Tame Chrome’s RAM gluttony. Google’s ongoing efforts to develop Chrome certainly do not go unnoticed, given that it is the most popular web browser in the world by a large margin, across multiple platforms. However, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect, and while the new Chrome 107 release includes improvements like support for HEVC hardware decoding in videos and lays the groundwork for streamlined login experiences in the future, long-standing issues like the notorious RAM hog persist.
Now, there’s finally some great progress to do something about it in the development channels, as Chrome works on new tools to snooze inactive tabs and free up system resources for other apps.
Earlier this month, Redditor u/Leopeva64-2 discovered a new Performance page in the Settings menu (chrome://settings/performance) in the latest Canary version of Chrome, that has toggles for memory saver mode and power saver (via Chrome Unboxed ). The former will hibernate tabs you haven’t touched in a while, freeing up valuable RAM. When the memory saver is active, you will see a needle scale icon on the right side of the title bar.
You’ll see a popup when you revisit a suspended tab, revealing how much RAM has been freed up for other tasks. You can turn the memory saver on or off and set exceptions for websites that should never hang, like YouTube if you use it for ambient music, or to track live game scores. This feature can be a boon for some of the best Chromebooks who are stuck with limited RAM, or even older computers.
Battery Saver, on the other hand, disables the high refresh rate (smooth scrolling) and visual effects features and limits background activity when extending your device’s battery life is critical. For now, these changes only appear on Chrome Canary, but Google seems to have recognized the browser’s thirst for system resources. We hope this all comes to the stable channel soon and eventually becomes available on multiple platforms.