Chrome 85 is here, and Google is promising big performance boosts

Google Chrome
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Chrome 85 is rolling out now, and Google is promising big speed boosts for users on macOS and Windows.

As 9to5Google reports, the company claims the latest stable Chrome release will increase page loading speeds by up to 10% thanks to a technique called Process Guided Optimization (PGO) that tracks how often certain functions are used within Chrome, and optimizes those that are used most frequently.

To find out which version of Chrome you're currently using and check for updates, open the main menu using icon on the top right, scroll down to 'Help' and select 'About Google Chrome'. If you don't already have the latest version, it will be downloaded automatically and you will be prompted to restart your browser. Bear in mind that Incognito Mode tabs won't re-open when you do this.

The speed of change

Google has also rolled out some new tools for the Chrome Beta channel, including the long-awaited tab throttling, which (as the name implies) reduces the performance impact of tabs that are open, but not currently being used.

"We see improvements not only in loading speed but also battery and memory savings," a spokesperson wrote on the Chromium Blog. "Watch this space for more on that work when it is broadly available!"

If you sometimes struggle to identify the tab you need based on the tiny snippets of text visible in their title bars, you'll be pleased to know that tab previews are now available for beta testing. This feature allows you to see a quick thumbnail of each tab as you hover over it.

Beta users can also expand and collapse tab groups with a single click, making them much more convenient. This option isn't enabled by default, but can be activated in Chrome Beta by visiting chrome://flags, searching for 'tab-groups-collapse' and changing the switch to 'Enabled'. 

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)