Google Chrome’s latest version includes tools to address its memory hog problem

Google Chrome’s latest version includes tools to address its memory hog problem

An illustration. On the left, a representation of a computer chip is linked to a power gauge, while on the right, a leaf with a lightning bolt is connected to a seemingly drained battery.
Google Chrome’s Memory Saver and Energy Saver modes can extend battery when a device is low on power and reduce memory being hogged by tabs. | Image: Google

Google has released optimization features designed to improve battery life and memory usage on machines running the latest version of its Chrome desktop web browser. Chrome’s new Energy Saver and Memory Saver modes were first announced in December last year alongside the release of Chrome 108, and now as noted by Android Police, the two optimization utilities are starting to roll out globally onto Chrome 110 desktops for Mac, Windows, and Chromebooks.

Memory Saver mode essentially snoozes Chrome tabs that aren’t currently in use to free up RAM for more intensive tasks and create a smoother browsing experience. Don’t worry if you’re a tab hoarder though, as these inactive tabs are still visible and can be reloaded at any time to pick up where you left off. Your most used websites can also be marked as exempt from Memory Saver to ensure they’re always running at the maximum possible performance.

A gif showing Google Chrome’s new Memory saver mode in action. The gif zooms into the taskbar and provides an example text box.
Image: Google
Google claims Chrome’s Memory Saver mode can reduce a device’s memory usage by up to 40 percent.

Energy Saver mode similarly limits any unnecessary background website activity, such as visual effects like smooth scrolling on animations or videos. You can choose to have it kick in when a device running Chrome is reduced to 20 percent battery, or from the moment you unplug from a power source. Google hasn’t mentioned how much juice the feature might save though.

A gif of Google Chrome’s new Energy Saver mode. The gif zooms into a desktop taskbar on Chrome, showing a text box that says “Background activity and some visual effects like smooth scrolling, may be limited.”
Image: Google
Energy Saver mode starts limiting visual effects running in the background of websites when your device is at 20 percent battery.

Both Memory Saver and Energy Saver are enabled by default on devices running Chrome 110, and can be disabled at any time by heading into the Performance tab of your system settings.