Skip to Content

Why Is Safari So Slow? (5 Reason & What To Do)

Safari is one of the best Internet browsers that is currently available, and it’s known for its reliability. However, that doesn’t mean that it always runs smoothly. So, why is Safari so slow?

If Safari is so slow that it barely runs, close as many tabs and background apps as you can. Disable Safari extensions and clear the history and cache to remove corrupted data so it runs faster. Make sure that at least 15% of your Mac or iPhone’s storage space is open because full storage can slow down Safari’s performance.

Switch users on your Mac to see if Safari still runs slowly. It may simply be a problem with your user account having too much data. Follow along as we explore why Safari is so slow and see how you can fix it.

Why Is Safari So Slow on Mac?

Poor Wi-Fi Connection

Your Wi-Fi connection is the first thing you should check if Safari is so slow on Mac that you can’t search anything. Safari will be slow even if you have Wi-Fi but the connection is weak. If your Wi-Fi keeps going in and out, simply unplug the router and modem for 30 seconds and plug them back in to reset them

Contact your Internet service provider or switch to cellular data if the problem continues.

Corrupted Cache

Safari will run slow on your Mac if the cache is bloated and corrupted. Safari takes on plenty of data each day you use it, and some of it may be corrupted. Whether you have corrupted data or have simply gone years without clearing the cache, Safari will continue to run so slowly if you don’t clear it.

Once the Safari cache is full, the browser won’t be able to add and process new website information properly. Luckily, you can quickly clear the cache data on Safari under the History tab. Click the history tab to pull up the drop-down menu, then select Clear History and Clear Data.

Ideally, you should clear the cache on Safari once per month to ensure a smooth performance.

Safari is Outdated

If Safari is so slow that it’s a chore to browse, then it may be because the browser is outdated and needs an update. Apple typically releases updates for Safari up to 6 times per year. Safari updates are lumped in with the standard macOS updates that introduce and refine features on your Mac.

To install the latest macOS update, click the Apple icon on your Mac’s menu bar. Scroll down, select “System Settings”, and choose “System Update”. Make sure there is enough space on your Mac to install the update. This should improve your Mac’s performance and Safari’s performance speed.

User Account Error

Do you have multiple user accounts on your Mac? If so, you may want to check to see if Safari is so slow on the other users’ accounts. Much like how Safari’s cache can become corrupted, a specific user’s account on a Mac can become corrupted as well.

This happens over time when you browse Safari extensively and install extensions and apps that aren’t approved by Apple. Use another account to see if Safari runs smoothly. If so, return to the original user page with the slow Safari speed and open the Spotlight app.

Click the Disk Utility tab at the top of the page, scroll down, and select “First Aid”. Next, click “Repair Disk” and wait for your Mac to perform the repair. This should get rid of corrupted data and patch the user account so Safari won’t run as slowly.  

Extension Problems

Do you run Safari extensions on your Mac? If so, that could explain why Safari is slow, especially if the extensions aren’t optimized for a Mac. It’s hard to tell which extensions cause the problem unless you use an external app like CleanMyMac X and OS Mac Cleaner.

You can use these apps to cycle through apps and extensions to find out which ones are problematic. Refer to the information on the program to see which extension is causing the problem and delete it right away to boost Safari’s performance.

Too Many Open Tabs

Sure, Safari lets you open up to 500 tabs, but that doesn’t mean you should. The more tabs you leave open, the slower Safari will run on your Mac. Ideally, you should only leave a few tabs open at once if Safari is so slow that it’s hard to browse.

The advertisements and background activity from the tabs you leave open will slow down Safari’s performance. Close any tabs you are done with and continue to browse.

Excessive Background Activity

Just like how too many open tabs will slow down Safari, excessive background app activity can cause problems as well. Macs and iPhones must work extra hard to keep up with the processing demands when there is too much background activity. Close apps that you aren’t currently using so the processor can focus on Safari tabs and apps that you must use.

Search Suggestions Lag

The search suggestions Safari feature is useful when browsing the web, but it can also cause lags in some cases. If Safari runs slowly when search suggestions appear, you must disable the feature. Open Safari, click Settings, select Search, and tap the box beside “Include search engine suggestions” to disable the feature.

Low Storage

Whether it’s an iPhone, Mac, or MacBook, Apple devices cannot perform at their full capacity when the storage is too low. You should leave up to 15% of your Mac or iPhone’s storage open at all times to ensure quick operating performance and Safari speed. Remove apps that you don’t use often and delete old messages and pictures to free up as much space as possible.

So, Why Is Safari Running Slow?

Close as many tabs as possible and clear the cache and browser history if Safari is too slow. Disable extensions that aren’t approved by Apple and install the most recent macOS update to increase Safari’s speed. It also helps to close background apps and disable search suggestions if Safari is so slow that you can’t browse the web.