why is chrome such a memory hog ?

What Chrome Uses All That RAM For

Web browsing has become more complex than people g

Web browsing has become more complex than people give it credit for. Think about it: When you’re using a computer, most of what you do takes place in your browser, from opening tabs to watching videos and using webapps or extensions that integrate with the rest of your machine. That’s a lot of stuff.

Chrome splits every tab, plugin and extension into its own process, so that if one thing crashes — like Flash — it doesn’t bring down the whole web page, or all your tabs at once. This can lead to higher memory (aka RAM) usage, since it has to duplicate some tasks for every tab. But it also makes things a lot more convenient.

There are other things going on behind the scenes, too. Chrome’s prerendering feature, for example, can cause higher memory usage, but it also means your web pages load faster. Certain extensions or web sites may also leak memory, which won’t get “cleaned up” when you’re done with it, causing higher RAM usage over time.

And, of course, the more tabs, extensions and plugins you have open, installed, and running, the more memory Chrome is going to use.

So yes, Chrome uses a lot of RAM, but it largely does so for a reason: your convenience. Most of us have become accustomed to lots of tabs and fast page loading, and the price we pay is measured in gigabytes of RAM. That’s not to say Chrome couldn’t use some memory optimisation — it probably could — but this is likely the future of web browsing.

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5 Fixes for Chrome Using Too Much Memory

There are two main solution routes you can use to fix your Chrome using too much memory. The first is to purchase more compatible memory sticks for your computer from your local computer store. To do this though, you will need to make sure that the RAM is compatible with your computer’s motherboard and you will need to know how to install it. While this is pretty easy to figure out, we’re going to outline the second route you can take with 5 fixes that you can directly use in conjunction with your browser.

1. Disable Unnecessary Extensions

One of the causes of memory spikes with Google Chrome are extensions. Not only can they increase memory draw for the browser because it requires additional resources to run the extensions, but extensions can also have memory leaks. One way to make sure that your extensions aren’t hogging up all your memory is to disable them. Here is how to do this.

  1. Start with a clean open of your Google Chrome browser.
  2. Click on the 3-dots in the upper right-hand corner.
  3. Hover over “more tools” and choose extensions.
  4. This will open up a list of extensions your browser has access too.
  5. Disable all of them by clicking on the disable slider.
  6. Restart the browser and take note of how much memory Chrome is now using. If it is less by a considerable amount, this could be the root of your problem.
You can go a step farther and re-enable your exten

You can go a step farther and re-enable your extensions one by one to see if one of them is using up more memory than others or has a memory leak. Only re-enable extensions that are absolutely necessary to keep RAM usage low on the extension side of things.

2. Enable Hardware Acceleration

If you have a dedicated graphics card installed in your computer (this is separate from Intel’s Integrated Graphics), you can use hardware acceleration to shift the processing load onto your dedicated GPU.

  1. Open up Google Chrome and click on the 3-dots in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Click on settings in the context menu.
  3. Scroll down and click on “advanced settings” to open up more options.
  4. Scroll until you see a section called “system”.
  5. Toggle on “use hardware acceleration when available”.

Restart your browser and see if the problem persists. Please keep in mind that this option should only be used if you have a dedicated graphics card installed. Problems could arise if you toggle this on with only integrated graphics.

3. Update Your Google Chrome

If you have an outdated version of Google Chrome, you could inadvertently be suffering through bugs or glitches that you are not aware of. These can cause stability problems and slow down your browsing experience. Check to make sure Google Chrome is updated to the latest version and if it isn’t, update it as soon as possible.

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the 3-dots in the upper right-hand corner.
  2. Hover over the “help” option in the menu and choose “about Google Chrome” from the new set of options.
  3. You will be redirected to a new window where you will be told whether you have the latest version or not. If you do not, Chrome should update automatically.
  4. Wait until the update is downloaded and then restart your browser to install it.
A relaunch is required to apply the changes, so ma

A relaunch is required to apply the changes, so make sure to do this.

4. End High Memory Footprint Processes

If you have too many tabs or windows open, these can eat up all of your memory. This is especially true if the tab you are using has ballooned in size due to poor configuration bugs, or memory leaks. You can see which tabs are taking up too much memory by using your built-in Task Manager.

  • On Windows: right-click your Start Bar and choose Task Manager from the list.
  • On Mac: head to the Window menu and choose Processes.

Once you have your Task Manager open, make sure you are on the processes tab and look for any in the list that say “Google Chrome”. Pinpoint which ones are taking up too much memory by looking at the memory column and right-click on them and choose to “end the task”. Close down ones that are inactive or ones that you no longer need.

What’s the Reason?

 

Modern browsers such as Chrome and Firefox are multi-process, which means they can divide the browsers operations into different segments. Therefore, if a tab or plug-in crashes, it doesn’t take the whole browser down with it. Additional features, such as the prerendering found in Chrome, also helps to make accessing the internet faster and more reliable, albeit at the expense of more RAM.

Installed extensions are another feature of modern browsers which augment your internet browsing experience by sacrificing RAM. If you use an adblocker, video downloader, or any other extension, they will be gobbling up extra RAM in payment.

Let’s not forget the internet itself is a much more vibrant and complex beast now than it ever was before. Whereas the internet used to be little more than a collection of static HTML backgrounds with text, images, and the occasional crude GIF, today we are using it to access email, stream movies, play video games, instantly communicate with people all over the globe, upload, download, and much more besides. All the while, receiving and sending notifications, updates, and a constant stream of other data.

Therefore, the Google Chrome of today is doing many times the work that the Internet Explorer of yesteryear had to contend with. Sure, technology has improved in sympathy, but not at the same rate as the internet itself, and this extra work means extra RAM.

How to stop Chrome from using too much memory? [6 Fixes]

1. Close Unused Tabs

One of the major reasons for Chrome using too much memory is that multiple Chrome tabs are left open. To speed your system memory, you should close all the unused tabs on your Chrome browser. After doing that, you will be able to notice a considerable improvement in the memory.

2. Remove unnecessary extensions

You would be surprised to know that each extension you add slows down your PC performance. Often, you may not be aware, but extensions run continually and also lead to increased memory usage. Be sure to regularly check the extensions installed on your browser and remove the unwanted ones. 

  • To open up your extensions page, go to the top right of your Chrome browser and select the menu icon. Next, go to ‘More Tools’ and then choose the ‘Extensions’ option. 
  • Here you can either toggle off the extension to temporarily disable it or select ‘Remove’ to completely discard the extension from your browser.

3. Regularly update Chrome

Just like any other software, Chrome also needs to be updated regularly in order to function optimally. Usually, Chrome updates happen in the background when you close and reopen your browser. But sometimes, you can also see a visual reminder when you haven’t closed your browser for a long time.

Chrome notifies you that there is a new update by changing the color of the menu icon. If an update is pending, the menu icon will be colored in Green, Orange or Red based on when the update was released.

  • You can also manually check for new updates on Chrome by typing chrome://help into the address bar. Following this, you will be taken to the ‘About Chrome’ section.
  • Finally, Chrome starts downloading the latest update automatically if you are not on the latest version.

4. Use extensions to control your tabs

As we discussed earlier, the number of open tabs directly affects your computer's performance and memory. Ideally, you should limit your tabs to a minimum. However, if you are a heavy user of multiple tabs, you can use extensions to keep your memory consumption under control. 

Extensions such as One Tab, Tab Wrangler, The Great Suspender are particularly helpful to reduce tab clutter and to accelerate memory. 

5. Run a Malware Scan

Sometimes, the changes made by some kinds of malware or adware can also cause memory issues. Thus, it is advisable to scan your computer for viruses using antivirus software. Windows users can make use of Google Chrome’s clean-up tool. It lets you scan your computer for any suspicious software including extensions and adware.

  • To clean up your computer, go to the menu at the top right of the browser and select ‘Settings’.
  • Next, go to ‘Advanced Settings’ and choose the option to 'Reset and clean up'.
  • Finally, click the 'Find' button to search your computer for any harmful software. If Chrome detects any harmful software on your computer, you can then select 'Remove' to uninstall them.

6.  Enable Hardware Acceleration

Finally, Chrome also offers hardware acceleration to boost your browser performance. Usually, Chrome struggles to handle resource-heavy tasks such as watching high-definition videos or playing games. In such cases, enabling hardware acceleration allows the CPU to offload some tasks to your system's GPU.

  • To enable this option, go to the menu button on the top right of your browser and choose ‘Settings’. 
  • Next, scroll down and select ‘Show advanced settings’. In the System section, toggle on the ‘Use acceleration when available’ option.

Hopefully, the above solutions have given you an answer to 'Why does Google Chrome take so much memory' and fixes to the problem. Happy browsing!

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