Safari has been the standard browser supplied with macOS/Mac OS X since 2003, and it is now one of the 5 most used browsers according to the W3Schools. While competitors successfully attract a loyal audience among Apple users, it has an indisputable advantage over them due to its integration with the system.

It provides access to the Keychain, where you can store and sync passwords across your Apple devices, and many other unique features, as well as its native corporate design.

It is also impossible not to mention that during the last week’s keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2017, Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering, claimed that updated Safari 11.0 is now the world’s fastest desktop browser: modern Javascript test claims it is 80 percent faster than Chrome.

Apple's slide

A slide from Apple’s WWDC 2017 keynote presentation

While waiting for the launch of the Apple web browser’s latest version to check if Craig’s statement corresponds to reality, we can learn why Safari can demonstrate low performance and how to heal it on our own.

Why Safari is slow on Mac

As a Mac user you probably expect your purchase to be of the appropriate quality that matches its price, be it the hardware or the software part. Therefore, it is very disappointing when native apps, especially the ones you use on a daily basis, like Safari, become slow or even unresponsive. What are the reasons for that?

There are plenty of them:

  1. You may use the old version of the web browser, whose performance is low and which is more affected by memory and resource eaters like favicons, for example (the little icons that Safari displays next to the URLs of the visited web pages.)
  2. Safari can be used in an inappropriate way: you may have a lot of tabs open at the same time, or make too many clicks too fast for Safari to understand your intentions.
  3. It can be that you have installed too many plugins and extensions. They may also compete with each other creating additional troubles for the browser and originate from unknown sources, which may be dangerous.
  4. Too much cache can also be a hindrance for Safari’s good performance.

The good news is that you do not have to spend much time to fix these problems.

How to make Safari faster

  • The younger the better

Firstly, you need to remember that retro style lovers cannot expect the built-in apps to show the best performance possible. If you want your browser to be fast, keep your MacOS up to date. Each new version of the operating system provides the JavaScript updates for Safari that directly influence its performance.

  • Provide a first aid to Safari

Why is Safari Mac browser slow when you have just purchased it? If you notice your browser is frozen, check if there are no too many tabs open simultaneously. It is the most obvious thing to do, while many users just ignore it. Close the tabs you do not need. In the end, you can hardly work with all of them at the same time. If you want to work with websites later, just save them into bookmarks.

If it does not help, and the app is not responding after closing the tabs and several seconds of waiting, quit Safari (force quit if necessary), wait around 3 minutes, and then re-launch it. This method is rather a short-term solution, since it does not fix serious problems.

  • Put the browser on a diet

Do not overload Safari with various third-party extensions and plug-ins. Sometimes it is hard to resist installing them, since they offer capabilities that Safari lacks. However, not all of them provide the promised level of service. In addition, they can be incompatible with each other. Check out if there are extensions and plug-ins you do not use, or the ones that are suspicious and delete them.

extentions screenshot

If you are not sure about what really causes the problem, you can disable third party Safari extensions on the Mac without completely uninstalling them.

  • Make Safari get rid of unnecessary memories

Safari keeps a history of all viewed web pages, icons, snapshots saved for open webpages, saved passwords and many other things. Every browser offers this feature since it is very helpful. For example, when you accidentally close the webpage you still need and can immediately re-open it from the History.

However, when you actively surf the Internet, in a month the list of cache files will be tremendous consuming the space that could be used for other purposes. Regularly delete it to make Safari faster and keep it in a good state of health.

Worth mentioning that the majority of methods mentioned above are the best aid when we speak about the older versions of Safari. If the latest version of the operating system is installed on your Mac and Safari is running slow, you will not achieve huge performance increases, and my suggestion would be to dig deeper and try other tools.

unnecessary memories

How to speed up Safari browser on Mac with third-party apps?

You can also treat your slow Safari with special drugs – third-party apps, designed to do all the cleaning work for you in a couple of clicks. They can analyze the system in a whole and answer your question, “Why is Safari slow on Mac when I have already erased the cache, unnecessary extensions and plugins?”

It could be that the overall performance of the system slowed down due to excessive amount of duplicates, for example, or malware, indirectly affecting the browser. You may also have other programs running in the background, which you can also close thanks to third-party tools. You just have to choose the best one based on the proposed features, quality and price.

Have a nice Safari experience!