The app that is draining your laptop battery

June 08, 2016

Google’s Chrome browser is a notorious resource hog. It eats up a lot of memory and can kill your laptop’s battery very quickly. Google are making improvements so that Chrome uses less memory and power, but in the mean time it is still ruining your user experience.

Here are 3 ways to improve Chrome’s glutenous approach to system resources:

1. Identify and eradicate offending tabs and extensions

The more tabs and extensions you have running in Chrome, the more resources it consumes. Before you start closing tabs all willy nilly, take a look at Chrome’s built-in task manager to see which tabs are using the most CPU and memory resources. It also shows how much Chrome uses as a whole, as well as as any extensions you have running.

The small Task Manager window shows fluctuating percentages for each open tab and extension you have running in terms of CPU and memory usage. Highlight a tab or an extension and click the End Process to kill any egregious resource hog and reclaim some CPU and memory overhead.

To open Chrome’s Task Manager, click the hamburger button to the right of Chrome’s URL bar. Next, choose More Tools and then Task Manager.

 

Google Chrome Task Manager

2. Experiment with hardware acceleration

Buried in Chrome’s settings is a way to enable hardware acceleration, which may or may not improve Chrome’s performance on your computer. Hardware acceleration allows the CPU to offload some page-rendering and -loading tasks to your system’s GPU. There’s some debate on whether hardware acceleration helps or harms performance. I don’t find it does much of anything, but perhaps it’ll help your system run Chrome more effectively. Plus, it’s worth investigating to see if you have hardware acceleration enabled or not.

To find the setting, click the hamburger button to the right of Chrome’s URL bar and click Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the Settings page and click Show advanced settings. Scroll down to the System section and check (or uncheck) the box for Use hardware acceleration when available. Restart Chrome.

3. Reset

Most simple of all, you can always reset Chrome and return the browser to its default settings. Resetting Chrome doesn’t wipe everything out; your bookmarks, browsing history and saved passwords are not reset. What you will lose in resetting Chrome is your start page, new tab page, pinned tabs and default search engine (if it’s not Google).

The Reset button is directly below the hardware acceleration setting on the advanced settings page. Click the Reset settings button and then click Reset to confirm your intention.

Chrome reset browser settings

Thank you to CNet!

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