Google Chrome might be the most popular web browser in the world, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to gobbling up your system’s memory. However, with Chrome 110, which is now rolling out to desktop users, that will all hopefully change.
If you use Chrome to browse the web – and considering its huge popularity, it’s very likely you do – then you might have noticed that after a while, it starts taking up a large amount of your PC’s RAM – especially if you have lots of tabs open at once.
This can have an impact on how well your device runs, and if you’re using a laptop, it can also mean your battery drains more quickly as well.
As Android Police reports (opens in new tab), the Memory Saver feature, which was first revealed back in December 2022, is included in the latest Chrome update. It works by identifying tabs that are not being used and removes them from memory – effectively ‘snoozing’ the tabs until you click on an inactive tab, which will then wake it up and reload it.
If there are certain websites that you never want to be classed as inactive, even if you’re not currently on the tab itself, then you can add them to a list that will always keep them active. This is handy if you pause a video on YouTube, go to another tab, then return to the YouTube tab. By preventing it from being snoozed then reloaded, you won’t lose your place.
Another feature, called Energy Saver, is also included. This limits background activity and reduces visual effects, such as smooth scrolling or website animations, and can also reduce video frame rates. Doing so could help prolong the battery life of the laptop or Chromebook you’re using Chrome on.
Because this feature can have a big impact on the overall quality of your web browsing experience, you won’t want this on all the time (or at all, if you’re using a desktop PC). The good news is that you can select to have Energy Saver only turn on when your battery is lower than 20%, or only when the laptop is unplugged.
Don’t get complacent, Google
These tweaks are very welcome. Once you’ve updated to Chrome 110, you should be able to see them in the ‘Performance’ tab in Chrome’s settings. If you’re on a desktop PC, the Energy Saver feature will be hidden.
If you can’t find the new features, type the following into the address bar of Chrome, and make sure they are set to “Enabled”:
We’re always pleased to see Google improve Chrome. Due to it being so dominant in the web browser market, there’s always the worry that Google could get complacent, and not feel to concerned about addressing people’s complaints with Chrome.
However, while Chrome remains the most-used browser, Google still needs to be careful. Microsoft’s Edge browser is slowly but surely gaining market share thanks to its switch to the same Chromium engine that Chrome uses, which makes switching to the browser a lot easier, and the highly-publicized inclusion of the ChatGPT AI chatbot.
Chrome’s propensity for hogging RAM has also started to affect its reputation, so Google is right to address it. Time will tell if these new features help.
Chrome users on Windows PCs, Chromebooks, Macs and MacBooks will be able to use these features, but there’s no news about when or if these features will come to Andoid and iOS.