What Are Chrome Memory Saver and Energy Saver, and How Do You Switch Them Off?

If you’re a regular Google Chrome user, you’ve probably noticed how much memory the world’s most popular internet browser requires. The Chrome development team has worked hard to reduce Chrome’s footprint in recent years, but it’s still memory hungry.

There are two new Chrome features designed to reduce memory usage and speed up the browsing experience, all while providing a handy boost to battery life on portable devices. Win-win, right?

So, what are Chrome’s Memory Saver and Energy Saver tools, and how do they work?

What Is Chrome Memory Saver?

It’s the age-old question: Why is Chrome using so much RAM?

Chrome’s memory management isn’t so much of an issue if you have 32GB RAM installed, but if you’re using a more modest amount of memory, anything taking up an excessive amount is sorely noticed. Computers and laptops with lower specs have long struggled with Chrome (and, to be fair, other modern browsers) memory usage. But now, Chrome’s new Memory Saver tool will use up to 40% less memory “to keep your tabs running smoothly.”

Memory Saver will free up memory from tabs you’re not using, freeing up memory for active websites and other activities on your computer. It’s a small fix and one that if you’ve ever searched for ways to reduce Chrome’s memory usage, you’ve probably already encountered through one of the numerous Chrome Extensions that offer the same functionality.

Tools like TooManyTabs, The Great Suspender, and OneTab had long figured Chrome’s tab-memory management was a key issue in the browser’s memory-hungry reputation and actively fixed it. But while Chrome Extensions are useful for those in the know, not everyone knows or understands what a browser extension is. Chrome’s Memory Saver tool will bring the same tab management function to all browsers, improving memory management and the browsing experience for all users.

Like many of the tools above, you can set specific websites to exclude from Chrome Memory Saver.

How Do You Turn Chrome Memory Saver Off?

chrome memory saver options

To turn Chrome Memory Saver on or off:

  1. Head to the Chrome three-dot menu, found in the top-right corner.
  2. Input memory in the Setting search bar.
  3. Memory Saver will appear under the Performance tab. From here, you can toggle Memory Saver on or off.
  4. From here, you can also add or remove specific websites to exclude from Memory Saver. Select Add, then input the website URL you want to exclude.

What Is Chrome Energy Saver?

First announced on The Keyword, Google’s official blog, Chrome Energy Saver is designed for portable devices, like laptops (it hasn’t rolled out to smartphone builds of Google Chrome, and there is no indication that this will happen as yet).

chrome energy saver option in browser window
Image Credit: Google

If you’re browsing using Chrome and your battery life hits 20%, Chrome will automatically begin to save battery, limiting background animations, visual effects, and other energy-draining website features.

While this is a small change in behavior, it could be really handy for those who spend time working on portable devices.

How Do You Turn Chrome Energy Saver Off?

  1. Head to the Chrome three-dot menu, found in the top-right corner.
  2. Input energy saver in the Setting search bar.
  3. Energy Saver will appear under the Performance tab. From here, you can toggle Energy Saver on or off.

Memory Saver and Energy Saver Are Welcome Additions to Chrome

Chrome’s Memory Saver and Energy Saver features are a handy addition to the browser. Both features are included in the Chrome 108 update, launching early December 2022. However, the features may not be immediately available to all users, judging by a quick poll of the MakeUseOf team using both desktops and laptops that have updated to Chrome 108.

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