Chrome Is Testing A New Feature To Reduce Your Memory Consumption

Chrome is the preferred web browser that is used by millions of PC users. However, very few people know that Google Chrome chews up an excessive amount of system memory. Almost all of us like to open multiple tabs during a browsing session. You might be watching a YouTube video in one tab and reading something on another tab and playing a game on the third one and so on.

For those who don’t know, each new tab that you open in Chrome is opened in its own process. This thing prevents all of your tabs from crashing if one of them stops responding. Although this functionality might be helpful for you but increases memory consumption.You can open your task manager to check the number of Chrome processes.

Google Chrome To Automatically Freeze Unused Tabs

Have you ever thought about how many of those tabs are we using in reality? Many unused tabs are just sitting into your browser eventually increasing your memory consumption. Generally, all of unused tabs are automatically discarded by Google Chrome. This happens after a specific time duration when you are running out of memory.

It looks like Google is changing the way how this functionality works in the browser. The company is now experimenting a new flag (via techdows) named Tab Freeze that Enables freezing eligible tabs that have been backgrounded for 5 minutes. The flag is now available in Chrome 79 Canary for all platforms including Chrome OS, Linux, Mac and Windows.

This change is linked with a bug where the Chromium team describes the approach used to resolve this problem:

We are considering a priority boosting mechanism, whereby we instrument APIs that frames can use to communicate with each other or share resources.”

Steps To Enable Tab Freeze Feature In Chrome

Chrome 79 Canary users can enable the Tab Freeze feature by following these steps:

  1. Visit chrome://flags page and use the search box to find the Tab Freeze flag.
  2. You will see the dropdown menu beside the flag is set to Default.
    Enable Chrome Tab Freeze
    Source: techdows
  3. Here are some other options that you can choose:
  • Enabled: freezes tabs after 5 mins of inactivity
  • Enabled Freeze – No Unfreeze: disables unfreeze option for frozen tabs
  • Enabled Freeze – Unfreeze 10 seconds every 15 minutes: unfreezes frozen tabs for 10 secs after a duration of 15 mins
  • Disable: disables the flag

Once the feature is enabled, you can manage your frozen tabs by visiting chrome://discards page. This page lists all of your tabs either they are active or inactive along with their details. The discards page further allows you to take necessary actions for each individual tab.

As mentioned before, this feature is currently in the testing process. If everything goes well, it should be available for production devices very soon.


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Alex Schoff


Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.
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