How to reduce Google Chrome’s memory usage and free up RAM
Why does it always feel like Chrome is using too much memory? The internet has changed in recent years. Desktop-only apps now run in the browser, but it comes at a cost. Modern browsers use a lot of RAM, and Chrome is one of the worst offenders.
With a little effort, you can do a lot to limit Chrome’s memory usage. If your browser is always running slow, this article will help you reduce Chrome’s memory usage and free up RAM.
Find out how much RAM Chrome is using
There are two ways to determine how much RAM Chrome is using. You can see your overall Chrome usage in the Windows Task Manager.
If you want to go deeper and understand how much RAM each site, extension or plugin is using, you can choose Chrome Task Manager. You can find the Chrome Task Manager by clicking the three dots in the upper-right corner of the browser, then clicking on Other Tools > Task Manager.
Using several extensions and settings, you can make Chrome use less memory without opening the task manager and deleting sites.
1. Temporarily close tabs
With the Chrome extension TooManyTabsyou can choose exactly which tabs to close temporarily. Use the extension to close tabs and reopen them in the same place so you can easily pick up where you left off. This feature is useful for limiting the amount of RAM that Chrome uses, while allowing you to focus with fewer open tabs.
After installing TooManyTabs, click the expand button to display a list of all your open tabs. To stop a tab, click the small yellow arrow next to the tab in question. To restore it, click the yellow icon in the list of suspended tabs and it will reopen.
If you have two Chrome windows with multiple tabs each, clicking the TooManyTabs button will give you access to only the tabs in the window you’re viewing. You can also enable Chrome’s native clean tabs feature, which will run in every open window.
Download: TooManyTabs (Free)
2. Stop All Tabs
with The Great Garter you can stop all tabs except one. Go to the tab you want to continue working on, press the “Stop” button. Big Pendant and select Stop all other tabs. Note that the extension can be a bit temperamental and you may need to double-click the button to stop all tabs.
The Big Hanger gives you quite a bit of control over how the icons hang. You can whitelist specific sites. If you need your email inbox to always open in a browser, The Great Suspender is a good choice. To reload a suspended tab, click anywhere in the window.
If you want to stop all tabs, OneTab is a better option. This extension minimizes all the tabs you open without exception. Moves all tabs into a single list. Then with one click you can restore all tabs, restore some tabs or close them all permanently.
Download: Big Garter (Free)
Download: OneTab (Free)
3. Let Chrome choose for you
If you prefer to leave this task to Chrome, TabMemFree automatically terminates inactive tabs. Right-click an icon to customize its settings TabMemFree and select Options. You can set how long inactive tabs will be suspended, with a minimum of 15 minutes. You can also tell it to ignore pinned icons.
Tab Wrangler if you’re looking for a little more control, here’s another plugin that automatically suspends inactive tabs. Like TabMemFree, you can define how long a tab is considered inactive and set it to ignore pinned tabs, but you have the option to lock additional tabs and sync your tab settings between different computers.
Download: TabMemFree (Free)
Download: Tab Wrangler (Free)
4. Enable Hardware Acceleration
Another solution to prevent Chrome from using too much memory is to enable hardware acceleration. In this way, Chrome reassigns graphics-intensive tasks like playing videos or games from the CPU to the GPU.
How to enable hardware acceleration in Chrome:
- to go chrome://settings.
- of System activate the section Use hardware acceleration when available choice.
- Restart Chrome.
Sometimes hardware acceleration can negatively affect Chrome. So, after launching it, monitor the performance of your browser. If you find that Chrome keeps freezing or crashing, it’s best to disable hardware acceleration and try another solution from the list.
5. Text and Reading Expanders
Some websites can slow down your computer. Instead of letting these sites take over your browser and computer, you can remove a lot of content that is hogging your RAM and slowing you down.
Chromium extension Text modeAs the name suggests, this mode loads all web pages in text-only mode. Removes all images, videos and flash elements. It also means it gets rid of some ads and embedded content. Click the icon extension to enable text mode on the site.
A gray box will appear where the image was. Text mode also removes any color from the screen, making it much easier on the eyes. If you continue to browse other sites in the same tab with text mode enabled, it will continue to remove images and additional elements from those sites. The extension does not remove items from YouTube.
If you prefer to continue displaying images but still want to remove Flash and ads, you can select Read mode. When you open the page you want to delete in reading mode, click the expand button at the top right.
Download: Text mode (free)
6. Control of background programs
You might think that simply closing Chrome and switching to another browser will solve the problem of high memory usage. However, Chrome has the ability to run apps in the background even if you close the browser. How to solve this problem:
- Open Chrome’s Settings menu.
- Go to section System division.
- Disable the button next to it Apps continue to run in the background when Google Chrome is closed.
- Close Chrome, open Task Manager and check if you are still experiencing high memory usage by Chrome.
Some plugins and add-ons available for Chrome can increase memory usage. Take a look at your plugins and extensions and get rid of anything you deem unnecessary.
We can recommend a few extensions that can help reduce Chrome’s memory usage, but remember that overdoing it can slow down your computer, so it’s worth cleaning up your Chrome extensions.
Stop chrome://extensions Browse through your extensions in the address bar and remove any you don’t use regularly.
A great way to find out if you need these extensions is to disable them instead of uninstalling them. After a month, check the list of extensions again, and if you don’t need to reactivate any of these extensions, you can remove them via Chrome’s Extension Manager.
8. Reset Chrome
If Chrome is still taking up too much of your memory resources, you can try resetting the browser. This will clear pinned tabs, browser cookies and cache.
Follow the steps to reset Chrome to default settings:
- Click on the icon three points in the upper right corner and go Parameters.
- to go Reset and clean.
- Click Restore default settings.
- Confirm the action.
When you reset your browser, Chrome saves your bookmarks and saved password. But if you decide to reinstall Chrome, you need to export your bookmarks so you don’t lose them.
Google Chrome memory usage is limited and reduced
As we can see, there are many ways to fix high memory usage of Chrome. You can adjust your browser settings and install some extensions to make Chrome use less memory. If you’ve installed a lot of extensions and experimented with Chrome flags, it might be easier to reset your browser to default settings or even uninstall it if you want a fresh start.
But if you’re tired of Chrome’s high memory usage, you can switch to a browser that won’t hog your system resources as much.