3 Quick Tips to Reduce Chrome’s CPU Usage & Battery Drain

Joel Lee 25-02-2016

Chrome is arguably the fastest performing browser available today, but that goodness comes at a cost It's Time To Break Up With Google Chrome As a big fan of Google Chrome for a long time, I finally decided it was time for us to break up. It came down to overall performance, customization, and extensions. Read More . In order to be that fast, it has to use more CPU than other browsers are willing to use — and more CPU usage means more battery drainage.


That’s just one of the many reasons not to use Chrome on a MacBook Safari vs. Chrome for Mac: 9 Reasons You Shouldn't Use Chrome Between Safari and Chrome on Mac, Safari is the clear winner. Here's why you should avoid using Google Chrome on Mac. Read More . Its heavy dependence on CPU means that it can impact the performance of other applications and cause your fans to be louder as they try to expel the extra heat. But what can you do?

1. Keep fewer tabs open. In Chrome, every additional tab is another process on your system, which means that each open tab increases the burden on your CPU. Tabs that are heavy on JavaScript and/or Flash elements are particularly bad.


2. Remove unnecessary extensions. If your Chrome is experiencing unusually high CPU usage, the usual culprit is an extension gone amok. One of your extensions might be poorly coded, or it might just have a bug, but in either case, you should remove them one by one to see if it helps.

Note that an extension could use CPU even when disabled, so we recommend actually removing them to make sure.



3. Disable hardware acceleration. The hardware acceleration setting allows Chrome to share heavy processing loads between your CPU and your GPU, but it doesn’t always work well. In fact, sometimes it causes Chrome to use more CPU. Try disabling it and seeing if that helps.

High CPU usage could be the last straw that finally drives you away from Chrome Don't Give Up on Chrome Until You've Done This First If you're contemplating ditching Chrome and switching to Internet Explorer or Firefox, I can relate. Some solutions did help improve Chrome a little, but there was only one thing that fixed the problem. Read More . If these tips don’t help, it might be time for you to consider switching browsers. If it’s not just Chrome that’s a drain on your CPU, check out how to fix high CPU usage in Windows.

Do you have any other tips for reducing Chrome CPU usage? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Chrome Logo by tanuha2001 via Shutterstock

Related topics: Battery Life, CPU, Google Chrome.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. 12stringman
    July 10, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    Hardware acceleration (as far as I am aware) offloads display work from the CPU to the GPU thereby reducing the CPU load. I believe the reason that this isn't the default is due to the possibility of compatibility problems with one's specific display card. If there are no problems when selected, hardware acceleration should be easier on the CPU.

    • Joel Lee
      July 13, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Yeah, in theory that's how it's supposed to work, but according to the linked article there are times when enabling it could cause greater CPU usage. Best bet is to try both on and off and see if it helps. Thanks 12stringman.

      • 12stringman
        July 13, 2016 at 8:49 pm

        You're right about trying both Joel. On my system (old quad cpu) there doesn't seem to be a noticeable difference in response or speed with or without the hardware acceleration, much to my dismay. Good topic.

  2. Geekytruffle
    March 1, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Safari is faster then Crome.

    • Joel Lee
      March 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      On Macs, you're right, Chrome isn't really the best choice. Safari is faster, but is still limited in a lot of ways, such as the lack of some popular extensions.

  3. drazen
    February 27, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    I'm using "The Great Suspender" extension for a while, and I can say it actually helped a lot because I always have 15-20 or even more tabs open.

    • Joel Lee
      March 1, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Nice! That one looks great. Always wanted that kind of functionality in Chrome. :)

    • olamoree
      June 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      I agree, "The Great Suspender" has kept me from dumping Chrome. I leave it off on my mail and one other site that I check frequently, so Chrome is only dealing with two tabs at a time and seems to help alot. True, there is a 5-8 second delay to reopen a tab with TGS applied, but doesn't seem too excessive. Try it.

  4. Ralphy
    February 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

    Who says it's the "fastest"? In what way is it the "fastest"?

    Opera's still faster, IMHO and doesn't have to have little tweaks done to keep it from hogging cpu it doesn't in the first place, as any decent browser shouldn't be doing in the first place.

    Konqueror and Opera each use less than half of what my Pale Moon/Firefox/Seamonkey use in cpu cycles *and* RAM - average each Opera and Konqueror ~150MB.

    Pale Moon/Firefox/Seamonkey average each ~450MB RAM.

    Thing is, none of them feel any 'faster' in any way over the other. Well, no, that's feels like Opera does seem to startup about half a second faster than Konqueror, and both of those startup about a second or two faster than the other three. So, is that the "fast" that is being discussed in the Chrome article? A whole second or two at startup? If so, damn, I'm glad my life doesn't hinge around a whole two seconds waiting for something like it seems it does too many others.

    This is on my linux, with an AMD FX-6300 using all 6 cpu's in the background 24/7 cycling my seti@home units.

  5. Anonymous
    February 26, 2016 at 5:06 am

    What I would like to find is some way of preventing Chrome from hogging the bandwidth.

  6. MerryMarjie
    February 25, 2016 at 7:30 pm

    There is a fairly new extension called "The Great Suspender" for Chrome that actually puts tabs to sleep when you're not using them. You get to choose how long to wait until it does that, and the tab instantly comes up again when you click on it. I have found this extension has reduced all the Chrome CPU usage to a bare minimum, and it has worked flawlessly. I don't even work for the company, either!

    • m akbar
      February 25, 2016 at 7:42 pm

      Yes...I recently installed on my PC and added 4gigs of ram for a total of 8. The great suspender is also a big help. I love it. I don't work for the company either, but probably could have saved some $$ on ram if I had tried this first.

  7. Anonymous
    February 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    cmon guys, it's 2016 now. what PCs pr laptops are you using? I have lots of projects and have to keep many tabs in different browsers and still have about 20-50% of free RAM (out of 8GB). every month on different resources I see such articles which only repeat the same: close tabs and remove extensions. WHY? I need them. upgrade your PC or at least use Tab Suspender for Chrome

    • Anonymous
      February 25, 2016 at 3:11 pm

      Totally agree with you on this one.

    • Joel Lee
      March 1, 2016 at 2:58 pm

      Not every machine needs to be a beast. Try taking a gaming laptop on an airplane flight and see how long it lasts you! Sometimes a weak laptop is perfectly fine for the job. No use spending $1000 on a laptop if all you're going to do is browse the Web and write emails.

    • Emily S Johnson
      September 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

      In my case, it's a work laptop and upgrades or replacements are really out of my ability to approve. I still have a 2.8 Ghz i7 processor and 8GB of RAM which are "decent" specs. However, opening Microsoft Outlook application, Skype for Business, and google chrome with one tab easily pushes me above 50% usage on CPU and memory. The issue is that I need all of these open while working and these 3 applications are all so intensive on the system. I use the Great Tab Suspender and noticed only a small difference. I've uninstalled all unnecessary applications/addins on my computer, outlook, and chrome. I'm still constantly struggling. I also work inside of excel almost constantly as part of my job. I would love to have at least 12-16GB of RAM but it's actually my CPU maxing out right now, not my memory... It's just getting ridiculous to do even basic computing...

  8. Daniele Pais
    February 25, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Another thing that might help to reduce the heavy load is to install an ad blocker extension.

    If you normally have many tabs open chances are that some of those tabs are loading or running add content that contribute to increase the workload of your CPU.

    Finally if you listen to online music through a web page try to extract the direct link to that particular radio station or music stream and reload it with VLC or whatever music player you have set as your default one. This will help to reduce the massive CPU processing queue and to redistribute useful resources to other applications.