Which Web browser on OS X has the Least Amount of Memory Leaks?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by cmm, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. cmm macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2006
    I've been using Safari for years, but it is getting intolerable once I have 20 or more tabs open.

    Are there any other web browsers on OS X that handle large amounts of tabs better than Safari? I'm open to using any browser, so long as I can view a PDF inside the browser without downloading it and I can restore whatever was open in the case of a crash.

    Are there any studies that rank the various browsers for OS X?

  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    I think if you're looking for stability and many multiple tabs, Google Chrome might be your ticket. It uses separate processes for each tab. That way if one site is acting up, you can kill that process and not crash the browser.
  3. celticpride678

    Feb 15, 2009
    Boston, MA
    It's between Firefox and Chrome. Chrome would be my choice because in sandboxes every tab, meaning that, if one tab crashes, the rest of the browser won't be affected. You can also restore that tab just by refreshing the page.

    Chrome crashes very rarely for me.
  4. cmm thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 30, 2006
    Chrome is taking ~45MB per tab currently (ten open). Is that normal? There are no flash elements on the page.

    Does Chrome have an extension like Safari's ClickForFlash?
  5. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603


    Apr 29, 2005
    San Francisco
    Chrome. Hands down.

    Although Firefox is better than it used to be and a quick restart isn't a terrible solution to its eventual bloat.
  6. TPadden macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2010
  7. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    A program using memory does not equal a memory leak. Safari does not leak memory, neither does Chrome, neither does firefox. Its very easy to try, you just open up tabs to pages that aren't constantly streaming stuff and leave them there without touching them. You will not see your memory usage increase on any of the browsers. (I've done this several times).

    A memory leak is when a program uses memory and never frees that memory once it is finished with it. If the browsers above did have memory leaks you would see over time even without changing tabs and stuff the memory usage increase over and over.
  8. Andeavor macrumors 6502

    Aug 19, 2010
    From my experience, Safari can get unstable with a multitude of tabs open while Firefox is a memory hog and could cause a crash when overused. I've since relied on Chrome, which can keep up for quite some time.
  9. richard.mac macrumors 603


    Feb 2, 2007
    51.50024, -0.12662
    chrono is right. none of those 3 browsers have memory leaks. they may have before, but since has been fixed by updates.

    Safari uses the most memory over time. im not sure why, maybe has to do with storing caches in memory longer for fast loading of previously viewed pages.
  10. tinypaws, Apr 12, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2011

    tinypaws macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    This thread has been useful. I'm not sure why but just today Safari is unbearable and it's freezing my whole system.

    I've not added any extensions recently. I simply launch it and it affects everything else. I'm waiting for a couple of minutes while typing a short, simple plain text email while the rainbow is spinning. If I quit Safari, no problem. Launch Safari, problems again. It's making iTunes cut out. Freezing up everything. I've got work to do, so this is my little side-task this morning, finding something better.

    I don't like Chrome that much, but I do always work with lots of tabs open. So, guess I'll give it another try. I didn't find it particularly stable, and I hate the way they have had to implement 1Password due to Chrome extension restraints.

    I've also just downloaded Stainless again (http://www.stainlessapp.com/), it opens each tab in a separate session similar to Chrome. It's very, very fast. I've used it before. It's not yet at version 1 but I've found it to be stable, and it's good enough though not feature-rich. But that's okay, since all those features usually come at a cost.

    Has anyone else tried Stainless? I'd love to hear your thoughts on Chrome vs Stainless as far as speed, memory usage (especially with multiple tabs), stability.

    Update: just installed Stainless and thought I'd give an update on memory usage. It's blindingly fast to load. Takes about as long to load the whole app as it does to open a new tab (blank tab with no content) in Safari. it is faster than any browser I have ever used (on Mac or PC), and I've used just about all of them.

    Before I reformatted and installed Snow Leopard I had Stainless on my MacBook. There were several times I used it when my internet connection got throttled back or I was otherwise having trouble with other browsers being too slow, or just wanted to quickly launch to check something. It was great for that. It's got such a small footprint, is so fast, and has some very interesting, unique features (check them out) that it's really silly to not keep it, even if it turns out that I don't use it as my default browser. What a relief compared to my Safari experience this morning. I'm going to write to the developers and tell them how much I appreciate their efforts. I want development on this browser to continue.
  11. c5sa macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2011
    Canada, Toronto
    I think u should give chrome a chance with it's amazing extensions:D
  12. mrsir2009 macrumors 604


    Sep 17, 2009
    Melbourne, Australia
    Yup Chrome is great for 5-10 tabs!
  13. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008

    Stainless is out of development.
  14. darkcurse macrumors 6502a


    Nov 5, 2005
    It has been my experience that if I leave Firefox 4 to its own devices it tends to bring the whole system to a crawl. I can't really explain it, maybe some badly coded extension. Chrome and Safari both have no problems although Chrome does seem to be a tad snappier overall.
  15. DoghouseMike macrumors regular

    Jan 18, 2011
    Check out Iron.
    It's chrome (I think the plugins carry over even), but without the google big brother bits that everyone worries about.
    Sorta like a successor for stainless I guess.
    Or omniweb?
  16. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008

    Since I have Chromium, I cannot use Iron.
  17. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
  18. tinypaws, Apr 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 15, 2011

    tinypaws macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2011
    Thanks DoghouseMike, I'm downloading it now. For everyone else interested in downloading Iron to check it out here's where you'll find the download link: http://www.srware.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=2263

    One of the reasons I was hesitant to use Chrome was the scary big brother bits (as you aptly put it!), especially after reading about the Google 'Farmer' algo changes. The algorithm changes themselves are fine from my perspective (my site actually went up in rank and traffic), but the scary thing was how they get all their data that that the algorithm is now based on. Makes me want to stop using Google Analytics too.

    Thanks Michael. I'm downloading Roccat now, but couldn't find the download for Turboweb. The page I found said to go the AppStore and download it, but a search on the AppStore turns up nothing.
  19. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Try this http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/36934/turboweb
  20. Yvan256 macrumors 603


    Jul 5, 2004
    Just FYI, I have no such problems with Safari but I did disable Java (not Javascript) and plug-ins (this means no Flash).
  21. r0k macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    I had trouble with FF 3.6 and it crashed on me taking 90 minutes of work with it. I switched to Chrome but found it made formatting "mistakes" in at least half a dozen of my favorite sites. One positive is that I stopped relying on FF sync and started using xmarks so I could easily "take everything with me" next time I switched browsers. When FF 4 came out, I gave it a try and I now use it exclusively. I use flashblock and it keeps FF from growing without bounds with all that flash on all 40+ of my tabs running in background. Whenever I view a video or view flash content, I close the affected tab or reload the tab without enabling flash and I find I can cruise along with several dozen tabs without penalty. I also use tab groups. I found that the session manager in Chrome epic failed when I tried to save a session with multiple tabs in multiple windows. I've since used session manager in FF to save 40+ tabs in 4 or 5 tab groups without issue. Everything is always there.

    Since FF has a glacially slow release cycle, I imagine something better will be along in a month or two but for now I find FF 4 meets my needs and since I'm using xmarks, the next switch should be uneventful.
  22. dj-anon macrumors member


    Mar 23, 2011
    Opera is always a great option. A lot of the functionality is included out of the box: adblock, plug-in blocking, tab stacking. That is great, because you don't have additional plugins consuming even more memory.

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