Google Chrome is the world's favorite web browser in terms of market share, and it's a valuable tool for users who love its flexibility and tools. One downside to Chrome, however, is the amount of RAM it uses on your computer, which drains battery life on laptops and makes your machine run slower. Here are some tips to help reduce the strain this product puts on your computer's resources.
Shut Down Some Processes
Google Chrome treats each browser window as a separate process rather than a single program. This makes Chrome more stable, but it also runs more programs in the background that use more RAM. Open up your Task Manager window for Chrome and sort items by how much memory each process needs. Turn off the processes you don't need running at the present time to free up more RAM for other programs.
Remove Unused Extensions
Downloading and installing extensions doesn't take a lot of time or effort. Remove any extensions you don't currently use or you used one time. You can disable the ones you use occasionally but still want to keep in your Google Chrome extensions file. Extensions are great productivity tools at home and the office, but you need to manage them wisely to ensure computer efficiency.
Change Tab Formats
Two extensions help manage how Google Chrome uses more than one tab. The Great Suspender automatically closes tabs that haven't been used after a certain period of time. Meanwhile, One Tab organizes each tab into a list of links. When you're ready to go back to a tab, simply click on the URL and Google opens it for you. Both these methods shut down any background programs running through Chrome that may slow down your computer.
When you open certain URLs or web pages, sometimes programs beyond HTML run automatically. As an example, the Flash plugin helps run certain videos or graphics in a browser window. Alter your settings on Google Chrome to force plugins to ask for permission to run as they come up. Find this feature by choosing Settings, Show Advanced Settings, Privacy and then Content. Scroll down to the Plugins section, then select the phrase "Let me choose when to run plugin content."
Clearing your web browser's history cache may help free up extra memory. Avoid using custom themes that use up additional RAM. Make Chrome run faster by enabling keyboard shortcuts. You may even consider using a different browser altogether — Mac users have Safari, while Microsoft touts its basic Edge browser with Windows 10. Programmers have yet to finish Edge, but the tech giant says it's more efficient than competitors.
Google Chrome is a great tool when you know how to use it properly. Just take care when you open multiple tabs, download a lot of extensions or have multiple plugins running at once. All these factors may reduce your computer's efficiency and speed.
Photo courtesy of Linux Screenshots at Flickr.com
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