Safari Slow on Mac? Possible Causes & Proven Fixes

Even though the Internet is lightning fast nowadays, and modern Apple computers are so powerful, the cases when Safari browser works too slow on Macs are pretty frequent. If you experience such situation, you’ll have to understand that the main problem here is the user’s attitude and lack of corresponding skills required to speed up the work of Mac. If you find your Safari browser very sluggish, it is important to learn the causes first, and then move to the problem solution.

To tell the truth, Safari is not the speediest browser of all times. Still, users value it for its safety and convenience. Thus, do not hurry to switch to a different browser once you notice a drop in Safari’s performance. In most cases, it is enough to learn the main reasons for failure and choose the appropriate solution.

From the most complicated to the simplest, this article offers several methods to fix the problem with sluggish Safari.

5 Major Causes of Safari Running Slow on Mac

To effectively deal with the Safari speed issues, you first need to get acquainted with their main reasons. Hence, once you shout in despair “My browser is running annoyingly slowly, and I don’t get why!”, remember the information below.

Cause #1: Overloaded cache.

On one side, cache files are helpful as they allow loading the pages a user has already visited faster thanks to the saved pictures, banners, and other types of content. The problem is a user does not attend all websites regularly. In some cases, a Mac owner will need a particular website once in a life. However, the browser cannot know user’s intentions, and it saves all the data obtained during the browsing session. As a result, the cache gets full of useless files over time, being unable to store more important data for the faster website loading.

Cause #2: Harmful extensions.

Macs do not play well with Flash and some other plugins. An outdated or incorrectly optimized plugin/extension may be the “culprit.” The user must deactivate or delete as many extensions/plugins as possible.

Cause #3: Safari version being too old, too cold.

Apple company is responsible for everything going on with Safari browser, and a mac owner should follow the recent news not to miss important updates. They are easy to download, but many users forget it. Switching to the latest operating systems like macOS Sierra or High Sierra requires updating Safari.

Cause #4: What about the network connection?

Earlier, this problem was the most common one. Today, the Internet is much faster than it used to be, but a problem with the network may have a significant impact on Safari’s performance.

Cause #5: User account/Mac drive.

There are no guarantees a Mac owner will avoid user account corruption or problems with the computer’s drive.
The block below explains how to solve these issues using both Mac’s built-in utilities and third-party applications.

Web browser Safari is very slow

What You Can Do to Speed up Safari on Mac on Your Own

Bet you’re thinking now: “OK, I realize why my Safari is sluggish, but what’s next?” In most situations, speeding up your preferred browser is not difficult. Read on and learn how to fix the issue.

1. Start with clearing cache files in Safari

Begin with the process of wiping the browser’s history:

  1. Launch Safari.
  2. Pick History in the offered menu.
  3. Select Clear History.
  4. Pick the time span. Then, push the Clear History button.

In rare cases, these steps will not help. The next thing a user should try is getting rid of the cache files:

  1. In a browser, select Preferences.
  2. Pick the Advanced tab.
  3. Put a tick next to the Show Develop menu.
  4. Choose Develop in the offered menu.
  5. End up with Empty Caches.

Experienced Mac owners may decide to get rid of the cache files manually with the help of specific approach.

  1. Launch Finder and pick Go -> Go to Folder.
  2. Copy-&-paste this line into the text box: ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari/Cache.db
  3. Click Go again.
  4. Right-click on the Cache.db and select Move to Trash.

2. Erase Preferences files

It is not as effective as clearing cache, but you can try this one, too.

  1. Launch Finder and pick Go ->Go to Folder.
  2. Enter this command: ~/Library/Preferences
  3. Scroll down the list to discover com.apple.Safari.plist. Get rid of that file.

3. Remove buggy extensions

It is not necessary to disable all extensions at once as some of them may be helpful. Before making a final decision, take a fast test:

  1. Pick Safari.
  2. Go to the browser’s Preferences.
  3. Choose the Extensions tab.
  4. Remove the checkmarks from the extensions in order and try to notice when the issue is solved (which extensions were the troubles). After you learned about the buggy extensions, pick Uninstall option next to the specific extension(s) in the Preferences to disable those that slow down the work of Safari.

4. Mind the OS updates

Check which version of operating system you have by going to the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen and selecting “About this Mac” option. Haven’t you moved to macOS Sierra or High Siera yet?

  1. Launch the Finder.
  2. Go the App Store.
  3. Search for the available software updates that you can expand; it will display the update for the target browser, which a user can update separately/with the rest of the available updates.

5. Examine Internet connection

The speed of the Internet might be an issue. Before you decide it, launch the link (Google Fiber) in the Safari browser, push the blue button, and wait until the software examines the speed. A user will get results for both upload/download speed. Have a look at the charts that contain information on the expected speed based on the type of connection. Contact the Internet Service Provider (ISP) if it does not meet your expectations.

6. Revive your Mac disk

If nothing helps after you try another account, it’s the disk. A native utility called Disk Utility will help to ‘heal’ the disk if it is the primary cause. Choose the account’s disk and move to the “First Aid” tab. Pick “Repair Disk.” Reinstalling macOS or Mac OS X might be helpful as well.

If you find it hard and time-consuming to apply all these fixes, we advise using the specialized third-party cleaning tool.

The Smart Solution: Speed up Safari with the External App

Statistics show that clearing cache is the most effective solution in most of the cases. Focus on clearing cache files, cookies, downloads, temporary files, and browsing history if you would like to speed up Safari on Mac. How can one do that quickly, with the minimum effort?

Read various reviews, ask your friends, and choose the best third-party cleaner to wipe whatever you want on your Apple computer: from the specific browser to the entire HDD. Try a demo version of a chosen software to decide whether it meets your expectations. Paid third-party cleaning apps are more effective than free tools, and they will erase any type of browser’s junk to lighten the load on your preferred device within minutes.

Speed up Safari

Bonus Tips to Prevent Mac Safari Slow Loading Pages

Before getting at your favorite browser for slowing down, remember that some of the websites are “heavy” for all types of browsers as they are loaded with numerous ads. Some websites auto-play embedded videos without user’s command. These nasty web pages make the Apple computer heat up fast. The most effective alternative is to quit those websites after finishing observing the content of your interest or install the Safari-compatible application to block ads from displaying. To never ask yourself a question “What should I do if my browser is working slowly?”, follow the simple tips below:

  1. Avoid multitasking all the time – It might be surprised how much better the majority of software works when a user does not try to apply various apps at once. It is one of the best ways out.
  2. Watch after your Safari! Make certain rituals a matter of habit: clearing cache files along with cookies or ensuring the software is up-to-date. Pretend you are dealing with an expensive automobile, which requires permanent maintenance to run the way you expect.
  3. Never neglect your Mac. Despite the belief that Apple computers are 100% immune to viruses, file corruption, and bugs, these factors influence them, just a bit less often and dramatically than Windows PCs. Check whether you did not get anything harmful during the browsing.