How to reduce Chrome memory usage & make it use less memory

Why is Chrome draining your battery

Chrome uses a massive amount of RAM to allow you to browse in seamless continuity. From watching Youtube videos, browsing over multiple open tabs, not to mention running all the extensions and apps installed, a lot is going on for this power-hungry browser. All of this extensive CPU and RAM usage means one thing: bye, bye battery life.  So what exactly is happening when Chrome gets slow?

  • The ongoing data exchange in the background

  • Active tabs

  • Extensions you may not be aware of

  • Other background apps feeding off your RAM

  • Chrome has been running for too long without quitting

The good news is, there are lots of ways we can improve this pesky problem and improve Chrome taking up memory.

Quick Tip: CleanMyMac X, a popular Mac tune-up app, includes a tool that frees up RAM automatically. It should help when your browser lacks fresh memory. This app is free to download and you can disable lots of things that secretly run in the background of your macOS. 

Few ideas to speed up your Chrome

Smart restartRestart your Chrome if it has been running continuously for a long time. Paste in the following command to the address line:Paste in: chrome://restartApplying this command refreshes Chrome while keeping your tabs intact. Tip: Add this as a browser bookmark when you need to speed up your Chrome in one click.Disable hardware acceleration

Although it sounds counterintuitive, disabling the acceleration will noticeably make your Chrome load faster. To open the said setting, go to:

  • Click the 3-dot icon (Settings).
  • Click Settings > Advanced > System
  • Slide the toggle left.

Clean up system junk on your Mac

Clean up system junk on your Mac

Your browsing data builds up and causes Chrome to slow down over time. Unknowingly your system can get clogged up with unwanted junk like temporary files, broken items, and cache. 

Giving these items a regular clean is a guaranteed way to improve system performance. You can easily manage your system junk with a tool called CleanMyMac X. It has a nice instrument that specifically searches for outdated system files and massive cache folders. You should expect a bit better browsing experience.

This app has a free version you can download. It’s also notarized by Apple.After you’ve installed the program, click the System Junk tab in the sidebar. It’s right at the top.

Fix 5. Update Google Chrome to the Latest Version

Outdated versions of Google Chrome have bugs and glitches that can cause the browser to perform poorly and consume too much memory at runtime. Check to make sure Google Chrome is updated to the latest version, and if it isn’t, update it by taking ways below.

Step 1. Open Chrome. Click on the three dots in the upper right corner. Choose Settings.

Step 2. Click “About Chrome” on the left panel.

Step 3. Check the version of your Google Chrome. See if it is up to date or any updates are pending to be installed.

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How to optimize chrome memory usage?

There are a lot of ways you can fix this, some are usage tweaks and there are also dozens of third-party extensions out there that may optimize Chrome’s RAM consumption. So here’s what you can do to free up that precious high-speed memory from the grasps of Chrome.

# Discover detached DOM tree memory leaks with Heap Snapshots

A DOM node can only be garbage collected when there are no references to it from either the page’s DOM tree or JavaScript code. A node is said to be “detached” when it’s removed from the DOM tree but some JavaScript still references it. Detached DOM nodes are a common cause of memory leaks. This section teaches you how to use DevTools’ heap profilers to identify detached nodes.

Here’s a simple example of detached DOM nodes.

Clicking the button referenced in the code creates a ul node with ten li children. These nodes are referenced by the code but do not exist in the DOM tree, so they’re detached.

Heap snapshots are one way to identify detached nodes. As the name implies, heap snapshots show you how memory is distributed among your page’s JS objects and DOM nodes at the point of time of the snapshot.

To create a snapshot, open DevTools and go to the Profiles panel, select the Take Heap Snapshot radio button, and then press the Take Snapshot button.

The snapshot may take some time to process and loa

The snapshot may take some time to process and load. Once it’s finished, select it from the lefthand panel (named HEAP SNAPSHOTS).

Type Detached in the Class filter textbox to search for detached DOM trees.

Expand the carats to investigate a detached tree.

Expand the carats to investigate a detached tree.

Nodes highlighted yellow have direct references to

Nodes highlighted yellow have direct references to them from the JavaScript code. Nodes highlighted red do not have direct references. They are only alive because they are part of the yellow node’s tree. In general, you want to focus on the yellow nodes. Fix your code so that the yellow node isn’t alive for longer than it needs to be, and you also get rid of the red nodes that are part of the yellow node’s tree.

Click on a yellow node to investigate it further. In the Objects pane you can see more information about the code that’s referencing it. For example, in the screenshot below you can see that the detachedTree variable is referencing the node. To fix this particular memory leak, you would study the code that uses detachedTree and ensure that it removes its reference to the node when it’s no longer needed.

Enable automatic tab discarding

Open up and search for automatic tab discarding. This will discard the tabs that you weren’t using much from the background when it detects that the amount of free memory has gone below a certain threshold. The tab will still stay in the browser but it will be suspended until you open it again upon which it’ll reload it from either the cache or network.

Chrome flags disappear and get added into settings or entirely discarded at each update, so for when this becomes obsolete or vanish, or you want more granular control over this, you can install this extension auto tab discard that serves pretty much the same purpose.

Fix 7. Monitor Chrome’s Task manager

Google Chrome has its own built-in Task Manager, just like Windows. You can use it to get a very detailed look at what’s running in Chrome. In general, you probably don’t need to terminate the Chrome process. If some processes are taking up memory, you can end them here.

Step 1. Start Chrome. Click the three dots in the upper right corner.

Step 2. Click “More Tools” > “Task Manager”. Or you can open it using the keyboard shortcut Shift+Esc.

Step 3. Simply select a task that you don't want t

Step 3. Simply select a task that you don’t want to run and click the “End process” button. Typically, it’s easier to simply close the tag. However, if tabs or extenders are hogging memory, you might just need to reboot to get back to normal.

Update Your Google Chrome

If you’re experiencing a Memory issue with Google Chrome, there’s a good chance that your outdated browser is the problem.

If you’re using an out-of-date browser, it can cause issues and somehow slow down your surfing. Check your computer every day for the latest update and install it if necessary.

Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.

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You might also want to read this:

# Monitor memory use in realtime with the Chrome Task Manager

Use the Chrome Task Manager as a starting point to your memory issue investigation. The Task Manager is a realtime monitor that tells you how much memory a page is currently using.

  1. Press Shift+Esc or go to the Chrome main menu and select More tools > Task manager to open the Task Manager.

    

Right-click on the table header of the Task Mana
  2. Right-click on the table header of the Task Manager and enable JavaScript memory.

These two columns tell you different things about how your page is using memory:

  • The Memory column represents native memory. DOM nodes are stored in native memory. If this value is increasing, DOM nodes are getting created.
  • The JavaScript Memory column represents the JS heap. This column contains two values. The value you’re interested in is the live number (the number in parentheses). The live number represents how much memory the reachable objects on your page are using. If this number is increasing, either new objects are being created, or the existing objects are growing.

Why does Chrome take so much memory?

To understand why Google Chrome takes up so much memory, you will need to take a look at how it functions. Chrome runs each tab as a separate new process. This is to make sure that you get a fast browsing experience along with high stability. So when you have multiple open tabs running in your browser, more processes need to be executed. This results in Chrome taking up a lot of memory.

In order to have faster speeds, Chrome retains much of the data across the tabs, thus requiring more memory. For example, Chrome keeps your inactive tabs running so that you can instantly have access to them as soon as you come back to the tab.

Also from a security viewpoint, since Chrome uses a separate process for each tab, any malicious attack on one tab won’t affect other tabs. 

Chrome is among the best browsers around thanks to its fast browsing speed, powerful performance, and reliable security. However, the very reasons mentioned above are what causes it to take up so much memory. Next, we'll look at the steps we can take to resolve this issue.

6 Methods to Reduce Chrome Memory Leaks

There are some tricks that can limit Chrome memory usage. The tips that I will discuss here work on Windows 7, 8/8.1, and 10. 

1. Update Chrome

Many bugs and issues get fixed when we update a software/browse. In addition many features will be added to improve user experience.

In Computer, Google Chrome is automatically updated when your PC is connected to an Internet connection. To check whether your Chrome is updated or not, go to Menu >> Help and click on the About Google Chrome.

In case you have a problem in updating Chrome then you can manually update it from here. 

2. Remove Extensions to Reduce Chrome Memory Usage

Just like your PC has a task manager, you’ll find a task manager inside Chrome. You can find Chrome’s task manager if you go to Menu >> More tools and click on Task Manager. Or press the ‘Shift + Esc’ key on the keyboard.  

You can see there are processes and extensions running on the background and taking memory. You can check the memory footprint of each process and extensions. So, if your Google Chrome has tons of extensions and apps running then Chrome consumes so much memory.

Now you have the idea that these extensions are taking memory. So go to Menu >> More tools and click on Extensions. You have to disable or completely remove the extensions which you are not using. 

Most of the extensions may be running in the background even if you are not using them so it is beneficial to disable these extensions until you need them. Disabling and enabling only when needed willfix Chrome memory leak. 

Now when you again look at Chrome’s task manager, there you will not see those extensions running.

3. Enable GPU Acceleration

Another smart way to make chrome faster is by enabling GPU acceleration. GPU in chrome is used only when chrome is displaying GPU-accelerated content. GPU takes less power than CPU.  So,  if you enable GPU or hardware acceleration, chrome may run more effectively. 

First, type ‘chrome://gpu’ on the address bar and hit enter. 

Under the Graphics Feature Status, make sure most of the features are hard accelerated. This way Chrome will use hardware acceleration to execute your processes faster. 

If you don’t find acceleration enabled then you can enable it by going to Menu >> Settings >> Advanced and toggle on the ‘use hardware acceleration when available’ option. 

4. Release the Memory from Idle tab

Earlier you read, installing more extensions makes chrome use more memory. But there are some extensions specially built to manage RAM.

If you are working on many tabs then these extensions will help you to release the memory from the idle tab. In most of the cases you may not use all tabs at the same time, extension will find which tab is idle from a long time and then suspend such tabs to release the memory.

The Great Suspender is the best Chrome extension to suspend processes on all but one tab, instantly reducing how much memory Chrome is consuming.

Features:

  • suspend opened tabs by schedule or with a single click to save memory
  • restore tab all at one or only one needed
  • create group of tabs and save it for then using  
  • suspend and restore the selected tab or all at once

5. Stop Chrome from running in the background

Even if you close Chrome, the processes are still running in the background and consuming some memory. You can see how many processes are running in the background in Windows task manager.

To stop Chrome from running in the background, go to Menu >> Settings >> Advanced and turn off the ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed’ option under the system section.

Now open task manager, there you will not see any kind of Google Chrome’s processes running in the background.

6. Delete Google Chrome Junk

If you are using Google Chrome on your PC for a long time without any clean up then it acquires junk and makes you feel that Chrome is responding slow.

To clean up the junk from Google Chrome, first open the ‘Run’ dialog box by pressing ‘Windows Icon + R’ key and then enter ‘%appdata%’. 

Now jump back to AppData folder, and go to Local folder to find the Google folder inside.

Open the Chrome folder >> User Data >> Default. Default folder contains all of your Google Chrome data such as extensions, gmail id/password and history. 

Note: Deleting the Default folder will remove all of your data, so do this at your own risk. 

To rename or delete the folder, first of all kill every Chrome process running in the background using Windows task manager.

After deleting the folder, you’ll see a fresh Chrome running on your PC. 

Conclusion:

Remove the unnecessary extensions and disable the extension when not in use. Close the tabs if not needed. Close the Chrome completely to stop chrome from using RAM in the background. All the tricks that we discussed here are very helpful to fix Chrome memory leaks and reduce Chrome memory usage.

Check out our another article on How To Fix Err_Empty_Response Error In Chrome.

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