... has recently taken a turn for the worse. Constant beach-balls, and after an hour's browsing, that damned Safari Web Content is running between 2 and 3GB, between real and virtual. If I leave tabs sit, Safari says it must force reload all pages.

A little memory-freer app helps release some "Inactive Memory," run frequently, but doesn't seem like a real answer.

Have 8 GB RAM in a 2.8GHz MBPro, and lately big page-out numbers. Did the RAM needed to run all this get ahead of me ... or is this all really Safari? Or Flash, which runs at high memory, but not so high as that "Web Content" - which is what? Another name for Flash?

On broadband, we used to say, Disable caches. Maybe not a good idea anymore. Or turning off pre-fetching?

Restarting Safari returns things to normal, for a while. I run a few extensions, not many. Keep machine in good maintenance. Do not have a problem with keeping many apps open. I just wanna surf!

  • 1
    What ad-ons do you have or plug ins ? – Ruskes Jun 23 '13 at 2:31
  • For people passing by: OS X is known to have a very efficient memory management. The use of 'memory cleaners' should be discouraged. When more memory is needed, just add more memory to your machine (Or buy a new machine...) – CousinCocaine Mar 25 '14 at 14:04
  • What does 'Activity Monitor' tell you about memory usage? Is it possible another program is using all the memory and Safari is the brunt? – CousinCocaine Mar 25 '14 at 14:06

For what it is worth, I generally recommend to people who don't want to update their OS that they use chrome. Apple only updates safari when they update the entire os, so you are better off with a third party solution for a browser.

(Mavericks came out after this question was posted, so this answer is only effective for people looking for an answer to the question now that it has been released.)

  • I down voted as this is not an answer to the question. It would be a nice comment though... – CousinCocaine Mar 25 '14 at 14:07

Memory leaks are typical of all browsers when visiting lots of pages, not just Safari. This problem is solved by the new memory management system in OS X Mavericks (10.9).

Having lots of inactive memory isn't an issue until paging starts, that's when systems start to not respond. The easiest solution to this is to disable the paging system all together, which isn't an issue on systems with sufficient RAM (4GB+). Here's how:

Turn off the paging system (requires restart):

sudo launchctl unload -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist

Renable the paging system (requires restart):

sudo launchctl load -w /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.dynamic_pager.plist
  • 2
    -1. Disabling swap can cause systems to fail if and when they run out of RAM. It may not be an issue, but it certainly can be, especially if the user does memory-intensive tasks. If you're going to suggest disabling swap, make sure you include a warning! – Blacklight Shining Oct 13 '13 at 22:36
  • You'd be surprised how rugged it is. I do light work in PS and Illustrator and haven't had any issues in the year or so that I've been doing it. – Alexander Oct 14 '13 at 2:33
  • Nevertheless, it needs a warning attached. Especially if you're trying to work around memory leaks: depending on how bad the leak is, you very well might run out of RAM. – Blacklight Shining Oct 14 '13 at 3:27
  • Feel free to edit my answer – Alexander Oct 14 '13 at 17:59
  • And the verdict on disabling swap is? – Zo219 Apr 15 '14 at 5:50

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