Every 2-10 minutes Safari pauses with a spinning beach ball for roughly 10-90 seconds, sometimes asking if I want to reload everything, making Safari almost unusable.

I've installed several safari extensions that mess with pages to prevent cross site attacks, scripting, cookies, etc. In particular, my active extensions are : AdBlock, ClickToFlash, Ghostery, JavaScript Blocker, and JavaScript BlackList. Anyone experienced conflicts amongst these before?

Additionally, I've installed but disabled Disconnect, NinjaKit, and WasteNoTime, but presumably disabled extensions cannot contribute to the problem.

I'll experiment with disabling these active scripts piecemeal, starting with JavaScript BlackList, who's role is presumably superseded by Ghostery and JavaScript Blocker.

I'm especially curious about whether Ghostery and JavaScript Blocker might be conflicting, given that they do very similar page editing. I prefer JavaScript Blocker for being infinitely more aggressive than Ghostery, but Ghostery has a better curated block list, which helps me allow stuff through JavaScript Blocker.

  • 1
    Actually this reads like you are on the right track. Go ahead!
    – myhd
    Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 16:13

3 Answers 3


I'd say it's definitely possible, if not likely.

For starters, turn off extensions altogether, to verify that they're causing the issues. Then I'd suggest disabling them one at a time (which sounds like you've tried partly), until you can isolate which one is causing the issues.

If that doesn't help (but all extensions off does), then try only one of your Javascript blockers at once, in the event that some conflict between them is causing problems.

  • Immediately after posting this I deactivated Ghostery, not yet positive matters improved, but it's looking up. It's tricky because it's sensitive to specific open tabs as well. Commented Dec 21, 2012 at 17:37
  • Yes, I may need to try disabling all extensions, the one at a time hasn't yielded anything useful yet. It's also simply possible that Safari has grown long in the tooth and I shold give Chrome another try, definitely Chrome has a better JavaScript engine. Commented Jan 3, 2013 at 14:00

I've found that Chrome avoids this performance pitfall of Safari, well I needed one browsers with security extensions working while temporarily disabling extensions in Safari.

I suspect that Chrome performs better because Chrome sandboxes each tab separately. There are arguments that Chrome's V8 JS engine provides more stability anyways, in particular V8 is commonly used in server side JS, but whatever.

In any case, all this careful sandboxing makes Chrome much more secure than Safari in the first place, so anyone with these concerns should simply run Chrome.

At present, I found weak evidence that disabling all extensions fixes this problem, but disabling any individual extensions does not. I therefore suspect that Safari does not fully disabled extensions when individually disabling them, perhaps an extension I never enable causes the problem.

Also, I've weak evidence that Chrome loads pages slightly slower than Safari, not sure if that's the sandboxing and/or my extensions, but any such tiny page load hit is nothing compared to Safari's frequent paralyzing long freezes.

  • I use Chrome and Firefox, and they both run really well. Safari locks up for me too, and is unusable as my main browser. It must run well for most people, else it'd be notorious, but I'm in the same boat as you. I did try Brave, as I like the ad thing they do and the people working on it, but the UI was really ugly last time I installed it.
    – Carl Smith
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 23:17

I only use Safari to log into other Google Accounts, so its a vanilla installation, with no extensions and pretty much default settings. My system is all up to date. Even with just GMail and a couple of websites open, Safari frequently locks up for a few seconds, sometimes longer.

I'm using a (mid 2013) MacBook Air 13. FireFox and Chrome are both fast and stable, even with extensions injecting CSS and JavaScript etc., and other applications are all responsive. It's just whenever Safari gets focus.

Safari must work well for most users, as it doesn't have too bad a reputation as a browser, but my personal experience has been similar to Jeff Burdges'.

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