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How to Fix: Webpage is using Significant Memory in Safari

The Safari Browser error “This webpage is using significant memory. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac.” is generally due to overloading the RAM with heavy web pages and tabs. A few easiest ways to fix this error are to force quit the Safari browser, clear the browser cache, remove useless extensions, and close the less valuable tabs.

Surfing the web is the new norm now, and I won’t be surprised if you open multiple tabs on your Safari browser. Since the adoption of the feature of multiple tabs, it’s easy to open multiple websites and look for relevant details in one go.

But as you open websites, you might see this message pop up multiple times: This webpage is using significant memory. A sub-message usually follows this: closing this tab can help improves systems performance.

Safari browser is very efficient regarding resource allocation, but when you open multiple tabs (I’m talking 10+ tabs), this management can go haywire. A message like this can alarm you, but how serious is this, and what do you do to fix it?

I’ve been using a Mac for the last five years, and this message pops us now and then. So here is s complete guide to fixing the memory problem in Safari on Mac.

Safari can hold many tabs easily, even with 4GB of RAM. Still, if your workload is higher, you will start seeing performance issues to the point where the Safari browser cannot open normal websites such as Google, Facebook, Reddit, etc. Below are step-by-step troubleshooting methods that will help you to stop this message.

Close Least Useful Tabs

Sometimes we can take all our power for granted, but power is not unlimited. You can’t just open 100 tabs in your Safari browser and expect it to run butter smoothly. I’m a person who keeps multiple tabs open and switches between them while working.

Hence, it’s a good idea to close all the irrelevant tabs when not in use. And in case you want them to visit later, you can always bookmark them or put them into your reading list.

Force Quit Safari

Some web pages have buggy code, or I used to call spaghetti code. It is very uncommon to have a website with a wrong code design, but if it has, it will use all your PC resources. And as a result, Safari will throw you – the “This webpage is using significant memory. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac” message.

In this scenario, you can force quit the Safari browser and rerun it. Any issues with jumbled-up code will get fixed immediately.

Here are the steps to force quit Safari on Mac:

  1. Click the Apple apple logo in the upper-left corner.
  2. Select Force Quit from the drop-down menu.
    This will open the Force Quit Applications window.
  3. Select the Safari app from the list.Force Quit Application window with Safari Browser
  4. Click the Force Quit button.

Relaunch Safari to see if the problem is solved. If not, try restarting your Mac, as a simple restart can fix various issues, including this one.

Use a Content and Adblocker

In today’s online generation, most websites are swamped with advertisements. These adverts use many of your PC resources, especially video advertisements.

Safari is good at blocking unnecessary junk code, such as tracking info and advertising info as such. But it’s not perfect, but other third-party extensions are good at blocking content to keep CPU usage at a minimum.

Here are the steps to install a content blocker in Safari Mac:

  1. Open the Adblock website on the Safari browser.
    Get AdBlock Plus on Apple App Store
  2. Download and Install the Adblock for Safari Mac extension.
    AdBlock Extension in Safari Browser
  3. While installing, share all the relevant permissions, like webpage content and browser history.

Now Adblock will automatically block heavy resources using ads so that you won’t see any warning messages. If you do, we have more methods to fix it.

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Disable Plugins

Plug-ins are just a special name for extensions Safari. They are a small teeny-tiny program your Safari browser uses to give you extra functionality. But they can use much of your resources, so I advise all my friends to keep plugin installation to a bare minimum.

Here are the steps to disable Plug-ins in Safari Mac:

  1. Launch the Safari browser on the computer.
  2. Navigate to Preference… and switch to the Advanced settings tab.
    Safari Preferences menu under Apple Logo
  3. Enable the checkbox for Stop plug-ins to save power.
    Stop plug-in to save power option in Safari preferences

This will disable all your plugins utilizing the browser’s memory. Now check the Safari browser to verify if the websites will run smoothly.

Clear Browser Cache

Browser Cache is a temporary file and storage database in your browser that helps certain websites load faster and provide better usability. But if you don’t clean your browser cache from time to time, it can slow down your browser and, in some cases, ruin your browsing experience.

The error message This webpage is using significant energy. Closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac and can sometimes be fixed by clearing the browser cache manually.

Here are the steps to clear the browser cache in Safari Mac:

  1. Launch the Safari browser on the computer.
  2. Navigate to Preference… and switch to the Advanced settings tab.
    Safari Preferences menu under Apple Logo
  3. Enable the checkmark for the Show Develop menu in the menu bar option.
    Show Develop Menu in Menu bar option in Safari PreferencesThis will enable the new Develop tab in the menu bar.
  4. Click on the Develop menu, and choose the Empty caches option.
    You can also use the Safari keyboard shortcut Shift + Command + E to open the Empty cache window.
    Empty Cache command in Safari Developer Menu
  5. Choose the Time period from the drop-down list.
  6. Hit the Clear History command button.
    Clear History for Last One Hour option in Safari Mac

After clearing the cache successfully, all your websites will function normally. However, you may need to sign in to accounts that you’ve recently visited and get cookies cleared.

Check for Mining Scripts

Some websites, especially mining websites, use CPU resources rapidly, and as a result, you might get these error messages. If a website such as an online editor or tool shows you this message, that is understandable.

But if a typical website shows you the error message of using significant memory in Safari, it must use some Mining scripts. Check for the website sign some online mining detector tool; if it contains mining scripts, do not use the website.

Update Safari and macOS

macOS developers keep updating the OS for better resource management, security, and performance. If your device is relatively old and you’re using some old mac OS version, then you need to update your system.

Here are the steps to Update the macOS System:

  1. Select System Preferences from the Apple apple logo.
  2. Open Software Update to automatically check for updates.
    It will automatically check and let you know if any updates are available.
  3. Click on Upgrade Now to update OS.
    Update Software Operating System in Mac

You can click on More Info for further details about the software update.

Upgrade RAM

RAM and CPU are the two main key factors of your PC performance. If you have to use a resource-hungry website for work purposes or your college research work for some reason, you need to upgrade the RAM of your Mac.

Upgrading the Mac PC’s CPU is impossible as they are soldered onto the logic board, and it’s pretty expensive to upgrade. But you can upgrade RAM to get better performance.

Bottom Line: Safari Significant Memory

As you see, the severity of this problem is not so much, and with simple troubleshooting, you can fix this problem without any professional help.

Now, if you use the internet much more often and need to open multiple tabs (more than 10), this message will greet you many times. So it is a good idea to upgrade your RAM and other components to match your PC energy needs.

Let us know if these methods have helped you resolve the Safari error. We can help; please share any other troubleshooting that fixed your problem.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts on How to Fix: Webpage is using Significant Memory in Safari, then feel free to drop in below comment box.

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Rahul Verma

Rahul is a Computer Science Engineer with an MBA degree. He is keenly interested in the field of tech and cryptocurrency. He has 6+ years of technical content writing experience and is mainly spent experimenting with tech systems. Connect her on LinkedIn.

16 thoughts on “How to Fix: Webpage is using Significant Memory in Safari”

  1. What are you talking about w.r.t. disabling Internet Plug-ins in Preferences>Advanced? There is no such setting in Safari 14.1.2 preferences.

  2. It’s too bad there’s no way to tell Safari to stop popping up this annoying warning. (I know that displaying 3D content on my 3D TV is using significant memory.) The solution is to switch to a different browser, like Google Chrome.

  3. Dude, I’m running Monterey v 12.3 and Safari 15.4. Why, if this posted on 3.17.22, are you showing such archaic graphics? Glen is right, there are no buttons anything like the ones you show on the advanced screen. I wonder if that’s cos I’ve got my Developer bit turned on, however, I’m also running 40 GBs of RAM so RAM, I’m pretty certain, isn’t the issue.

    1. Hello Donald, we have the website design makeover that made changes to published dates. We know that’s incorrect and we are updating the article with the latest information and screengrabs.

  4. I have macOS Catalina 10.15.7. There is no time period drop-down list on Develop -> Empty Caches. NOTHING happens when Empty Caches is clicked.

  5. I have a Macbook M1 Pro on Monterey with 64GB RAM and Safari open with just 6 tabs. I have over 20GB unused RAM. I don’t really care if a page if using “significant energy”.

    I would just like to get rid of this so-called “feature.”

    1. Hi Stan, that’s a built-in feature within Mac OS that displays which application name consuming high energy while on battery. It’s not something related to web browsers.

  6. I am using a blank safari without loading even a single tab. New computer. M1 chip 16GB ram. No other application running. The moment safari runs this message starts showing.. Have no idea how to fix this. Any other lighter browsers but I believe safari would be optimised for apple silicon. Everything is updated to the latest…!!!

  7. I only have one tab open: it is a Telehealth video platform. It seems to crash midsession at least once a day. I’ve emptied the cache and upgraded OS and Safari. I don’t have any widgets or such. And it still happened again today.

    1. Try installing the Adblock thing; I upgraded OS and Safari and realised this didn’t “carry over” into my new system, and kept getting this pop-up notice on every page, every time, not because I was using so much power, but because of pop up ads, which you don’t see so you can’t recognise, as Safari blocks them, but they still use power.

  8. WTF??? I just want to eliminate the error message from ever appearing again. I have plenty of ram so nothing is overloaded. This is just the result of some ‘woke’ programmer thinking he is saving the planet. Apple programmers are nothing short of inept lefturds that can’t seem to get anything right any longer. Steve Jobs is rolling over in his grave at the disappointing efforts of Tim Cook, just another accountant with no imagination.

    1. Hi, I don’t believe it is an issue with your system configuration. Maybe it’s due to some intrusive virus or malware. Please check your Applications folder for any unauthorized apps.

  9. I was getting that message regularly on my 2014 iMac even after upgrading to 32gb ram.
    Now 4 months ago I purchased a Mac Studio Ultra with 64gb of unified ram.
    Safari is still giving this message but not the second part about closing it may improve the responsiveness of your Mac.
    I normally clear Safari site history twice weekly but today have cleared the cache & history.
    Only had one tab open, a stock trading platform web page with news & charts which I thought was not too heavy on usage as it worked quite well on the 9 year old iMac apart from the message.
    Only apps I had running apart from that was TradingView charts, IP Vanish VPN and Quick Time Player was open but not being used.
    I take it that these shouldn’t be too much for the Mac Studio to run well.
    Wasn’t doing any video or music editing at the time.
    Does anyone have any pointers or should I just clear Safari cache & history everyday?

    1. Hi Pete, Mac Studio Ultra with 64 gigs of RAM is a pretty powerful machine. I’m just anticipating that VPN might create the issue here since it generally needs to send and receive network packets more often than a machine without a VPN.

      I’d suggest trying the same scenario without VPN for a few days to notice the changes.

      Clearing Safari cache & history every day is not a long-term solution. If the issue persists, then you can check with Apple Support for further troubleshooting.

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