In Safari 5.1 older tabs will auto-reload after being flushed. This has to be the wonkiest, most unproductive "features". I can't imagine this being done for memory usage reasons as I have plenty to spare.

Is there any way to stop this?

  • 1
    What do you mean with "flushed"? I think it's just a WebProcess (Safari Web Content, if you look it up in the activity monitor) crash that you're misinterpreting. This process is a part of the new split process model of WebKit2 where the web content lives in a separate process from the Safari GUI. Since this is pretty new it's also really buggy and crashes really often (Check the Console.app -> System Diagnostic Reports). Safari reloads crashed Tabs as soon as you visit them.
    – blargh
    Aug 7 '11 at 18:50
  • +1 Glad to know it isn't just me! I think it is Safari 5.1 because I am still using Snow Leopard.
    – g .
    Aug 11 '11 at 11:16
  • If you close Safari by ⌘+option+Q Safari will start off fresh.
    – Delphy
    Aug 12 '11 at 20:10
  • @blargh: These are not crashes.
    – raheel
    Aug 20 '11 at 15:00

I believe (for clarification) that you are referring to the behaviour whereby a page currently open in a tab will be "flushed" from memory, such that the tab and it's title remain but when you switch back to it will have to load the page again in order to show it to you.

This is new to Safari 5.1, and mirrors the similar actions that happen in iOS devices with mobile safari.

Unfortunately there is no way to stop this short of reverting to a previous version of Safari, or using a different browser. You may have plenty of memory, but with Lion Apple seem to have gone down the road of trying to make things as efficient as possible. To use a car analogy, just because you have loads of fuel in the tank, doesn't mean they can't change the engine mappings when you are idling at stoplights to save even more.

That's not to say that it achieves its aims all the times, as the page reloading may be more of an issue to you than the internal efficiency of the OS, but it's how they are doing it right now, and it's similar in other areas, such as programs that can be automatically closed if they are considered to be inactive. Some of it is bringing across some of the "anti bloat" methods over from iOS, some of it is change for changes sake.

So, in summary, you can see why they might want to do this, but it doesn't quite work as seemlessly as it needs to for people not to care, but there's nothing you can do about it without you change your choice of browser.

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