New feature helps Safari page troubleshooting in OS X Yosemite

NewSafariIconXA small change in the way Safari manages web pages in Yosemite will allow you to more easily troubleshoot any pages that are unresponsive or otherwise stuck.

If you ever run across a site that either hangs, or repeatedly shows a message that you cannot get rid of and which prevents you from otherwise interacting with Safari (e.g., closing the window), then you might find yourself resorting to force-quitting the program; however, there is an alternative you can use to more specifically manage the problem.

In prior versions of OS X, Safari would bundle loaded Web pages in separate Web processes, allowing them to run independently of each other; however, their name being “Safari Web Process” made them difficult to distinguish. While you could hover your mouse over them to view a tooltip box that showed the URLs represented by each process, this was a bit cumbersome to do. One hidden feature in Safari that helps this is to show web process IDs in page titles, which will allow you to match this ID with process IDs shown in Activity Monitor.

In OS X Yosemite running Safari 8.0, Apple has changed this so the processes names in Activity Monitor now are the same as the URL for the loaded Web sites. In essence, this means each Web page runs as a separate program that can be easily identified in Activity Monitor so you can target and quit it by name if a problem occurs:

  1. Check the address bar of the stuck Safari window and note its URL.
  2. Open Activity Monitor, reveal all processes in the View menu, and then search for “Safari.”
  3. Locate the URL in the Process Name column.
  4. Select the desired URL and then click the toolbar button to force-quit the process.

Even though this new feature allows you to more easily target relevant Safari Web Processes, you may still have duplicate entries if you have the same Web page loaded in separate windows. Therefore, you might still consider revealing web process IDs in Safari windows, so you can further confirm which process in Activity Monitor you will need to quit if a problem occurs.

Safari Web Process urls in Activity Monitor

Safari Web Process listings now show relevant URLs so you can more easily identify and manage them, if needed.

2 thoughts on “New feature helps Safari page troubleshooting in OS X Yosemite

  1. MaX

    Someone should develop a troubleshooting application for OS X like Conflict Catcher for Mac OS 9.

    1. B. Jefferson Le Blanc

      Don’t you think that if it could be done some enterprising developer would have done so by now? In any case, a Conflict Catcher type utility wouldn’t help much if at all in the situation Topher is describing.

      That said, thanks Topher for the head’s up on this change in Activity monitor behavior. It will indeed make it easier to deal with troublesome web pages in Safari.

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