I have been plagued by performance problems in my late 2010 MacBook Air for several months now. Most of it seems centred around Safari. I regularly get very high fan speeds (loud to the point of very annoying), very warm laptop, high load average, and spinning BBOD (beach ball of death), especially on Safari.

I consistently have a single window, 8-10 tabs, none of them heavy dynamic apps (Gmail and Calendar running in Chrome).

I regularly have CPU spikes from Safari and WebContent (and at times soagent). They rarely last very long, but when they do, I see the BBOD and Safari is completely unusable, then the rest of the laptop slows down to a crawl.

I have taken a spindump of Safari - it takes a very long time - but I do not actually know how to interpret it to see where it is stuck.

I have almost no extensions installed. Just 1Password, AdBlock and ClickToPlugin (which was installed specifically to prevent Flash and others from bogging it down).

What can I do to narrow down the issue?

1 Answer 1


Adblock runs against every frame in the page. This is probably not all of your problem, but it is significant, at least it was for me. Switch to ublock and you should see a difference. Read the advanced docs and graduate to the the firewall style usage of this tool, and you will be very pleased.

  • Do you know how to interpret a spindump. Had the same behaviour yesterday - some network problem to a particular site, and Safari started chewing CPU so I took a spindump - but I do not know how to interpret it to narrow down what it is spinning on.
    – deitch
    Jul 1, 2015 at 4:22
  • Well, I went to uBlock, as suggested. It helped a bit, so upvote, but I still had to kill Safari because of permanent spinning beach ball just five mins ago. Sigh. Wish I knew how to interpret the spindump so I could know what is killing it.
    – deitch
    Jul 3, 2015 at 12:51
  • uBlock/µBlock doesn’t seem to be devolped for Safari anymore, and uBlock Origin never was. I don’t know about the efficiency of the alleged alternative Purify (on iOS) or other extensions that support Apple’s newish Content Blocker API.
    – Crissov
    Jun 1, 2016 at 11:52
  • It sucks about ublock for Safari. I use adguard for now. I'll browse the web via psychics before I go back to no adblocking.
    – chiggsy
    Jun 14, 2016 at 9:48

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