Why I Abandoned Safari For Google Chrome

Firefox, Safari, Chrome

Over the last few months, I’ve been using Safari. It has better privacy than Chrome, the browser I’ve often used previously, and also syncs well across all my Apple devices. However, in the last couple of days, I’ve abandoned it.

Firefox, Safari, Chrome

Safari vs Chrome

Simply put, I encountered too many frustrations with Safari, particularly on my Mac mini. I’d regularly get warning messages at the top of the browser telling me that a webpage was using “significant memory” and affecting the performance of my Mac. Those webpages would invariably become so slow as to be useless. Not exactly helpful when trying to do research for articles I’m writing. This does not happen in Chrome, and those same pages work smoothly.

Furthermore, Google Hangouts, which I use on a daily basis, can often go wrong in Safari. It also does not have a plugin for sending webpages to my Kindle, which I like to do if I want to read an article at a later pint.  Even mundane things like moving tabs seem to work better in Chrome.

A Serious Need for Improvement From Apple

I know other browsers offer better privacy features than Safari. I could use Firefox or Duck Duck Go. Maybe I will gravitate towards them in the near future. The other issue with Chrome is you cannot set it to be the default browser on an iPhone. There are though some workarounds which I will share in a separate article. At the moment though Chrome is really working for me.

It is bizarre that Apple’s own browser software does not perform better. I’m using a pretty up-to-date computer with fast fiber to the home broadband, so I don’t see why there should be any major issues caused by my setup. I can really only fault the browser. Safari needs a shakeup, and serious improvement, so more users don’t go the same way as me.

14 thoughts on “Why I Abandoned Safari For Google Chrome

  • I’ve found that Safari is slow, buggy and often unresponsive. Firstly, here’s some background on my hardware. I have a 2012 Mac Mini with a 500 GB SATA hard drive and 16 GB of memory, that I recently upgraded to the Mojave OS and which seems to have quite a few of its own issues. One specific example is that I was browsing on Safari and was viewing Rolling Stone’s top 500 rock albums and for each listing of 50 on the Safari browser as I was scrolling through the list, I was having to constantly refresh the page to go through the list, as Safari would freeze and wouldn’t allow me to scroll through the list. I went to the Chrome browser and did not have any problems; no freezing up whatsoever. What’s going on, Apple?

  • Carolyn,

    Your article comes at just the right time for me.
    For the last +4 weeks, I’ve been having nothing but constant problems with Safari….and right in the middle of a month of internet searches, UPGRADING from Sierra to OS Catalina and upgrading of external sw.

    When I enter a search in the Search Bar, it will:
    (1) about 90% of time, start to load and show a Progress Bar of .75 inch, then freeze up,
    (2) about 8% of time recently, flash and not even start to load with no progress at all on the Progress Bar, or
    (3) about 2% of time, start to load, then freeze for awhile, then SLOWLY finishing loading.

    I’ve learned that, when the Progress Bar is frozen, that if I click in the Search Box and hit return, it can cause a refresh or reload that actually slowly loads and doesn’t freeze up.
    Lately, I’ve also found that it a click into some other window on the display and come back to the subject window, it might suddenly load.
    So this gets me out of a freeze and to the website page about 70% of the time. And that’s how I’ve been operating lately. Not fun!

    The amount of time that I have spent just trying to get pages to load has been excruciating ……..and I now (as of yesterday) have some free time to try to research and resolve the issue.

    In past years, I have actually had this same internet loadings and speed problem with Safari (and or Comcast). But, then I had ancient hardware, so I blamed the hardware.
    In the last 4 years, I haven’t had this much problem with Safari loadings….and so have lived with it. But the last month has been intolerable!

    However, I’m so Apple-centric that I was extremely hesitant to even try out another browser…….and then I was concerned that if I loaded another browser onto my system that it would leave around a lot of peripheral support files that might crud up and actually slow down my iMac system in the long run. So I wasn’t going to try an alternative browser.

    But now, hearing about your experience, I’m very willing to load and try out another browser.
    So I thank you, Carolyn, for this article….and this admission of the reality of your having to walk away from the Apple product.

    I had already undertaken a LOT OF TS STEPS to try to make Safari run better. (see below)……and there has been some noticeable speed up. But Safari still freezes up entirely and completely on some pages, such that it is now time to TRY out another browser.
    At the very least, this trial will help narrow down whether the problem is caused mostly by Safari or by my ISP (Comcast Xfinity).

    And, in addition to slow loading of websites, I’ve been having slow downloading of emails to Mail from Comcast and Gmail addresses.

    Steps I took to make Safari run better (and it does run a bit better now…but not good enough):

    A. CLEANED UP MAIL to stop it churning the internet:
    I saw that Mail was both (1) bloated with years of emails which could be slowing it down and (2) having to constantly go out to Gmail and Comcast to download emails and sync the movements emails that I was doing in Mail. So I took steps to clean out Mail and help it run more efficiently.
    I cleared all the Inboxes and either saved or trashed emails.
    I deleted 40,000 emails from Archive, Trash, and Junk/Spam.
    I deleted a bunch of “recovered email” folders.
    I went directly to gmail.com and into the Settings of each gmail address and simplified (reduced) the number of folders, categories, and labels involved. And trashed a lot of emails. And made all settings the same.
    I trashed Mail’s Envelope Index files which forced Mail to re-import the remaining messages and to rebuild the index. So a fresh Index.
    I changed GMAIL settings at Gmail.com so that emails would move to a DELETE folder (Trash), instead of an ARCHIVE folder.
    I set all Trash to erase in 1 day.
    This calmed Mail down a lot!

    B. I SHUT DOWN and TURNED ON the network (hard-wired iMac, Router, Cable Modem) several times AND had Comcast send a RESET code to the Cable Modem several times.

    C. I CLEANED UP SAFARI as much as possible to speed it up:
    I checked that iMac was running latest OS. (I still need to check about upgrading some more 3rd-party software–like VPN, anti-virus SW).
    I DIDN’T change the DNS yet.
    I disabled all the extensions and plug-ins in Safari. Except left Adobe Flash to operate on some websites.

    Although there are still more steps I could take to clean up Safari (including the final step of doing a new fresh install of Safari and OS Catalina), I can see that Safari loads a little bit faster, but still hangs up often and sometimes freezes completely.


    So I’m going to try a DIFFERENT BROWSER.

    Now the question is whether to try out Chrome or Firefox?
    Chrome might play better with those Gmail addresses? But Firefox is more private.


  • I would rather go to the library and use a card catalog then use chrome. 🙂 While I do have issues with Safari, Opera or Firefox are better choices than using anything chrome related – IMO.

  • Surprising. I only use Chrome when I have to run certain Google apps that don’t work well on Safari, and I shut it down (and revoke its permissions) as soon as I’m done as it has a bad habit of constantly phoning home to Google. Google’s updater is also malware-like.

  • I don’t have these issues with Safari myself. But if you must use a Chrome based browser, go with Brave. It has the best privacy features of just about all of them but looks and feels like Chrome since it’s based off the Chromium platform.

  • By the way. Do you use plug ins? Many ad blockers are kind of like modern day antivirus applications, where the “solution” becomes worse than the problem. Safari doesn’t do well with many ad block plugins in my experience.

    1. I agree – we need better ad blockers for safari are both effective and efficient. Firefox with ublock origin et al. is my fallback for sites with too many obnoxious ads and trackers.

  • Funny, I have no issues using Safari. I wouldn’t use Chrome if it was the last browser on the planet because…Google. I keep Firefox updated but I haven’t had to launch it for the last year at least because Safari just works. Online opinion pieces are fine but they do not reflect the experience of the majority of users. And that’s why I pay little attention to screeds like the above.

  • If I’m not mistaken, Duck Duck Go is not available as a browser. It is a search engine. I have it set up in Safari as the default search engine via the Safari preferences > Search.

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