How To Reduce Chrome Memory Usage

Do you want to know how to reduce Chrome memory usage? We all know that the Chrome browser has a high memory usage allowing it to run smoothly. You can however reduce memory usage by closing unused tabs, checking for malware or even removing extensions.

Google Chrome is a web browser first released in 2008 by Google. It is based on the open source Chromium project which is also developed and maintained by Google. What makes Chrome popular today is its sandboxing approach when opening websites which makes the browser more secure. Each website has its own process so that any malicious code present in it won’t affect other tabs or your computer. Today, the Google Chrome desktop browser has a 77 percent market share edging out its nearest rival which is Safari standing at nearly 9 percent.

How do I make Chrome use less memory?

How do I make Chrome use less memory?

A lot of people are using the Google Chrome browser because it’s fast, more secure, and generally more reliable than other alternatives. It also works best with several of Google’s services such as Google Docs, Gmail, YouTube, and more.

One of the downsides of using the Chrome browser is that it has a high memory usage. Your computer should have a lot of system RAM if you want to have multiple open tabs since it has a site isolation feature.

Sometimes, even when your computer has so much RAM the browser performance might still slow down. In order to manage your computer memory you will need to reduce Chrome memory usage.

Here are some of the effective ways to reduce Chrome’s memory usage.

Solution 1: Close unused tabs

One of the best and fastest ways to reduce Chrome memory usage is to close unused tabs. If you have more than a dozen tabs open and are only working on a few of those then you should consider closing the other tabs as they are just increasing the Google Chrome memory usage. Closing tabs will free up RAM thus making the browser perform better.

Solution 2: Check memory usage using the Chrome Task Manager

One way to find out Chrome’s memory usage on a particular process is by opening the Chrome task manager. You can check which site or extension has the most RAM usage and depending if it is important or not you can end the process.

Using Chrome Task Manager

Open Google Chrome browser.

Click on the Menu icon found on the top right corner.

Click More Tools.

Click on Task Manager.

Alternatively you can press the keyboard shortcut Shift + Esc to open the Task Manager

With the Task Manager window open find out what process has a high RAM usage and end this process if you are not using it.

Solution 3: Use a Chrome extension to manage the open tabs

If you don’t want to keep on manually closing tabs when they are not needed anymore then you can use some of the Chrome extensions that can manage your open tabs. There are some extensions that can freeze a tab that you haven’t used for a certain amount of time. This is one of the effective ways to manage Chrome’s memory usage.

Solution 4: Remove unwanted extensions

Although Chrome extensions can provide more features to the browser they can also affect your memory and CPU usage. If you are experiencing a high memory usage and you have a lot of extensions installed and enabled then you should consider uninstalling the extensions which you are not using.

Removing Chrome extensions

Open Google Chrome browser.

Click on the Menu icon found on the top right corner.

Click More Tools.

Click on Extensions.

Remove every Chrome Extension that you are not using.

Solution 5: Enable Hardware acceleration

If one of the tabs open on your Chrome browser is rendering graphics heavy tasks such as when you are playing a browser game then you should try to enable hardware acceleration. This reduces the load to your CPU and uses the GPU.

Turn on hardware acceleration

Open Google Chrome browser.

Click on the Menu icon found on the top right corner.

Click on Settings.

Click on System.

Turn on the switch for Hardware acceleration.

Solution 6: Run the malware scanner

One of the main causes of the browser using so much memory if there is malware present in your system. This harmful software often makes its way to your computer from certain websites or files that you downloaded from the internet.

There’s a possibility that the high RAM usage is caused by a malware running in your system. The Chrome browser has a built-in malware scanner which can help detect and clean any threats found on your system.

Using the malware scanner to reduce high memory usage

Open the Chrome browser.

Click on the Menu icon found on the top right corner.

Click on Settings.

Click on Reset and clean up.

Click clean up computer.

Click the Find button of Find harmful software.

Once the scan is complete and the malware has been removed your Chrome performance levels will increase.

Solution 7: Clear browser cache

There’s a possibility that the RAM usage is high because there is a lot of browser cache data stored. Chrome will usually save data of the websites you commonly visit so as to load them faster the next time you open them. While this feature can reduce the loading time of a website it can also sometimes use so much memory. In order to reduce high memory usage you need to clear the cache of the browser.

Chrome clear cache

Open Chrome.

At the top right, click More

Click More tools then Clear browsing data.

At the top, choose a time range. To delete everything, select All time.

Next to “Cookies and other site data” and “Cached images and files,” check the boxes.

Click Clear data.

Solution 8: Stop background apps

Background apps are apps that run in the background even when the Chrome browser is closed. This is a great feature if you want certain tasks to continue even when the browser is closed. This can however use up a considerable amount of RAM which is why it is a good idea to turn this feature off.

Run background apps

Open Chrome.

At the top right, click More

Click Settings.

Click System.

Turn off the switch for Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed.

Solution 9: Reset settings of Chrome

If you have been using the Chrome browser for a long time now then it will usually save a lot of data already. You should try to restore Chrome default settings so that it will work just like when it was newly installed.

Restore Chrome to factory settings

Open Chrome.

At the top right, click More

Click Settings.

Click Reset and clean up.

Click Restore settings to their original defaults.

Click Reset settings.

Performing this step will disable unwanted apps, offload unused Chrome settings and revert them to their original state.

Solution 10: Reinstall Google Chrome

In case the above troubleshooting steps fails to fix the problem then you should consider uninstalling the Chrome browser then download and install a fresh version.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why are my Chrome web pages loading so slow?

    This could be due to lack of RAM to render the web pages. Try to restart Google Chrome then open the web page and check if the issue still occurs.

  2. How do I close all the tabs open at the same time on Chrome?

    You can close all the tabs at the same time by pressing the exit button of the browser. You an also restart Google Chrome so that it will open back to the default home screen.

  3. How do I update my Chrome browser?

    You can get the latest update by clicking on More then on go to help and About Chrome. The browser will automatically check if an update is available. If an update is available then proceed with its download and installation.

  4. How much RAM does Chrome use?

    With 10 tabs open the Chrome browser will usually use up to 952MB of RAM.

  5. Why does Chrome use up too much RAM?

    Chrome uses up too much RAM because it allocates a process to each website opened. This allows it to isolate the particular site so that it won't affect your system.

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Chad Buenaflor

Chad has been in the tech industry since 2000. He has a degree in Electronics Engineering and is interested in the hardware and software side of technology. Initially working for a Japanese semiconductor company as a Test Engineer for nearly 10 years, he then pursued his passion for internet technology by working for the support team of Time Warner Cable then finally joining TheDroidGuy as one of their troubleshooting and tech writers. On his free time he plays his favorite games on his PC, Xbox Series X, and Android phone.

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