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How to Reduce Google Chrome’s Memory Usage and Free Up RAM

Find Out How Much RAM Chrome Is Using

There are two methods for figuring out how much RAM Chrome is using. You can find out Chrome’s overall use in the Windows Task Manager. (Some useful Windows Task Manager tricks you should know!)

If you want to drill down further and understand exactly how much RAM each site, extension, or plugin is using, you can opt instead for Chrome’s own Task Manager. You can find the Chrome Task Manager by clicking the three dots in the top right of the browser followed by More Tools > Task Manager.

With the help of a few extensions and settings, you can also ensure that Chrome uses less memory without having to open up the task manager and kill sites.

How to Reduce Chrome Memory Usage

1. Temporarily Close Tabs

With Chrome extension TooManyTabs, you can choose exactly which tabs to temporarily close. Use the extension to close the tabs and reopen them in the same place so you can easily pick up where you left off. This handy for limiting how much RAM Chrome uses while making it easier to stay focused with fewer tabs open.

After you install TooManyTabs, click on the extension button to pull up a list of all your open tabs. To suspend a tab, click the small yellow arrow next to the tab in question. To restore it, click on the yellow tab in the Suspended Tabs list and it will be re-opened.

If you have two Chrome windows open, each with multiple tabs, clicking the TooManyTabs button will only give you access to the tabs in the window you are looking at. Alternatively, you can enable Chrome’s native tab discarding, which will work on each open window.

Download: TooManyTabs (Free)

2. Suspend All Tabs

With The Great Suspender you can suspend all but one tab. Go to the tab you want to keep working on, click the Great Suspender button and select Suspend other tabs. Note that the extension can be a little finicky, and you might have to click the button twice to get all tabs suspended.

The Great Suspender gives you quite extensive control over how tabs are suspended. You can whitelist specific sites, so if you always need your email inbox open in a browser, The Great Suspender is a good option. To reload a suspended tab, click anywhere in the window.

If you want to suspend every single tab, OneTab is a better option. The extension collapses every single tab you have open without exceptions. It moves all the tabs into one list. You can then restore all tabs with one click, restore selective tabs, or close them all permanently.

Download: The Great Suspender (Free)
Download: OneTab (Free)

3. Let Chrome Choose for You

If you’d rather leave the task up to Chrome, TabMemFree will automatically suspend inactive tabs. You can determine how long before it suspends inactive tabs, with a minimum of 15 minutes. You can also instruct it to ignored pinned tabs.

Tab Wrangler is another extension to consider that automatically suspends inactive tabs if you’re looking for a little more control. Like TabMemFree, you can determine the length of time before a tab is considered inactive and set it to ignore pinned tabs, but you have the added option to lock additional tabs and to sync your tab settings between different computers.

Download: TabMemFree (Free)
Download: Tab Wrangler (Free)