Chrome Gets Performance Boost

John Lister's picture

Chrome users will soon have two new modes that could significantly increase performance and battery life. The Energy Saver and Energy Saver modes are the first major changes since users of Windows 8 and earlier editions lost access to Chrome updates.

While Google probably won't acknowledge things quite so bluntly, the new modes are an attempt to solve one of the most frequent complaints about the widely used browser. Many users find having too many tabs open at once means Chrome quickly starts using a lot of system memory. This can slow performance and even increase battery use on laptops. (Source:

Chrome does already have a feature to put open tabs into groups and "collapse" the group to temporary freeze any activity, meaning they stop using resources. However, not everyone know about this, not everyone who does finds it easy to use, and it doesn't always make as much difference as people might hope.

Background Tabs Go To Sleep

The new settings will appear once users of Chrome version 110 get the latest update. They will be set to run by default, though users can switch them off or change how they work through the "Performance" section of the Chrome settings menu.

Memory Saver works by putting an inactive tab to sleep. This could mean, for example, that dynamic ads stop loading in the background. The idea is that the tab reawakens whenever the user switches back to it. A similar feature is already built into Microsoft's Edge browser.

Smooth Scrolling Disabled

Energy Saver goes a step further by limiting all background activity. It also turns off some visual effects such as one that makes the page appear to scroll more smoothly. The mode may also reduce the frame rate on videos.

As these are all a compromise, it's a balancing act of when to have the mode switched on. The default is that it only activates on mobile devices where the battery level is below 20 percent. Users can also choose to have the mode run whenever the device is unplugged, or to switch the mode off completely. (Source:

What's Your Opinion?

Do you find Chrome uses too much memory? Have you had the update and if so, have you noticed a difference? Is a drop in visual appeal worth trading for longer battery life?

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Average: 5 (3 votes)


buzzallnight's picture

you should not need more than 3 or 4.

Plug it into the wall or you car.

Focused100's picture

I have a lot open.
I think Chrome should do all it can to minimize battery draw.
Edge works fine when tabs are asleep. As soon as you click on a tab it wakes up immediately.
It's not brain surgery. Should be easy to implement.

Unrecognised's picture

Firefox has the same issue. Checking now, with 23 tabs open (in taskman 35 instances), a pretty modest number for me, the memory usage is hovering around 1600MB

I use tabs like a to-do list. The fact they're there waiting reminds me constantly, and I'm constantly re-jigging the list as new stuff comes in/up.

Tree-style tabs with a tab or two per topic and child tabs for the many sites I'm visiting to research a thing, is convenient. In Android- Brave or DDG browsers, this same situation uses next to no resources.

I hate logging in, especially multi-step; teeeedium. So I like keeping a few pages up that I regularly use, e.g. web hosting. Hopefully the solution can keep some essential connections alive while the pages are open, but shut down everything else, especially nearly all the third-party crap.