Google today announced two new performance settings in its Chrome browser: Memory Saver and Energy Saver.
Modern browsers consume a lot of memory, and while that’s not a problem if you have 32 GB of RAM, having several gigabytes of your memory in Chrome can quickly slow down your machine if you’re on a lower-spec machine. Memory Saver mode promises to reduce Chrome’s memory usage by up to 30% by putting inactive tabs to sleep. The tabs just reload when you need them again. 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 rolling out now 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, disable these features completely.
Google’s announcement comes one day after Microsoft announced that its Edge Browser put 1.38 billion tabs to sleep in September alone. According to Microsoft, sleeping on 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 (can cut this all the way down to 30 seconds of inactivity), a few years ago, then improved it again with the release of Edge 100 earlier this year. Edge also features a Game Mode, which can automatically reduce CPU usage when it detects you are playing a game on your PC.