Friday, December 2, 2022
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Google Chrome will clamp your inactive tabs to save your battery


What if Chrome got a little softer on your computer battery? A novelty introduced by Google could save you a few precious minutes of battery life when surfing the Web.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome, the web’s most popular cross-platform browser. Open as many tabs as you want, sign in to your Google account to sync your browsing, bookmarks and passwords.

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Gone are the days when Chrome was a young, light and fast web browser. Since its first release in 2008, the software has gotten a bit cumbersome and has started to become power and battery hungry. But Google has solutions to offer. As noted by the About Chromebooks site, an option present on the browser could limit the impact of Chrome on the processor and the battery.

Block background code execution

Only present on the Dev branch of the browser (the one upstream of beta versions), the option named “Quick intensive timer throttling of loaded background pages” “) will put tabs you aren’t browsing on “sleep”. Usually, Chrome limits the consumption of tabs after 5 minutes of inactivity. With this option, this time will be reduced to 10 seconds.

Google Chrome artwork

Google is testing new features on Chrome

© Sopa Images-Getty

This feature can be enabled in the chrome://flags menu for those using the Dev version of the browser. According to Google, this would reduce the consumption of JavaScript code on background tabs by 10%. Because once opened and fully loaded, a tab can continue to consume battery power by executing code invisibly when it is asleep.

The exact battery gain uncertain

This does not mean that Chrome will automatically consume 10% less battery. Running JavaScript on tabs in the background is only a small part of Chrome’s functionality. However, it could make a difference, since the 65 tabs you have open in the background will no longer be allowed to wake up your CPU as frequently.

It remains to be seen whether Google will enable the feature by default on its future versions of Chrome. If you are impatient, you can test it on Windows, macOS and Linux by installing the Dev version of the software.

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