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Safari vs. Chrome on Mac: Which Browser Is Better?

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Last updated: September 26, 2023

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Safari is optimized for Mac, ensuring fast browsing, lower resource usage, strong privacy features, and seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem. However, it has limited extensions and infrequent updates.

Chrome stands out with its extensive customization options, extensions, and high-speed performance, but it can be resource-intensive and consume more battery.

Key Points

  • Safari is energy efficient, focuses on privacy, and integrates seamlessly with Apple devices: ideal for users prioritizing battery life and data protection.
  • Chrome offers versatility with its wide range of extensions, customizable features, and slightly faster speed: suitable for users seeking personalization and performance.
  • Both browsers have robust security features, but Safari emphasizes privacy, while Chrome offers customizable security extensions and frequent updates.
  • So, Safari is a better choice for light internet browsing in Safari vs. Chrome on Mac, while Chrome excels at running heavy web applications.

Ever wondered which browser is the coolest for surfing the web on your Mac? Is it Safari or Chrome? Chrome is like a Swiss Army knife – super handy and flexible, while Safari is the speedy hometown hero, saving the day by being fast and keeping your secrets safe.

In this Safari vs. Chrome on Mac guide, I’ll compare these big shots and share the cool and not-so-cool stuff about them. By the end, you’ll know which browser is the winner for your Mac!

Google Chrome vs. Safari: A Quick Comparison

chrome vs safari on mac

Before diving deep into the detailed exploration of Safari vs. Chrome on Mac, let’s glance at a quick comparison. This table highlights some key features and differences between the two browsers, giving you a snapshot of what each brings to the table.

FeatureGoogle ChromeSafari
SpeedFast, especially for web appsOptimized for speed on Mac devices
ExtensionsExtensive library of available extensionsLimited compared to Chrome
PrivacyGood, with various customizable settingsExcellent, with strong privacy features
Cross-Platform SyncAvailable across multiple platformsPrimarily syncs with Apple devices
Resource UsageCan be resource-intensiveMore energy-efficient on Mac
User InterfaceCustomizable and user-friendlySleek and integrated with macOS
UpdatesFrequent and automaticUpdates with macOS updates
SecurityStrong security featuresRobust security with Apple integration
Bookmarks & TabsEasy bookmarking and tab managementSeamless bookmarking and tab view
Multimedia ExperienceSupports a wide range of formatsEnhanced multimedia support on Mac

Safari vs. Chrome: Pros & Cons

Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages and disadvantages of using Safari and Chrome on a Mac:



  • Optimized for smooth and fast browsing on Mac
  • Consumes less battery and system resources
  • Strong privacy features and protections
  • Seamless integration with the Apple ecosystem
  • Enhanced multimedia support


  • Infrequent updates can affect performance
  • Limited cross-platform synchronization
  • Limited availability of extensions

Google Chrome


  • Regular updates ensure optimal performance
  • Syncs seamlessly across multiple platforms
  • Customizable privacy settings
  • A wide array of extensions and customization
  • Excels in running web applications


  • Can be resource-intensive, affecting performance
  • Tends to consume more battery life
  • Privacy settings can be less robust than Safari
  • Not as integrated with macOS as Safari

To sum up, the choice between Safari and Chrome largely depends on individual preferences, needs, and the specific use case.

If you’re someone like me who uses a lot of extensions only available on Chrome, you’ll have to stick with it. And if you’re just using a web browser for light internet browsing, then Safari seems to be a better choice in general.

Safari vs. Chrome on Mac: A Detailed Comparison

safari vs chrome on mac

Both Chrome and Safari bring their unique strengths to the table. In this section, I’ll offer a detailed comparison of Safari vs. Chrome on Mac, diving into their features, performance, user experience, and more.

1. User Interface

safari vs chrome user interface

When it comes to user interface, Safari is known for its simplicity and seamless integration with Apple devices. It’s easy on the eyes, and everything feels clean and organized.

Then there’s Chrome, packed with all sorts of goodies – you can open a bunch of tabs, switch between different user profiles, and even decorate it with cool themes.

But while Chrome is full of tasty bits, it can sometimes feel a bit too much. On the other hand, Safari keeps it sweet and simple, ensuring nothing gets in the way of your web adventures.

Verdict: If you’re all about keeping things neat and tidy, Safari is your go-to. But if you’re looking for a browser that’s as unique as you are, with all the bells and whistles, pick Chrome.

2. Features

safari vs chrome features

Safari is like home for anyone using Apple gadgets. It’s super smooth, lets you open tabs across your Apple devices with iCloud, and even has a special Reader mode for a peaceful reading time, away from annoying ads. You can also use Touch ID and Face ID to confirm purchases on Safari.

But here comes Chrome, the adaptable browser that works well with different operating systems, whether you’re Team Android, Windows, or Apple. Chrome works really well with Chromecast and Google apps, like Google Translate, making it a handy buddy for all sorts of tasks.

Now, here’s where Safari really lags in terms of features – extensions. Chrome offers over 175,000 fun extensions, way more than Safari’s 350. Plus, you can make it look just the way you want with cool themes and backgrounds.

Verdict: So, who wins the feature face-off? It’s Chrome! With its endless features and the ability to make it truly yours, Chrome is your best bet for a fun and personalized surfing ride.

3. Speed and Performance

safari vs chrome speed and performance

Safari is known for being light on its feet, using less RAM than Chrome. This means it can juggle more tasks at once, like opening many tabs and running heavy websites. Plus, for gaming enthusiasts, Safari promises a smoother ride through the high-res gaming world.

Chrome, on the other hand, is like a techy sprinter with gadgets up its sleeve. It’s tab isolation keeps each tab in check, so if one tab is acting up, it won’t trip the whole browser. And, if Chrome senses a tab is just lazing around, it’ll put it on pause to save energy.

But, with all its gadgets, Chrome can sometimes feel heavy, munching more battery and making other apps slow.

Now, let’s talk speed!

Benchmark Test Results

When browsing the web, speed is key. I put Safari and Chrome to the test to see how they perform in terms of speed and overall performance, focusing on these factors:

  • How they handle lots of use
  • How they deal with websites full of graphics

For my test, I used three tools: JetStream 2, MotionMark, and Speedometer, running them on a MacBook Air with 8GB of RAM and an Apple M1 processor.

Here are the results:

Test Type BrowserScore
Javascript (JetStream)Chrome98.5
Graphics (MotionMark)Chrome365.5
Responsiveness (Speedometer)Chrome93.2

Several experts have posted the results of the Speedometer 2.0 test for JS/web performance on the MacBook Pro M1 Max on Twitter. The device scored 277 in this test, nearly doubling the speed of the fastest desktop iMac and marking a 20% improvement over the standard M1 MacBook.


  • Javascript (JetStream): Chrome slightly outperforms Safari, but the difference is marginal.
  • Graphics (MotionMark): Safari leads, indicating a smoother user experience for graphically intensive applications.
  • Responsiveness (Speedometer): Chrome significantly outshines Safari, making it a better choice for tasks requiring quick interactions.

Verdict: So, while Safari excels in graphics performance, Chrome has the upper hand in Javascript processing and responsiveness, making it a versatile choice for varied web tasks on a MacBook Air with an Apple M1 processor.

4. Privacy and Security

safari vs chrome privacy and security

Safari is all about keeping your data safe and your browsing private. It protects you from unwanted trackers and offers a smooth ride, especially if you’re using Apple gadgets.

On the other hand, Chrome is armed with customizable security features and speedy performance. It’s always looking for online threats, but its knack for collecting data might make some users think twice.

Despite excellent security features, Chrome’s popularity makes it a target for hackers, and its password manager is confined to the browser on Apple devices. Its unclear privacy policy and dependence on advertising might raise concerns about data misuse.

Verdict: It’s a draw! Chrome leads with customizable security, while Safari excels in password management. Apple users may favor Safari for its iCloud integration, but Chrome is a strong contender for more security control.

5. Extensions

safari vs chrome extensions

Picking between Safari and Chrome is all about what extras you like! Chrome has a huge selection, with over 175,000 extensions. So, if you want to block ads, check your grammar, or change up your themes, Chrome’s got your back.

Safari plays it cool with fewer but top-notch extensions. It’s not about quantity but quality, right? Plus, Safari lets you use extensions on your iPhone and iPad, something Chrome hasn’t mastered yet.

But here’s the twist! More extensions in Chrome can mean slower loading times on some websites. And while Safari keeps it simple and secure, Chrome offers customization for those who love tinkering around.

Verdict: So, Chrome is the clear winner of the extension war! Its vast array of options makes it the go-to for those craving variety. But Safari would do if you’re an Apple fan looking for quality and mobile-friendly extensions.

Should I Use Safari or Chrome on Mac?

If you prioritize privacy and seamless integration with Apple devices, Safari is the way to go on Mac. However, if you value extensive customization, a wide range of extensions, and high-speed performance, Chrome is your best bet.

Choosing the best browser ultimately hinges on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few more tips for you:

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Safari better than Chrome?

    Safari and Chrome both have their strengths. Safari is known for being more energy-efficient and privacy-focused, making it a great choice for Apple users. Chrome, however, offers a vast array of extensions and is slightly faster, making it versatile for those who prioritize customization and speed.

  2. Does Safari use less battery than Chrome?

    Yes, Safari is known for using less battery than Chrome. It’s optimized for energy efficiency, especially on Apple devices, making it a preferred choice for users looking to maximize battery life. Chrome, while feature-rich, tends to consume more power, which can lead to faster battery drain.

  3. Is Safari safer than Google Chrome?

    Safari and Google Chrome offer robust security features but excel in different areas. Safari is known for its strong privacy protections, especially for Apple users, while Chrome offers frequent updates and a vast array of customizable security extensions.

Hashir Ibrahim


I'm Hashir, a tech journalist with a decade of experience. My work has been featured in some of the top tech publications like MakeUseOf and MakeTechEasier. I have a bachelor's degree in IT, a master's in cybersecurity, and extensive knowledge of Apple hardware, specifically MacBooks. As the senior writer at MacBook Journal, I write in depth guides that help you solve any issues you have with your mac and unbiased reviews that help you make the right buying decisions.



Hi there! I'm Ojash, a tech journalist with over a decade of experience in the industry. I've had the privilege of contributing to some of the world's largest tech publications, making my mark as a respected Mac expert. My passion lies in exploring, using, and writing about MacBooks, and I enjoy sharing my expertise to help others make informed decisions and get the most out of their MacBook experience. Join me as we delve into the fascinating world of MacBooks together!

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