Google Chrome gets memory and energy saver modes

Google has announced plans to build on its dedication to optimize Chrome “for speed” with a set of updates that are set to reduce memory usage by up to 40% and 10GB.

A new Memory Saver mode promises to free up memory from browser tabs that are open in the background but not being used, which the company claims will make browsing the active tab more smooth. 

This is a caveat though: because inactive tabs will then be reloaded when they’re accessed again, Memory Saver mode may not be suitable for sites that need to remain active in the background.

Google Chrome battery life

There’s also a new Energy Saver mode that will detect when a device’s battery level reaches 20%, at which point background activity and visual effects like animations and videos will be limited, helping to eke out as many extra minutes as possible.

The new settings, which are expected to provide significant benefits to low-powered computers and laptops that are running low on battery, can be toggled on and off in the three-dot menu of the browser when they roll out “over the next several weeks” to Chrome users on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS.

Google isn’t the only company looking to improve performance and battery life with its browser, though. Microsoft has had its so-called Sleeping Tabs for several months now, which promise to reduce memory usage by 85% and CPU usage by a whopping 99%.

Chrome accounts for two-thirds (66%) of all desktop browser installs according to the latest Statcounter figures, with Edge trailing far behind at 11%. Safari, which makes up less than 10% of the market, is also designed to work optimally on Apple’s own hardware.

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