You Can Now Turn Off Media Caching To Address Chrome’s Battery Drainage Issue

The popularity of Google Chrome can not be understated. Today more than 60 percent users are using the browser. However, the popularity of Chrome does not mean that it is the best browser for your system as well. Many people think that it is the most power-hungry browser that affects your battery life.

Interestingly, Microsoft and Apple have played a vital role in provoking this thought. Both companies have been involved in launching advertisement campaigns against Google Chrome in this regard. Although there are many reports that reject this theory. Still, this thing affected the reputation of the browser.

If you feel like you are also affected by the same problem, Microsoft has finally decided (via Techdows) to address the battery drain issue. The company intends to improve the battery life of Chromium browsers. Microsoft has made some important contributions to the Chromium project quiet recently.

A Microsoft’s engineer, Shawn Picket came up with a technical explanation of this problem in a bug report.

The current behavior is that the media content is added to the general HTTP cache during acquisition and playback. This has a negative impact on battery life as keeping the disk active increases power consumption in general, and can also prevent certain lower-power modes from being engaged in the operation system. The proposal is to prevent streaming media content from being cached to disk where possible.

Shawn presented an idea to improve battery life by preventing unnecessary media caching in a recent commit. We all know that our browser stores the content in the disk cache when we open a web page that has some media content. Our system eventually ends up consuming more power during this entire process. The idea behind the latest change is basically to limit the storage of certain type of media content on the disk cache. Here is how Shawn describes the concept:

Since media consumption is a high-usage scenario, this extra power usage has a negative impact on battery life. This change will prevent the caching of certain media content to disk for the purpose of improving device battery life for users.

It is worth mentioning that, this feature is already available in Chrome Canary. You need to turn on an experimental flag named Turn off caching of streaming media to disk to enable the functionality on your system.

How To Turn Off Media Caching In Google Chrome?

As mentioned earlier this feature is currently available in Chrome Canary version. You need to download the latest version 78.0.3885.0 to enable this feature.

  1. Launch Chrome Canary browser and type chrome://flags in the address bar.
  2. Go to the search box and type media caching to find the flag.
    Enable Turn off caching of streaming media to disk
    Credits: Techdows
  3. Use the drop-down menu available besides the flag Turn off caching of streaming media to disk to enable it.

The new flag is currently available for all platforms including Windows, Android, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux.

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.