How to Disable Safari Power Saver Plug-In Stopping on Mac OS X
Many Mac users may not notice this, but modern versions of Safari support a new feature which automatically stops plug-ins from running in certain situations to save power on the computer. This is kind of like App Nap in OS X, except that it’s limited to plug-ins within the Safari browser itself, which means things like Flash, Java, QuickTime Player, and others, can potentially stop running automatically.
While this is a great feature for Mac laptop users, it can also be frustrating for some situations when using various web plug-ins and when developing, as it persists even if Safari app had App Nap specifically disabled, so some users may wish to stop that automatic plug-in disabling feature. Fortunately, this is just a matter of a quick settings change in Safari preferences:
- From the Safari app, go to the Safari menu and choose “Preferences”
- Go to “Advanced” and next to “Internet Plug-Ins” uncheck the box alongside “Stop plug-ins to save power” to turn the feature off
- Exit out of Preferences and the setting will immediately be active in Safari browser tabs and windows
With this turned off, Flash and Java are free to milk resources as they see fit, so be warned that your battery life is likely to suffer as a result. In fact, you’ll almost certainly see Safari fly to the top of the “apps using energy” list in the OS X Menu bar if you visit a plug-in heavy site with this feature disabled. Because of that, most users should leave this feature on, particularly if you’re ever using anything with a battery like a MacBook, MacBook Air, or MacBook Pro. This really is best for users who have a compelling reason to turn it off, which seems to be mostly developers, or for those who interpret this feature as a Safari problem in need of troubleshooting.
Of course, reversing this back to the OS X and Safari default is simply a matter of going back into Preferences > Advanced > and re-checking “Stop plug-ins to save power”.