Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

chrome RAM 300   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 ExtensionsChrome or Firefox? This might be the hottest question in today’s tech community, and one you’ll never find a straight answer for. Personally, I think both browsers are great, but have been using Firefox more often because my old computer cannot deal with Chrome’s RAM hogging. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Firefox is a lightweight browser, it’s most definitely not, but for some reason, Chrome was incredibly sluggish on my machine, and used much more RAM than Firefox ever did.

Sounds familiar? If Chrome is not running well on your computer, RAM could be one of the reasons for it. There are other reasons this could happen, of course, but by reducing your browser’s RAM usage you can at least find out if that was the problem or not. We’ve already told you about ways to keep Firefox from getting unbearably slow, and now it’s Chrome’s turn. So how do you go about doing that? You might be thinking that installing more extensions is not the way to go, and you’re right, installing many browser extensions is bad for performance, but it only takes one good extension to help speed up your browser. Give them a try!

OneTab

As a chronic multiple tab user, I’ve been through many extensions that were supposed to help me deal with my addiction. While anything that reduces the clutter and RAM hog that are multiple tabs is a relief, some extensions are simply better than others. And OneTab is one of the good guys. It’s the easiest way I’ve found so far to create tab groups, save them, and share them.

onetab 1   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

After installing OneTab, you’ll find its funnel icon sitting in your toolbar. Click it to create a group of all your open tabs. That’s about all you need to know about the basic use of OneTab. But does it really help reduce RAM usage?

onetab 2   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

According to OneTab’s website, the extension can reduce RAM usage by 95%, giving a 1980MB to 99MB reduction as an example. But how does it fare in real life? I checked Chrome’s RAM usage on my computer with 13 open tabs, and again after bundling them up with OneTab, having only OneTab’s bundle page open. Naturally, there would be a drop in RAM, but is it really significant?

onetab 3   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

My tabs were not very resource-hungry ones, but Chrome was still using around 560MB of RAM with all of them open. After bundling them up with OneTab, Chrome was using only 200MB. That’s quite significant for an older or lower-budget computer. And if you’re anything like me, 13 tabs in one window is only the beginning of the day.

Of course it saves RAM, you might be thinking, you closed all those tabs! Well, you’re right, OneTab doesn’t do anything revolutionary, but it does the job, and does it very well. You’re not limited to one bundle of tabs – every time you click the OneTab button, a new bundle will be created, and will appear above the previous bundle in OneTab’s window. With one click, you can choose to restore all the tabs in a bundle, delete them, or share the bundle as a webpage (this options provides a URL as well as a QR code if you want to open the tabs on your mobile device).

onetab 4   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

Done sharing? You don’t have to worry about your tabs remaining out there – one click will delete the shared page. If you want, you can also share all your bundles through one URL/QR code.

OneTab makes it super easy to save several regularly-used bundles, and access the tabs within quickly, without the clutter of multiple open tabs. A true must-have for multiple tab users.

The Great Suspender

If you’re not interested in tab bundling, but would rather leave your mountain of tabs open, suspending them with The Great Suspender might be the RAM-saving trick you’re looking for. There are several things The Great Suspender can do for you: suspend individual tabs you’re not currently using but don’t want to close, suspend all tabs in your current window, and suspend inactive tab after you haven’t used them for a while.

great sspender 1   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

When a tab is suspended, all you have to do to reload it is click anywhere on the page. You can also create a whitelist for domains you never want suspended through the extension’s Settings page. The Settings page also includes the option to automatically unsuspend tabs when they gain focus, and lets you choose the length of inactivity period for a tab before it’s automatically suspended (there is a “never” option if you don’t want this to happen).

great suspender 2   Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions

But when push comes to shove, does suspending tabs really help you free RAM? I tested this with 13 active tabs, which I then suspended using The Great Suspender. Before suspending, Chrome was using 521MB or RAM on my computer. After suspending all tabs except for one, RAM usage was reduced to 359MB. Not as significant as OneTab, but still a nice decrease.

The one tab that wasn’t suspended was the TweetDeck Chrome app tab, which apparently cannot be suspended, so you should keep in mind that not every tab you use can be suspended, but most of them can.

Your Turn

Do you find Chrome’s performance lacking on your computer, or do you think it’s superior to other browsers such as Firefox? How do you go about reducing Chrome’s RAM extension usage? Share your tips and ideas in the comments!

Image credit: Warning sign image via Shutterstock

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77 Comments -

Zhong J

Whenever I run Chrome, there will be 4-5 processes handling different work loads and cause this memory hog. Luckily, firefox have improved on their own dilemma of solving memory leaks.

Chris Marcoe

I’m not a Chrome user so I think its pretty great that they mention the Firefox version of this.

Chris Marcoe

Except that other article is from 2011…and mentions Firefox only once. Would be nice if there actually was an article like this for Firefox..

Yaara Lancet

Ha, sorry about that! I just noticed that I accidentally linked to the wrong article in the post. This is the right link for the Firefox post:

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/firefox-unbearably-slow/

I changed it in the post as well. Thanks for catching that!

Chris Marcoe

Sweet…Thank you for the correction. Now I can check out my browser and see what I am messing up…

A question for you: what do you think of Ice Dragon from Comodo? I’ve just started using it as a secondary browser and like it for it’s security. Seems to me like you can really lock it down. (Private browsing in a sandbox environment)

Rama moorthy

I think all extensions that can be used with Firefox can also be used with IceDragon ..! (as like Chrome and Dragon )…

Chris Marcoe

The extensions can be used. Which I love. Because Firefox is my main browser. and anything I have on Firefox I also have on Ice Dragon. with the addition of a few others like DoNotTrackMe and Ghostery.

Nevzat A

I generally use minimum 50+ tabs a day. I tried Chrome, but it’s not reliable, even under 8 GB of RAM. Sometimes it’s just stops responding all together and all tabs becomes frozen. Therefore I don’t trust Chrome anymore, Firefox can handle hundreths of tabs with very small issues. I also use Firefox’s tab grouping, it’s excellent choice for heavy browser users.

Yaara Lancet

Thanks!

Andrei Anikin

thanks for the heads up!

Vipul Jain

Won’t these extensions resemble the Task Managers on Androids, which are actually used to save RAM & kill useless running processes, but at the same time they are being one of the useless running app! :?

Yaara Lancet

I did mention the fact the many extensions use a lot of RAM. And yes, if you have a lot of them installed, it’s going to be part of the reason. If you’re relatively lean on extensions, these can definitely help.

Scott M

I’ve used both and it really didn’t make a large difference.I guess that I don’t have enough tabs open to make a difference.

Yaara Lancet

Yeah, if you don’t have many tabs open it’s not going to make a huge difference. Then again, your browser will not use as much RAM either.

dragonmouth

The reason that Chrome (and Firefox) “hog all the RAM” is that many people have dozens and dozens of extensions. Now you are advising them to add TWO MORE?! Isn’t that counter-intuitive and counter-productive? It’s like telling an obese person to eat gorge on more food in order to lose weight.

You want Chrome to use less RAM? Disable or uninstall all those convenience and appearance extension that you have accumulated over time. Do you REALLY need all those extensions?

I sometimes use Firefox on a ThinkPad T21 (P3, 833mhz, 256m RAM). It is pretty snappy considering the hardware. However, I have only 3 or 4 extensions installed, all security related.

Yaara Lancet

As I mentioned in the post, installing many extensions is definitely bad for RAM usage, and I never recommended installing many of them.

Personally, I barely have any installed, and Chrome was still horribly slow on my old computer because of my multiple tab habit. If you have 30 extensions installed, these two really won’t solve your problem, but I never said they would.

dragonmouth

“If you have 30 extensions installed, these two really won’t solve your problem, but I never said they would.”

Part of the title “…Make it behave with these 2 extensions” implies that they will.

Rama moorthy

It can solve if 30 TABS , not EXTENSIONS …!

Rama moorthy

Yaara you have to write a post about auto-disabling Chrome extensions which have not used for more than 30 mins or some days …!

Rama moorthy

I have currently 17 extensions installed , but only 3 activated …! So my extensions will not take more RAM .. Its user responsibility to check and disable/Remove unused or temporary extensions ,at least once a week..

dragonmouth

“I have currently 17 extensions installed , but only 3 activated …! So my extensions will not take more RAM”
You are right. I should have explicitly said “30 extensions running concurrently”.

“Its user responsibility to check and disable/Remove unused or temporary extensions ,at least once a week..”
Again you are right. It is also user’s responsibility to remove temporary files regularly, update their anti-virus and malware definitions, not open unknown e-mails, not click on ALL links. However, most computer users are irresponsible and they do all those things. They also love to collect software, extensions, themes and plug ins. They expect their electronic device to magically take care of itself.

Shemul49rmc

My Google Chrome shows Aw Snaps ! Can anyone help me ?

Yaara Lancet

What are you trying to do when it shows that error?

Rama moorthy

Try using latest stable version.. Because I too got this error frequently some few months ago … But not now ..

Rama moorthy

Aw Snap,
He’s dead Jim ..

Pratish Rao

grt extension 1tab for heavy users… thanks

Donna

I can’t find OneTab in Chrome Store. Is it available in Canada? Thx.

Raazan Malla

While using One Tab, it closes all tabs and create a group. But what I want is to select tabs to close and group the selected tabs only, not all the opened tabs. How can I do that in One Tab?

Ashwin Ramesh

Nice suggestions… Thanks Yaara!

suneo nobi

Nice extensi

apis17

makeuseof (this article) uses 132MB of memory on my chrome. i’m not able to check individual memory usage on firefox.

Rama moorthy

Mine is 164 MB

Gal Tamir

I use TabMemFree – http://goo.gl/I6P0M for chrome and it makes an excellent job.

It has a nice settings page, and you can choose the period of time before a tab is
“parked” so it wont use resources.

you can also choose not to “park” pinned tabs – so your mail tab will always stay updated and alerts you for new mails.

Yaara Lancet

Cool, thanks!

Aaron

Did you try them at the same time? I’m curious if the sum is greater than the parts.

Yaara Lancet

No, I didn’t. There’s no reason to use them together, really. Either you’d rather group your tabs and close them, or suspend them. Doing both would probably be overkill.

Aaron

Got it. Just curious if it further reduces memory.
Just installed Suspender. :)

Yaara Lancet

Cool. :)

Guy McDowell

I’ve been using a Chromebook for awhile now, and it doesn’t seem to suffer under multiple tabs like the Chrome browser on my Windows 7 computer does.

I wish I knew why and could see how the physical resources of the Chromebook were being allocated. All I know is that it works. :/

Good info!

Yaara Lancet

Maybe it’s Google secret scheme to make us all buy Chromebooks. :)

Usman Mubashir

it is very often for my Chrome to use more than 2 gigs of ram and not using more than 5 tabs. it hangs the web pages, often facebook crashes when i scroll down too much.
besides, its really good browser, m not thinking of shifting any time soon, but Google HAS to pay attention here.

dragonmouth

You may have only 5 tabs open but how many extension do you have running at the same time? Extension DO take up a lot of RAM.

Sadman Hasan

Yeah I faced the same think but i don’t bother about this cz i’ve memory to use for my laptop.
Btw It was a great tips for my desktop thanks :)

Arbs Noble

great extensions

Sri Vastav Reddy

Just what i want,,
thanks :)

Catherine M

I have been frustrated with Chrome lately (maybe as long as the last 6-months or so) with many actions that Chrome cannot seem to handle. Chrome has been my favourite for many years and I have been resisting going back to firefox or explorer, although sometimes I can only get certain videos (for example) to run in explorer. I used to be able to run everything in Chrome but definitely not anymore and I have no idea what has changed to create so many ‘closed doors’ for me now.

I am going to try The Great Suspender and see if that helps in general productivity in Chrome.

As usual, great article Make Use Of.

Yaara Lancet

I find that switching default browsers every 6 months to a year is usually good for me. I use Firefox for a while until I can’t handle it anymore, switch to Chrome for a while, go back to Firefox, and so on. Every time I learn something new and find better ways to keep them leaner and speedier.

I would recommend disabling all add-ons and seeing if it solves some of your problems. Too many add-ons can really slow things down.

Catherine M

I have done this Yaara and I now have it down to my few absolute favorites. However the improvement was minimal. Thanks for the suggestion though.

Réy Aétar

all google products are resource hungry :/

Rama moorthy

Both extensions are very usefull , my chrome always uses 1.5GB+ RAM with 25 to 30 tabs … Now reduced …! :P

Thank you Yaara

Jonathan Dune

G’day – UPDATE: Google Chrome has become the piggie of RAM… No Worries!
NEW: Google Chrome Canary. The lightweight Chrome browser again.
visit: http://bit.ly/Chr0meCanary

Cheers!
~Jonathan

Onaje Asheber

Thanks, Yaara Lancet! I have my Chrome app crash and many say my memory need to dump. I had no clue as to what to do. Thank once again , Blessings…

kaka

im prefer downgrade my chrome to version 6.0.453.1 cs its works better at my standart lappy with windows XP. im used to play browser based game and with that newest chrome its really frustating cos it make my Game so lag with Adobe flash 11.6-11.7 .

anther browser that works well at my XP is Safari 3.1 … both is from about 1 year ago.. and its seems its using almost same Web-kit

Jeremy Garnett

I tried The Great Suspender recently, and found it to be limited in capabilities. When it suspends a page, it displays a notification including a suggestion to at the page to the whitelist, or the list of sites that don’t suspend. This suggestion is underlined, so I expected a link to the whitelist. As it turns out, the underline is purely formatting, not a link. In addition, on closing Chrome via Process Explorer (a Task Manager alternative) – the quickest way, though it technically crashes Chrome – The Great Suspender does not remember the tabs I had open, nor the tabs that were suspended. Thus when I next open Chrome, it displays a tab with the list of tabs I had when I last closed Chrome properly. Now I can understand that you may think I am making overly high demands, however, I have been using another extension Tabs Outliner which allows me to crash Chrome, thus remembering all the tabs I had open, open the tab I wanted, and keep working, without needing to bookmark every single tab.Also, taking advantage of this lovely memory function, I opened the 50 or so websites I usually visit, chrashed Chrome, and then saved the session at the top of the list. Brute force, but hey, it worksStill, OneTab looks good, so I’ll see how it integrates

Yaara Lancet

Thanks Jeremy, I understand that the Great Suspender is no ideal for you, and why. I will check out Tabs Outliner.

null

I will give One Tab a try.

Noah A

One thing you can do is to uninstall flash and rely on HTML5. Flash is the correct definition of a memory hog.

Yaara Lancet

You can say that again. I have a new laptop and Flash is not getting anywhere near it. I used to think you must have Flash, but turns out you really don’t need it.

Deepak A S

thanks .i was trying to find why crome was slow.

techguyknows

Interesting and good way to run Chrome smoothly.

Carlos González

I use both, and personaly I don’t have any complain about the performance or ram usage of neither, but its just me

ashutosh raj

yes i can see that chrome uses a lot of ram . but every browser has its own benefits . i use chrome for its multi user(to login same site with many usernames at the same time ) . fire fox for its seprate proxy settings (to add proxy when not using a global proxy and browse without a proxy when using a globle proxy ). and opera for slow speeds (due to its compression work good when connected through 2g mobile network).

removing extensions is not a solution (as stated in earlier comments ). but we have to optimize it to get more from the resource available . more over chrome has its own task manger which can be used to point out the extensions using more ram . and disable it .

still i have kept chrome as default browser as it opens fast . unlike firefox whose startup is worst and hangs whenever a pdf opens or starting downloads .

Peter Schmale

I had been using chrome ever since it was launched but stopped using it recently. On my 6 GB Windows 7 or 8 system you would think that memory is not an issue. In my opinion one of the main problems is that Chrome is a 32 bit app so it does not take advantage of the big address space of 64 bit machines. This causes memory fragmentation (same thing that can happen on your hard disk but this time in RAM). This means that even if you do not run out of RAM in absolute availability numbers, there is no more useable RAM left for any application that needs a contiguous big chunk of memory. After you have been using Chrome for a while, your whole system just becomes unbearably slow and you have to restart to solve that.
Just closing Chrome does not help. Same problem occurs with other 32 bit programs like Visual Studio.
My solution for the browser is to use IE 10. It is 64 bit, does not cause any problems and works great.

amfitrite

i have Google chrome canary 28.0

it seems Chrome this lately using More GPU – accelleration.

upgrading RAm aint solved that sluggish issues..

my Graphic card is 512mb, that graphic card only can Proceed 50mb of file in real-time.

not sure too how many mb at graphic card required to make Chrome – browser run smoothly.

Upgrade your Graphic card too if you insist using latest chrome.

otherwise , downgrading version of chrome is always availabe and not break any Law …

pixelBender67

I needed this =] Thanks

Tom Six

This is just what I need! MakeUseOf, has really made me a more of a smart power user!

Kcalpesh Ajugia

Aaah thanks.. was looking for a solution for this since so long…

Andre Hutson

I find that as Chrome updates that with each version it becomes more prone to throwing tantrums. Like you Yaara, I tend to switch between Chome and Firefox(when Chrome is acting up) I may have to increase my Firefox usage though.

Clyde Atwood

Thanks for the great article. I am one of the poor, unfortunates running an older machine with only 2GB of RAM, so this should help me.

Nathan Derr

Thank you for your article. I’ve been using chrome for a while now and was really getting fed up with how much memory it was hogging. I use it on both my computers and it will virtually make everything else on the pc unusable. Now my computers aren’t top of the line but there only a year old with 6GB of RAM.
Besides making my pcs run at snail speed, I have a lot!! of issues with flash crashing in chrome. Now I do have a bit of a tab problem and I’ll usually have at least 10 open at the very minimum but now with the help from your article my tabs wont be hogging my ram, but all my extensions will be. So if you could write an article on that I would be very grateful
Recently I’ve come across an extension call CONTEXT, which is good in a lot of ways. It allows you to group your extensions into customized folders. So when I select the folder I have created with all my tabbing extensions, it will enable all the extensions that i put in that folder, and disable the rest. Now this is great, but I have a lot of extensions that are installed but that I don’t have them enabled. I don’t want to uninstall them because I use them on my work computer, but I don’t need all my email, calender, extensions enabled on my home computer. When you use this extension it enables all of the extensions you have in each folder, which then adds to more extensions running in the background. There has to be some other extensions out there like this, that will only become enabled when you click on the icon or something that limits all of those extensions from running all the time slowing down the internet and my computers. Maybe I should just go back to Firefox? What do you think?

amfitrite

you can try using Browser Plumber

if Fire fox its “Firemin”

for Chrome-IE -Opera etc

its “Momo web browser optimize”

Yaara Lancet

I try to minimize the overall number of add-ons I use. I agree that there’s probably a way to manage this. I’ll do some research, and if I find something interesting, you’ll see an article about it!

LeDex JustDex

I stopped using Chrome all together. It’s just way too slow, no matter what tweaking I had done. I’m not sure if it’s due to the fact that I have a single core processor, or the fact that Chrome simply blows! I’ve only been using Firefox for about a month and I love it!