Google today announced two new performance settings in its Chrome browser: Memory Saver and Energy Saver.
Modern browsers eat up a lot of memory, and while that’s not a problem if you have 32GB of RAM, Chrome using multiple gigabytes of your memory can quickly slow your machine down if you’re on a machine with lower specs. The Memory Saver mode promises to reduce Chrome’s memory usage by up to 30% by putting inactive tabs to sleep. The tabs will simply reload when you need them again. The Energy Saver mode, meanwhile, limits background activity and visual effects for sites with animations and videos when your laptop’s battery level drops below 20%.
The features are now rolling out with the release of Chrome 108 and will be available globally for Windows, macOS and ChromeOS in the coming weeks. You can exempt individual sites from going to sleep or, of course, turn these features off completely.
Google’s announcement comes a day after Microsoft announced that its Edge Browser put 1.38 billion tabs to sleep in September alone. According to Microsoft, sleeping a tab in Edge typically saves 83% of the memory it would normally occupy. The company rolled out its version of these features, which can automatically put tabs to sleep after five minutes of inactivity (and can bring this down all the way to 30 seconds of inactivity), a couple of years ago and then once again improved it with the release of Edge 100 earlier this year. Edge also features a gaming mode, which can automatically reduce CPU usage when it detects that you are playing a game on your PC.