Google Chrome may be the most popular web browser in the world, but it’s far from perfect, especially when it comes to consuming system memory. However, with Chrome 110 now rolling out to desktop users, all of that will hopefully change.
If you use Chrome to browse the web – and given its immense popularity, it’s very likely that – you may have noticed that after a while it starts taking up a lot of your computer’s RAM – especially if you have a lot of tabs open at once.
This can affect the performance of the device, and if you are using a laptop, it can also mean the battery drains faster.
How Android police reports (opens in a new tab), a memory saving feature that was first revealed in December 2022, is included in the latest Chrome update. It works by identifying unused tabs and removing them from memory – effectively “setting aside” tabs until you click on an inactive tab, which will then wake it up and reload it.
If there are certain sites that you never want to be classified as inactive, even if you are not currently on the tab itself, you can add them to the list which will always keep them active. This is useful if you pause a YouTube video, go to another tab, and then return to the YouTube tab. By preventing it from going to sleep and then reloading, you won’t lose your space.
There is also another feature called Energy Saver. This limits background activity and reduces visual effects such as smooth scrolling or website animations, and may also reduce video frame rates. This can help extend the battery life of the laptop or Chromebook you’re using Chrome on.
Since this feature can make a big difference to your overall web browsing experience, you don’t want it on all the time (or not at all if you’re using a desktop computer). The good news is that you can choose to have the power saver turn on only when the battery is below 20% or only when the laptop is disconnected.
Don’t be complacent, Google
These fixes are greatly appreciated. After upgrading to Chrome 110, you should be able to see them in the “Performance” tab in Chrome settings. If you are using a desktop computer, the energy saving feature will be hidden.
If you can’t find the new features, type the following in the address bar of Chrome and make sure they are set to “Enabled”:
We’re always happy to see Google improve Chrome. Due to it being so dominant in the web browser market, there’s always the fear that Google might get complacent and not worry about handling people’s complaints with Chrome.
However, while Chrome remains the most used browser, Google still needs to be careful. The Microsoft Edge browser is slowly but surely gaining market share thanks to the move to the same Chromium engine that Chrome uses, making the transition to the browser much easier, as well as the much-publicized inclusion of the ChatGPT AI chatbot.
Chrome’s propensity to devour RAM has also begun to affect its reputation, so Google is rightly taking care of it. Time will tell if these new features will help.
Chrome users on Windows PCs, Chromebooks, Macs, and MacBooks will be able to take advantage of these features, but it’s unclear when or if these features will come to Android and iOS.