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What is WebProcess and why is it eating a quarter of my MacBook's memory?
July 31, 2011 7:03 PM   Subscribe

What is WebProcess and why do it and mds eat up most of my active RAM on my 2008 white MacBook running 10.6?

I know that mds is the Spotlight index, and I've seen numerous documented cases of it running wild. But what is WebProcess? I've never seen it before and can't seem to find references online. Both of these are running rampant and eating a total of 700 Mb RAM total (WebProcess alone munches over 500). The system hangs are a real buzzkill and I'd like some more experienced advice.
posted by willhopkins to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Did you just upgrade to Safari 5.1? There are reports going around that 5.1 eats memory (and WebProcess appears to be related to WebKit). I can confirm that Safari 5.1 sometimes gobbles resources on my Mac.
posted by jz at 7:14 PM on July 31, 2011


A lot of people are having trouble with this. If you search on google with "webprocess", including quotes, it'll bring up a great many apple discussion posts about it.
posted by zabuni at 7:17 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


Safari 5.1 has a new architecture that separates rendering of Web content into a separate secure process that can't read or write local files. Unfortunately it also sucks ass, hanging on many pages and refreshing idle tabs in an annoying way.

If you want to revert to Safari 5.0.5 – I know I did – you can download Safari 5.0.5 for Snow Leopard and use Pacifist to install it. (Leave the “use administrator privileges” box checked and click "Replace" whenever asked.)
posted by nicwolff at 7:55 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


zabuni:
A lot of people are having trouble with this. If you search on google with "webprocess", including quotes, it'll bring up a great many apple discussion posts about it.
Good point—I ignored the quotes in my initial search and didn't think they were necessary. I appreciate the search tip. Also, it appears that Google's results are a bit better than DuckDuckGo's (my default engine).

Extra thanks to nicwolff for the workaround.
posted by willhopkins at 8:15 PM on July 31, 2011


You may even be able to restore the previous version of Safari from an archive already on your computer. (I haven't installed 5.1 yet, nor tried this myself, so YMMV.)
posted by JiBB at 12:31 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


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