Apple’s Safari Web Browser Now Uses Much Less Memory

It’s time to tip a hat to Apple for a major change they’ve made in their latest desktop operating system, macOS High Sierra. Last year, I wrote about how Safari was a memory hog. At times, it would be using 5,6, even 8 or 9 GB of memory. I would have to quit it every few days to get it to stop being sluggish.

Since the release of High Sierra, I have noticed that Safari’s memory usage has dropped a great deal. Right now, with my iMac running for more than four days, Safari is only using about 3 GB of RAM. And this with more than a dozen tabs open.

This is especially important for people with Macs that don’t have a lot of RAM, such as laptops. When apps use more RAM than they need, the computer needs to access virtual memory, files written to disk, that are much slower than RAM. So any improvement in memory usage in an app that is used as much as Safari means that it will run faster, the entire computer will be less sluggish, and also has a positive effect on battery life.

So thanks for fixing this, Apple.

8 thoughts on “Apple’s Safari Web Browser Now Uses Much Less Memory

  1. Peak memory use doesn’t bother me anywhere near as much as -memory leaks-. Safari is getting better, but it seems to me the latest version of Firefox (used to lead in this area) has gotten worse.

  2. “So thanks for fixing this, Apple.”

    Really? Apple has been at this for many years while professing that “it just works”. Now, with a new OS every year or two (plus updates), Apple’s customers are in a constant state of flux, always needing to purchase new hardware or living with degraded performance. This isn’t just Safari, it’s ALL Apple gadgets. Apple needs to get back to some quality control in their software, and stop pushing out stuff that “just doesn’t work”.

  3. nonsense, bob. what youre referring to is the very normal treadmill of tech — new features up the ante for required hardware to run optimally. it is quite expected that newer featured OSes will run slower on older hardware. it’s like if you bought a truck to tow your boat, then next year got a bigger boat — and complained that your old truck had a harder time towing it. well duh, yeah…what do you expect, magic? dont upgrade if you dont want to increase the demand of your older hardware, pretty simple.

  4. Look forward to updating to High Sierra to see lower memory usage for Safari. However, what worries me is kernel_task. Currently the top 4 users of memory only MacBook Pro are Kernel_task 770.7 mb, 102.9 mb, WindowServer 96.2 mb and Safari 88.9 mb. The longer the MacBook is on the higher the kernel_task gets, up to just over a Gb at times. There are various postings online but I am at a loss to work out what it is. Anyone help?

  5. Hmmm… last night I put my 2016 16gb macbook pro to sleep with about 6 tabs open in safari. This morning I woke it up to a big error message saying that I was out of application memory. I checked the activity monitor and something called “safari networking” was consuming 54 GB… This is something new. Fortunately there is always chrome.

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