Frequent Safari crashes

iMac Pro, Big Sur 11.6, Safari 15.1 (16612., 16612)

I’m finding Safari crashes several times a day, usually when I’m not using the Mac. I come back to it and there’s a “Safari has crashed” dialog. The oddity is that Safari hasn’t actually crashed - its windows are still open and it continues to respond - but it’s becoming tedious.

Any ideas, anyone?

Many modern web browsers (not sure about Safari) use multiple processes in order to gain performance. There may be a process per window or one per tab or there may not be a 1:1 correspondence (e.g. a pool of processes shared by tabs as-needed).

If Safari is doing this, then it is possible that one of those background processes crashed, leaving the rest running.

Have you tried restarting anything? Try a quit/restart of Safari. If that doesn’t work, try a log out/in (to quit all your apps, including any background Safari processes). If that doesn’t work, try a power off/on, to force all processes to quit/restart and make sure all hardware resources have reset.

If none of the above helps, then it may be a software bug. See if any browser extensions may be responsible. Try disabling some or all of them to see if that helps. If it does, check to see if any have updates. Also try enabling them one at a time to try and identify the one causing problems.

If the problem occurs even after you’ve restarted everything and have disabled browser extensions, then it may be a bug in Safari itself. Be sure to click the “Send” button after each crash report so Apple will get the information - that’s the best way for them to learn about these kinds of crashes.

Recent versions of macOS have changed the behavior of “crashes” and now often offer a dialog asking if you want to “Crash”, “Continue” and one more choice that I can’t recall off-hand. In my experience the windows all remain open regardless of the choice made and I often find the app still appears to be functioning, so I don’t find that part of your observation at all unusual.

I would encourage you to upgrade your OS to 11.6.1 as it has some very important security fixes including one that is known to be actively exploited. I also have an aversion to troubleshooting a problem where the software involved is not fully up-to-date.

I’ve tried logging out and back in, and I’ve tried restarting the iMac. I don’t see the dialog you mention, Al; I get a largish window headed “Safari has encountered a problem” with a debug trace, an indication that the log will be sent to Apple and buttons marked (I think) “Relaunch” and “OK”. I don’t have any browser extensions installed.

Maybe it will go away when I change to Monterey.