Forget AAA ray tracing video games or cryptocurrency mining – sometimes it feels like just running Chrome is one of the hardest tasks you can tackle on PC. Google is apparently aware of Chrome’s reputation for being a bit resource-intensive, and on Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS, it’s introducing two new features – Memory Saver and Energy Saver – that hope your browser will run a little better on machines more limited. .
Memory saver is a mode you can turn on and off at will, and Google says it will use “40% less memory” by removing inactive background tabs from RAM. Google says “all inactive tabs will be reloaded when you need them”, which may mean losing your tab state, but you can turn this feature on and off whenever you want.
We haven’t seen the stable channel rollout of this feature yet, but in nightly builds of Canary there’s an “Always keep these sites active” setting that lets you protect domains from hibernation, so there’s a lot of control here. (It links to this simplified support page, if you’re interested)
The other novelty, Energy Saver, is more automatic. This triggers when your laptop’s battery level reaches 20%. Google says, “Chrome will save battery by limiting background activity and visual effects for websites with animations and videos.” You can also turn this off in the settings.
Google says both features will be rolling out over “the next few weeks globally for Windows, macOS, and ChromeOS.”