. macrumors regular

    I 100% approve of this comment.
  9. macrumors 6502

    What he means is that many people who look at activity monitor only see the "free" memory, not realizing that "inactive" memory is essentially free too. Many people drive themselves crazy watching as "free" goes down to only a handful of megabytes, and thinking they're low on RAM. Really, Apple needs to introduce a simplified version for less advanced users so that there isn't this confusion anymore.
  10. macrumors member

    best answer: Google Chrome.
  11. macrumors 68030


    Safari's memory usage seems a bit excessive...I only had 10 tabs left open when I quit Safari yesterday and look what difference it made when I quit it... Note the change in used swap space. Kind of nice to get a bit of disk space back ;)

    I wonder if AdBlock or some other extension is partly to blame here.

  12. macrumors 68000

    Normally I agree with you, however there is more going on, which makes the answer that person posted ignorant. There are performance issues happening, so even though Activity Monitor may show 4 or more gb inactive, which you would assume is actually available memory, the fact is the OS is slowing down, beachballing and generally running as if it is out of memory, even if you only have one or two apps open. Clearly there is a memory release issue going on.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    There is a for sure problem with Safari that causes it to retain the memory it used from webpages in an entire session (or more!). This is a confirmed bug, but one of the mediocre solutions is to reset Safari.

    Combine the latency of paging inactive memory and the OS releasing memory where ever it can in itself to keep crucial components and apps working (thus reducing paging speed and available memory to be paged) can cause your computer to slow down A LOT. It's a vicious cycle created when an application starts hoarding memory like Safari is.
  14. macrumors 68030

    Personally I would download Firefox rather then Chrome. It's a far better browser then Chrome and doesn't use as much RAM as Safari.
  15. macrumors 68000

    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Firefox is my alternate browser but when upgrading to 6 I realized again why I stopped using ff a while ago....everytime they upgrade most of my plug ins stop working. It us such a pita.
  16. macrumors 65816

    Weird... on my Macbook Air, with 2GB of RAM, Safari never uses anything close to 1GB. Even now I have 6 tabs open, and it's humming along at 300MB and 150MB respectively, so about 450MB in total.

    Bug in devices with more RAM, perhaps?
  17. macrumors 65816


    Nope it happens in Snow Leopard too, switched over to Opera just because of this. Luckily Opera has most of the same extensions as Safari so no problem here.
    The only times I use Safari these days is to grab a thing or two from a website using the Activity Window.
  18. macrumors 65832


    With Safari open and this forum open as well, I am showing 89.6 MB for Safari and 90.0 MB for Safari Web Content. No issues on my system but the Mac Mini came with Lion/Safari. If its a bug in Safari then why do others report no issues like me ??
  19. macrumors 68000

    That is why it is called a bug, it is hard to replicate and pin down the cause/solution.
  20. macrumors 68000


    try going to the apple support discussions and reading it for a few minutes

    thats one of the sites for me that causes the ram usage to go up (it seem to use a lot of java)
  21. macrumors 6502a


    Just run webkit and ditch safari
  22. macrumors regular

    I have the same issue. I have an early 2008 MB with 2GB of RAM. When I'm using Safari, after about 10 minutes, I have no more free memory. While a nice chunk is "inactive" it doesn't act like it. My computer slows to a crawl. As soon as I quit Safari, the inactive becomes free and my computer's running fine again. It's driving me nuts.
  23. macrumors 65832


    See what you mean. Now I get 215 mb usage in Safari and 299 MB usage in web content
  24. macrumors 65816


    There's also a thing called Flash Player that only shows in Activity Monitor when Safari is open.

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