Why does Google Chrome use so much RAM? Here’s How to Fix It
But A quick look at your task manager will turn up a shocking number of memory-hogging Chrome processes if you are running a bunch of tabs.
I mean Google Chrome is absolutely one of the fastest browsers, but it needs a lot of RAM to take that title.
Why Does Google Chrome Use So Much RAM?
To understand why Chrome uses so much memory, you need to understand how most modern browsers operate, let me Put it simple for you
Chrome, Firefox, Opera, and Microsoft Edge all store every tab, plugin, and extension in a different RAM process. This process is called isolation and prevents one process from writing to another one.
You can see this when you open your Task Manager or Activity Monitor, Google Chrome displays multiple entries. If you look closely, you can see that each process only uses a small amount of RAM, but the load is very high when you add them up.
How Does Google Chrome Manage RAM?
Browsers like Chrome manage RAM this way to offer better stability and faster speeds. But Chrome still uses a lot of RAM. At least, in many cases, it appears to be using more RAM than other browsers. Here’s a short explanation as to how Chrome handles RAM.
The main reason for running each process separately is stability. By running each process separately, if one crashes, the entire browser remains stable. Sometimes, a plugin or extension will fail, requiring you to refresh the tab. If every tab and extension was run in the same process, you might have to restart the whole browser instead of a single tab.
The downside is that some processes that single-process browsers can share between tabs must be replicated for each tab in Chrome. Splitting into multiple processes comes with security benefits, too, similar to sandboxing or using a virtual machine.
Adding the amount of RAM usage in Chrome are plugins and extensions. Each plugin or extension you add to Google Chrome requires resources to run. The more extensions you have installed, the more RAM browser needs to run.
Pre-rendering is a notable example. Pre-rendering lets Chrome start loading up a webpage that it predicts you’ll go to next (it might be the top search result from Google or the “next page” link on a news site).
The pre-rendering process requires resources and so uses more RAM. But it also speeds up your browsing experience, especially for frequently visited sites.
The flip side is that if there is a bug with the pre-rendering process, it can use more RAM than you might expect, slowing down other areas of your computer or making the browser tab unresponsive.
How to Make browser Use Less RAM
There are several ways you can speed up your browsing experience and reduce the amount of RAM Chrome uses. The most important tool at your disposal is the Chrome Task Manager.
Similar to the Windows Task Manager, the Chrome Task Manager shows the performance and consumption of each tab and extension within the browser. You can use the Chrome Task Manager to figure out what is using the most memory, then close them to free up space.
Manage Plugins and Extensions to Save Chrome Memory
You can disable extensions that are using a lot of power. Alternatively, you can set them to activate only when using a specific site.
Right-click the extension and select Manage extensions. Change the “Allow this extension to read and change all your data on websites that you visit” to either On click or On specific sites.
If you have a lot of extensions that you use for different things, consider installing a quick extension manager. SimpleExtManager adds a small dropdown box alongside your extension tray. Then it is one click on and off for all extensions.
Install Chrome Tab Management Extensions to Reduce Memory Use
Installing more extensions to manage Chrome’s RAM use problems sounds counterintuitive, especially after all of the issues you just read about.
Some extensions are designed specifically with RAM management in mind, helping you customize how Chrome handles and discards tabs you are no longer using
for example TabMemFree | The Great Suspender
Play around with all of the above solutions to figure out which ones fit best into your workflow. Just know that you’ll probably have to make some sacrifices—whether that means closing tabs, uninstalling extensions, or buying a new laptop with more RAM is up to you.
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