Safari hogging memory

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Jess77, Jul 3, 2012.

  1. Jess77 macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2012
    I have a MBA 2010 13" ultimate and have posted before regarding the numerous issues it had lol and here's another one that I wonder if people have a fix too?

    I'm still running Snow Leopard. Safari has been using up to 2 gigs of memory. In my iStat I normally have 2 gigs used, 700 MB inactive, and 15 MB free. I would understand if I was had multiple programs open (normally I'll have Word, iTunes, and Safari open). But I just started using Safari by itself. I've gone into the Activity Monitor and force quit the Safari Web content and it helps for about an hour and then it hogs the RAM again. Thankfully, I have the 4 gigs of RAM, but it's making my laptop run extremely any suggestions? Besides getting more RAM, ha.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It's not hogging memory; it's using memory. Mac OS X manages memory quite well without the need for user involvement. Are you having performance problems with Safari? Are you having problems with Flash? Or are you simply looking at the numbers in Activity Monitor?
    Slow performance overall may or may not have anything to do with Safari. There are many possible causes of slow performance. This should help: Performance Tips For Mac OS X

    1. Launch Activity Monitor
    2. Change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes"
    3. Click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top).
    4. Click on the System Memory tab at the bottom.
    5. Take a screen shot of the whole Activity Monitor window, then scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot
    6. Post your screenshots.
  3. Jess77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 13, 2012
    Performance problems, I'd say. Even when I'm on Word, it lags and takes a little bit for the document to show the past 5 sentences I wrote. I am admittedly not that computer savvy with this stuff, but it's getting pretty bad at using it for daily tasks. I'll do the screenshot when I get home. Safari Web Content is normally number one when I sort the list by Real Mem with the highest at the top and then it's Norton. But I'll sort it by CPU next. Thanks!
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Be sure to follow all the steps, including step #2, which I've bolded, since so many people miss it.
  5. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Safari has a well known serious memory leak issue when used with extensions enabled. I brought it up to Apple during WWDC this year.

    Only solution is to not use Safari. Use Chrome. This has been an issue with safari for years. Apple hasn't fixed it. Most people don't notice it, they just see their system slowing down and eventually they reboot or logoff the fix the problem temporarily.
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There is absolutely no need to change browsers. Safari works fine. I've used it extensively (frequently with 50+ tabs open) and have never had performance issues. If there is a problem with a particular extension, remove it.

    It gets really old seeing these "switch to Chrome" responses when someone is trying to resolve a Safari issue. The first course of action is to troubleshoot, not to abandon an app and switch to another, just because you encounter a problem. If you prefer Chrome, by all means use it, but don't assume that it's the best solution for everyone else.
  7. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Just because you're not aware of the issue or it doesn't affect you doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The issue exists. Does not appear related to which extension, rather if extensions are enabled at all.
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    It doesn't exist for all Safari users, as many use Safari with extensions, with no performance problems. The point is, it's not necessary to switch browsers, only to troubleshoot the problem.
  9. uba2012 macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2012
    I have never had any issues with safari its always the fastest browser and I have many extensions installed.
  10. kodeman53 macrumors 65816

    May 4, 2012
    Since this is the MBA forum, should i assume this only happens with Safari on MBAs? No? There's a Mac OS X forum for a reason. And this is why in all the threads in this forum where people ask, "Should i get 8 megs of memory? Should I get 8 megs of memory?" the answer is always, "YES!", except in the thread of zero value, "Why are people scared of 4GB of RAM?" where the OP tried to tie the amount of memory to bravery. :rolleyes:
  11. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012

    Chrome for the win!

    my favorite browser.
  12. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2003
    I also have this issue. I end up with almost no Free memory, and I'm sorry but this DOES cause performance issues with the computer. I've heard people say for years that this is simply how the OS uses memory, freeing it up as it needs it. I don't know if this just isn't working properly or something, but I do know that my computer gets crazy bogged down when i see the Free memory go down to near zero.

    I am able to free up this memory by quitting safari, or even just closing down most of the windows. I can see how you wouldn't have any issues if you regularly quit programs you're not currently using, or quit programs when you put the computer to sleep, but this is a real nuissance if you simply like to leave Safari open all the time.

    Either there's an issue, or I just shouldn't be using my computer this way. I'm not at my computer right now, but I believe the only extension i have is one for converting flash to html5, not sure which one (used to have ClickToFlash, now i'm using something different...), but I'm pretty sure this issue pre-dates my installing this extension. I'll definitely try turning off extensions to see if this changes anything though.
  13. oneMadRssn macrumors 601


    Sep 8, 2011
    New England
    I've noticed that Word seems to lag more than ever in Lion (version 2010 flew in SL), even if there is only one other app running. I think this has more to do with MS's programming than with memory issues.

    Also, Norton? Really? C'mon man!
  14. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    Having little or no free memory is not an issue. In fact, at WWDC this year, a presenter said a moto at Apple is that "free memory is wasted memory".

    Mac OS (most Unixes) will try to cache as much file system data as possible. They'll also leave programs in memory even after they've quit, until something else asks for more memory. You can consider the blue "inactive" memory as free memory as well.

    What you should look at in "Activity Monitor" is the amount of swap used. If this number goes above 4GB, then systems I've had really start dragging. The MBA actually handles this better than most because the SSD is very fast swapping.

    If you are swapping a lot, you can sort the process table by "real memory". Look at whats the biggest memory consumer. If its Safari, and if its size is measured in GB, then Safari is leaking memory. Chrome will typically stay under 200MB (=1/4GB) for its largest process.

    I never reboot my system or logoff unless I'm force to. Depending on your surfing habits, it may days days or even weeks for Safari to leak that much. I can usually illustrate the problem within minutes on my system.
  15. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    FYI, I tested Safari on a new install of Mountain Lion on a new 2010 MBA.

    Installed adblock extension. Went surfing. CNN, igoogle, track a stock, MacRumors. Bounced around, refreshing pages.

    Within a few minutes I was able to get Safari's real memory usage to climb over 500MB. Closing all tabs and windows did not release appreciable memory. There's no reason to think memory usage wouldnt keep climbing indefinitely. I can easily get into multiple GBs of real memory usage.

    Chrome's largest process in the same use, uses no more than 165MB.

    Unfortunately, looks like they still haven't fixed the issue.
  16. dmelgar macrumors 68000

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have to update this post.

    I'm running Mountain Lion with a time machine restore of my account on a new MBA.

    I've been running Safari all day with extensions and adblock turned on. While sometimes it reaches 500 MB real memory, it does not grow beyond that. Its real memory usage often drops lower. Its virtual memory usage has been sometimes high in the 700MB range, but neither real nor virtual memory have continued to grow as I expected.

    So I must retract the earlier statements that Safari is leaking memory. I dont know if its the latest version of Safari, Mountain Lion, something cleaned up by moving to a new MBA, but whatever the fix, Safari no longer appears to be leaking for me.
  17. Puevlo macrumors 6502a

    Oct 21, 2011
    Safari should never need 2GB of memory. It is clearly broken.
  18. theSeb macrumors 604


    Aug 10, 2010
    Poole, England
    If you feel that an application has munched your memory and is not releasing it back, just close the most likely culprit, open Terminal, type purge. Done

Share This Page