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Safari uses a lot of RAM. Especially when you add Safari's use to WebProcess's use: it comes to about 1.5 GB of memory (for me, anyway). How can I limit the amount of RAM Safari and WebProcess use?

I know a similar question was asked last summer, but two of those answers have to do with the program in question (Dropbox) and the other answer encourages use of Terminal, which I find terribly confusing. Are there any other methods?

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Frustrated by the same problem, except with 3-4 GB rather than 1.5, I made the switch to Google Chrome a few months ago. I've long used Chrome on Windows, but preferred the native platform experience of Safari on OS X. Chrome's gotten very good at acting like a native app, and I've been happy with it. Subjectively, the UI feels more responsive than Safari, and they share the awesome WebKit rendering agent. Most importantly, I've had no trouble with memory leaks or freeze-ups. I hate restarting my browser, and I regularly leave tabs open for weeks. –  Cody Gray Apr 5 '12 at 22:07
@CodyGray I've actually migrated to Safari from Google Chrome—I don't have Flash installed except for Chrome's version, which saves system resources in general. When I want to use Flash, I just open it in Chrome! –  timothymh Apr 5 '12 at 22:20

1 Answer 1

Safari's excessive RAM usage limiting

By default, new windows and tabs in Safari are displayed in “Top Sites”, a 3×4 grid displaying those web sites visited most often with Safari.

'Top Sites' makes for a cute home page, but it will show sites one doesn't want showing up, and it will slow down Safari, especially on older computers. This ostensibly useful feature is loathed by quite a few users because it slows down Safari and the system.

While there is no easy and 100% safe way to turn 'TOP SITES' totally OFF, a few steps listed below will help Safari's performance and lessen excessive RAM use:

Stop Safari slowing and consuming extra RAM (as it visits all the websites listed in Top Sites) by removing any and all webpages from Safari's 'Favorites Bar' periodically (every week or so):
Preferably, delete all webpages displayed within 'Top Sites':-
Safari > History > Show Top Sites —> mouse-over each page (not regularly visited) so that the 'Delete-X' appears in the top-right corner, and click the 'X' —
keep the iCloud page and the selected search engine for Safari, preferably Blekko (alt., DuckDuckGo, &c),
if and only if regularly visited.
Alternative method of deleting all the webpages within 'Top Sites':-
Safari > Edit Bookmarks > Favorites Bar —> highlight all bookmarks and folders —> Edit > Delete.

In this way, Safari's WebProcess component (an integral part of Safari's Sandboxing functionality) won't keep pinging those sites to download data (just to provide Previews of those sites); it's a known bug - missing parts of PerformanceNavigation & PerformanceTiming in the WebKit2 component of WebProcess used by Safari.

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