Why Does Safari Run Slow on Mac and How to Fix It

Safari Run Slow on Mac? Solutions: Clear cache, update browser, disable extensions, check internet, and reboot.

Experiencing Safari Run Slow on Mac can be immensely frustrating. Did you know that the reasons behind this could range from an outdated browser version to an overworked cache? In this article, we’ll walk through the potential causes of slow Safari and arm you with practical steps to enhance its speed and responsiveness. Ready for a smoother browsing experience? Let’s dive in!

Quick Summary

  • Safari on Mac can run slow due to an overworked cache, bad extensions, outdated versions of Safari, network issues, or user account and Mac drive problems.
  • To fix a slow Safari on Mac, update the browser, clear cache and cookies, disable unnecessary extensions, check the internet connection, and restart the Mac or boot into Safe Mode if needed.
  • Other tips for speeding up Safari include closing unnecessary tabs, disabling search suggestions, checking for software updates regularly, and optimizing your Mac’s performance.

Why Safari Run Slow on Mac

Safari runs slow on Mac due to an overworked cache, bad extensions, outdated versions of Safari, network issues, user account and Mac drive problems.

Overworked cache

Many accumulated data in Safari’s cache can significantly slow the browser down. Essentially, Safari relies on cached website information to load pages quickly. The strategy works well until the cache becomes bloated with excessive data, often called an “overworked cache.” This overload slows down your browsing speed rather than speeding it up, leading to performance issues that can be quite frustrating for users. Clearing this overstuffed cache is a straightforward solution – not only will it solve your slow surfing problem, but it will also help enhance your system’s overall responsiveness. Therefore, maintaining optimal levels of cache data is essential for keeping Safari running smoothly on your Mac.

Bad extensions

Bad extensions can significantly contribute to Safari running slow on Mac. When installed, these extensions may consume excessive resources and cause performance issues. Additionally, some extensions might be poorly designed or outdated, leading to compatibility problems with the Safari browser. Remember that not all extensions are malicious; however, using too many or unreliable ones can impact your browsing experience negatively. Review and uninstall any unnecessary or problematic extensions from Safari’s preferences menu to improve its overall speed and performance on your Mac.

Outdated version of Safari

An outdated version of Safari can significantly contribute to its slow performance on Mac. As technology advances and web developers optimize their websites for the latest browser versions, an older Safari may struggle to keep up with the demands of modern web browsing. Updates to Safari often include important bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements that can address previous issues and make your browsing experience smoother. Therefore, it is crucial to regularly update Safari on your Mac to ensure you are using the most optimized version available.

Network issues

Network issues can also contribute to Safari running slow on your Mac. If you’re experiencing a sluggish browsing experience, it’s worth checking your internet connection. Slow or unstable network connections can cause websites to load slowly or not at all. Additionally, if there are issues with DNS servers or your router, Safari may struggle to connect to websites efficiently. It’s important to troubleshoot and resolve any network-related problems by restarting your modem/router, checking the DNS settings, or contacting your ISP for assistance. By ensuring a stable and fast internet connection, you can help improve Safari’s performance and enjoy a smoother browsing experience on your Mac.

User account or Mac drive issues

If you’re experiencing slow Safari performance on your Mac, it could be due to user account or Mac drive issues. One potential problem might be that your user account has become corrupted or damaged, leading to slow response times in Safari. Another issue could be related to the health of your Mac’s hard drive. If your drive is nearing its capacity or has errors, it can significantly impact the performance of various applications, including Safari. It’s important to ensure that your user account is in good condition and that your Mac drive is properly maintained and optimized for optimal speed and responsiveness. Regularly running disk cleanup and maintenance tasks can help resolve these issues and restore smooth browsing experiences on Safari.

How to Fix Safari Running Slow on Mac

To fix Safari running slow on Mac, update your Safari browser, clear cache and cookies, disable unnecessary extensions, check your internet connection, and restart your Mac or boot into Safe Mode.

Update Safari browser

To improve the performance of Safari on your Mac, one of the first steps you should take is to update your Safari browser. Updating Safari can help fix bugs and security vulnerabilities and improve browsing speed. Here’s how to update Safari:
  1. Open the App Store on your Mac.
  2. Click on the “Updates” tab at the top.
  3. If a Safari update is available, you will see it listed here. Click the “Update” button next to Safari to start the update process.
  4. Alternatively, if you don’t see a Safari update listed in the Updates tab, your Safari browser is already up-to-date.

Clear cache and cookies

Clearing the cache and cookies can be an effective solution to fix Safari running slow on your Mac. Accumulated cache and cookies data can slow down Safari and hinder its performance. Here’s how to clear the cache and cookies on Safari:
  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Click “Safari” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Preferences window, click on the “Privacy” tab.
  5. Click on “Manage Website Data…”
  6. A new window will appear, displaying a list of websites and their associated data.
  7. To remove all website data, click on “Remove All”.
  8. If you prefer only to remove specific website data, you can select individual websites from the list and click on “Remove” for each one.
  9. After removing the desired data, click on “Done”.

Disable unnecessary extensions

One effective step is to disable unnecessary extensions to fix Safari running slow on your Mac. These extensions can consume valuable system resources and contribute to the sluggishness of Safari. Follow these steps to disable them:
  1. Launch Safari on your Mac.
  2. Click “Safari” in the menu bar at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  4. In the Preferences window, click on “Extensions” at the top.
  5. You will see a list of installed extensions on the left-hand side.
  6. Review the list and identify any extensions you don’t use or need.
  7. To disable an extension, uncheck the box next to its name.
  8. Repeat this process for all unnecessary extensions until only essential ones remain enabled.

Check internet connection

To fix Safari running slow on your Mac, it’s important to check your internet connection. A weak or unstable connection can significantly impact the browser’s performance and loading speed. One way to do this is by disconnecting and reconnecting to your Wi-Fi network or switching to a different network if available. You can also run an internet speed test using websites or apps like Ookla Speedtest to determine the actual speed of your connection. If you’re experiencing slow speeds, contacting your internet service provider might be necessary to address any underlying issues affecting Safari’s Mac performance.

Restart Mac or boot into Safe Mode

To resolve Safari running slow on your Mac, one effective step is to restart your Mac or boot it into Safe Mode. Here’s how you can do it:
  1. Restart your Mac: Click on the Apple menu in the top left corner of your screen and select “Restart.” This will reboot your Mac and refresh its system processes, potentially resolving any temporary issues affecting Safari’s performance.
  2. Boot into Safe Mode: Turn off your Mac completely. Press the power button to turn on your Mac and immediately hold down the Shift key. Hold the Shift key until you see the Apple logo or a login window. Release the Shift key when you see either of these signals.
  3. Test Safari’s performance: Open Safari and check if it runs faster now. Sometimes, third-party extensions or software conflicts might cause Safari to slow down. By booting into Safe Mode, you can determine if these external factors impact Safari’s speed.
  4. Troubleshoot potential issues: In Safe Mode, observe if Safari behaves normally. If it does, a third-party extension or software could be causing the slowdown. You can start troubleshooting by disabling extensions one by one to identify which one is causing the problem.
  5. Restart normally: After testing Safari’s performance in Safe Mode, restart your Mac as usual by clicking on the Apple menu and selecting “Restart.” This will allow your Mac to boot up with all its regular processes and configurations.

Additional Tips for Speeding up Safari on Mac

To further improve Safari’s speed on your Mac, consider closing unnecessary tabs, disabling search suggestions, and checking for software updates regularly. Optimize your Mac’s performance by clearing cache and history occasionally.

Close unnecessary tabs

Closing unnecessary tabs is an effective way to speed up Safari on your Mac. By reducing the number of open tabs, you can minimize the strain on your system resources and improve overall browser performance. close tabs safari Here’s how you can close unnecessary tabs:
  1. Identify the tabs that you don’t need at the moment.
  2. Right-click on each tab or use the keyboard shortcut Command + W to close them individually.
  3. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + W to close all tabs except the one you view.

Disable search suggestions

You can disable search suggestions to optimize Safari on your Mac further and improve its speed. While helpful for some users, this feature can slow down the browsing experience. You can streamline Safari’s performance and enhance responsiveness by disabling search suggestions. Here’s how to do it:
  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Click “Safari” in the top menu bar, then select “Preferences” from the drop-down menu.
  3. In the Preferences window, go to the “Search” tab.
  4. Uncheck the box next to “Include search engine suggestions” or a similar option.
  5. Close the Preferences window.

Disable DNS prefetching

To further optimize Safari on your Mac, you can disable DNS prefetching. This feature in Safari aims to improve webpage loading times by predicting and pre-resolving the IP addresses of links on a webpage. Disable DNS prefetching However, it can sometimes lead to slow browsing speeds or delays. Here’s how you can disable DNS prefetching in Safari:
  1. Open Safari on your Mac.
  2. Go to the “Safari” menu in the top left corner of your screen.
  3. Select “Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  4. Click on the “Advanced” tab.
  5. Under the “Proxies” section, check the box that says “Change Settings…”
  6. Another window will open with various options for network proxies.
  7. Uncheck the box next to “Use passive FTP mode (PASV)” if it’s checked.
  8. Scroll down to find the option for DNS prefetching and uncheck it.
  9. Click on the “OK” button to save your changes.

Check for software updates

To ensure that Safari runs smoothly on your Mac, it’s important to check for software updates regularly. Updating your Safari browser and macOS can provide bug fixes, security enhancements, and performance improvements. Here are the steps to check for software updates:
  1. Click on the Apple menu in your screen’s top-left corner.
  2. Select “System Preferences” from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the System Preferences window, click on “Software Update.”
  4. If there are any available updates for your Mac or Safari, they will be displayed.
  5. Click on the “Update Now” button to install the updates.

Optimize Mac performance

To optimize the performance of your Mac and further enhance Safari’s speed, follow these steps:
  1. Close resource-intensive apps and processes: Shutting down unnecessary applications and background tasks can free up system resources, allowing Safari to run more smoothly.
  2. Remove unnecessary startup items: Go to System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items and remove any applications you don’t need to launch at startup. This can help reduce your Mac’s resource load when it boots up.
  3. Clean up your hard drive: Use a utility like Disk Utility or third-party software to scan and clean up your Mac’s hard drive. Removing unnecessary files, such as temporary and old downloads, can improve system performance.
  4. Manage storage space: Make sure you have enough free space on your Mac’s storage drive. A full hard drive can slow down the entire system, including Safari. Delete unneeded files or consider moving them to an external storage device.
  5. Disable visual effects: Reduce the strain on your Mac’s graphics processor by disabling unnecessary visual effects, such as transparency and motion effects, in System Preferences > Accessibility > Display.
  6. Adjust energy-saving settings: Adjusting the energy-saving settings in System Preferences > Energy Saver can help optimize power usage and prevent excessive CPU throttling, which can impact Safari’s performance.
  7. Keep your macOS up to date: Regularly install macOS updates from the App Store to ensure that your operating system includes the latest bug fixes and optimizations for Safari.
  8. Manage browser extensions: Periodically review installed extensions in Safari preferences > Extensions and disable or remove any unnecessary ones. Some poorly designed or outdated extensions can significantly impact browsing speed.


In conclusion, Safari may run slow on Mac due to an overloaded cache, bad extensions, outdated software, network issues, or problems with the user account or Mac drive. However, several ways exist to fix this issue and improve Safari’s performance. By updating the browser, clearing cache and cookies, disabling unnecessary extensions, checking the internet connection, restarting your Mac or booting into Safe Mode if needed. Additionally, closing unnecessary tabs and optimizing your Mac’s performance can further enhance Safari’s speed on your device. With these steps in mind, you can enjoy a faster browsing experience on Safari for Mac.


1. Why is Safari running slow on my Mac?

There could be several reasons why Safari is running slow on your Mac. Some possible causes include many open tabs, outdated software or extensions, excessive cache memory, or insufficient system resources.

2. How can I speed up Safari on my Mac?

To speed up Safari on your Mac, you can try several solutions. Close unnecessary tabs, update your browser and macOS to the latest versions, remove unwanted extensions or plugins, clear cache and browsing history regularly, disable automatic loading of web content or animations in preferences settings, and free up disk space by removing unused files.

3. Does having too many bookmarks affect Safari’s performance?

Having many bookmarks in Safari can contribute to slower performance if those bookmarks are constantly syncing across devices or if they contain broken links. Organizing bookmarks into folders and keeping them synced selectively for better performance is recommended.

4. Should I reset Safari as a solution for slow performance?

Resetting Safari should be considered a last resort when improving its performance since it will delete all saved data, including cookies, history, and preferences. Before resetting safari completely, you may want to try other troubleshooting steps like clearing the cache and disabling unnecessary extensions/plugins first.