Skip to content

Speed Up Slow Apple Safari browser on Mac

Are you experiencing slow performance of Safari browser on your Mac? Learn optimization tips to enhance Safari's speed and performance.

The Safari browser is highly optimized and the fastest on Apple Mac computers.

However, it may need to perform better due to accumulated website cache storage and unnecessary extensions.

Hence, it recommended removing unwanted extensions and clearing any old or obsolete data files to make Safari faster and smoother.

Improve Slow Performance for Safari browser

Safari is a native web browser to Apple’s ecosystem and is not expected to lag or slow down. Most iOS and Mac users rely on Safari for browsing and internet experience. And not to mention, the browser has done a great job serving its users thus far.

However, it sometimes seems to drop its performance rate with constant use of the web browser as the response time gradually increases. Being an Apple user can be frustrating as we are not quite used to this. So, how to improve the slow Safari browser on Mac?

Like regular browsers, Safari has also got particular stuff to take care of to keep experiencing its consistency. For starters, you could begin by upgrading your Safari to the latest version available. And if you are already on the latest one, you can follow the tricks below to overcome this issue and speed up your Safari browser on Mac.

You can follow a few workarounds to improve the Safari browser’s performance on Mac. In this article, we will be looking at all the possible ways that might help you boost the speed of your slow Safari browser.

Restart Safari

Like any other browser, using Safari for a longer interval consumes more system memory. And sometimes, due to this, you can experience comparatively slow performance with the browser. In that case, a normal restart does the job comfortably.

Close the application and relaunch it on your Mac. It will break the previous browser session and free up the memory. The next time you launch it, you will get a new window with its regular speed.

Update browser

It’s always best to keep Safari updated and running on the latest version. Most browser issues and security threats are patched in the version upgrades. Hence, if any known issue is causing Safari to slow down will be immediately fixed after the update. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on Apple apple logo and select the System Preferences/Settings sub-menu.
    It will launch the System Preferences window.
  2. Select the Software Update program from the list.
    Apple System Preferences > Software Update macOS
  3. Click on the More info… link.
    Software Update More Info Link
  4. Select the checkbox against the Safari browser to install updates.
    Safari update is available for your Mac
  5. Hit the Install Now command button.
  6. The download will begin, and the Safari update installation will finish automatically.
    Downloading new updates - Mac Software Update

That’s it. Safari is now updated with the latest improvements, security, and features. After the update, Safari developers will fix any known bug causing the slow Safari browser.

Clear Browser history

Safari typically keeps a record of every website you explored in previous sessions. So, if you haven’t deleted your history for a long time, it will bloat the amount on your browser.

It might be another reason you might be having problems with the slow performance of Safari on your Mac. That being so, clearing your browsing history should help you achieve the usual browser speed. Here are the steps to clear your browsing history:

  1. Launch the Apple Safari browser.
  2. Click on the History menu on the menu bar.
  3. Select the Clear History… option.
    Clear History command under History menubar in SafariIt will display a clear history dialog box on the screen.
  4. Choose a suitable time frame and click the Clear History button.
    Clear History from Safari browser

Clearing the browser history will free up space and processes to load the history database. It’s recommended to keep clearing browsing data every month, and it’s also good privacy protection practice.

Clear Browser cache

The Safari browser saves caches of the websites/web pages you visit for the first time. And this is one of the most efficient ways to provide a light-speed loading of those web pages whenever you revisit them in the future.

However, one problem with caching is that the files grow too significant within a brief period. And this is probably among the popular reasons behind slowing down your Safari browser. Here are the steps to clear the browser cache:

  1. Launch the Apple Safari browser.
  2. Click on the Safari menu and select the Preferences sub-menu.
  3. Switch to the Advanced tab.
  4. Enable the check box for the Show Develop menu in the menu bar.
    Show Develop menu in menubar on SafariIt will enable a new Develop menu in the Safari menu bar.
  5. Click on the Develop menu on the menu bar.
  6. Select Empty Caches from the drop-down menu.
    Empty Cache from Develop menu in Safari MacIt will clear and empty all the cache files stored within the Safari browser.
info icon
Note: By cleaning your browser cache occasionally, you can avoid encountering the slow performance of Safari on Mac in the future.

Delete Container File

You will have a slow Safari performance if your preferred file is corrupted. However, it happens in sporadic cases but is still considerable.

You can overcome the corrupt file issue by deleting the Safari container files and folders. However, deleting these files will remove all your home page settings and other saved features from the browser. But it will automatically create a new file when you relaunch the browser in the future.

  1. Launch the Finder window on Mac.
  2. Press the Option key and select the Go menu.
  3. Select the Library option from the drop-down menu.
    Go to Library File Finder
  4. Navigate to Library > Container folder.
  5. Delete com.apple.Safari folder and restart Safari.
    Delete Safari Preferences File Components from Mac

It will remove old container files and regenerate a new folder with the latest configuration.

Remove Unnecessary Extensions

Even though Safari extensions are handy in doing several kinds of tasks effortlessly, installing too many extensions or plugins might degrade Safari’s performance.

It makes your browser slow, and you have trouble browsing the internet. Hence, you can temporarily remove or disable a few extensions you don’t require. Here are the steps to remove extensions:

  1. Open the Safari app on your Mac.
  2. Click on the Safari menu and select the Preferences/Settings sub-menu.
    Safari Preferences MenuIt will open the Safari Preferences window.
  3. Switch to the Extensions tab.
  4. Lookup for Less useful extensions installed.
    Uninstall the Safari Browser Extensions
  5. Select the extension, and hit Uninstall to remove it from Safari.

Uninstalling the extensions from Safari will free up the processes and memory, which can help the browser’s smooth function. Often the browser extensions are culprits for most of the issues.

Reset Safari browser

Resetting your browser will free you from all the trouble you face with your Safari Mac. But on the other hand, it will also cost you all saved data such as browsing history, home page settings, browser caches, preferences, etc. Hence, proceed with caution and use reset Safari only if high importance.

Follow the steps to reset to the Default configuration:

  1. Launch the Finder window on Mac.
  2. Press the Option key and select the Go menu.
  3. Select the Library option from the drop-down menu.
    Go to Library File Finder
  4. Navigate to Library > Preferences folder.
  5. Delete com.apple.Safari.plist file from the preferences folder.
    Apple Safari Profile List Move to Trash

When relaunched, it will delete the safari preference file and make a new configuration and preference file. Hence, clearing all the data that has been stored to date.

Bottom Line

The slowing down of the Safari browser can happen due to various reasons. And apparently, one cannot pinpoint the exact problem with the browser. Hence, it is worth spending some time trying these methods to find out what works if you want to resolve this issue.

You can also try adding memory to your Mac. It will boost the performance of all other applications, including Safari.

So, that is for now, and let us know if that resolves your issue. Also, please mention any other steps that have helped you resolve the slow Safari browser performance.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

Please share the article if you find it helpful:

Disclosure: This page may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive compensation for your purchases; of course at no extra cost to you (indeed, you may get special discounts).
Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Leave a thought or feedback

Please leave a descriptive comment or feedback with your real name. Our human moderator vets every comment, and it may take 24 to 48 hours to get published or rejected.

Your email address will not be published, and we will never spam your inbox. Required fields are marked *