Google Chrome Using Lots of RAM on My Computer (How To Control Memory Usage)

From last few days, my computer memory was getting almost full. When I use the Google Chrome browser during visiting different websites my tabs got crashed and I have to reload it. Chrome has proved itself to be the best browser of the current time and most people are loving him because of its speed or providing the fastest browsing service.

Chrome memory usage problem which many users may ignore. But this a big problem for those who have less RAM in their computers. In this article, I will let you know that what can you do about it and how to fix or reduce the usage of RAM?

Google Chrome uses more RAM

The question here does Chrome really use more RAM of the PC or Mac. In my experience, Yes. I opened about 15 tabs in my Chrome browser and it was taking more 2.5Gb of RAM which is huge for me. After that, I close all the unnecessary websites and keep open only 5 tabs. Chrome still using about 900MB of RAM with these websites tab open (TrickyWays, YouTube, eBay, Facebook and one more).

chrome using huge memory with few tabs open

I also found one blog post on Google’s security blog that the new Chrome will take 10-13% more RAM due to the increase in the number of processes. They also mentioned that we are working on it and trying to optimize, fast and more secure. No doubt that Chrome has been the best browser for so long now but there are a lot of things to be done in order to keep the title of the best browser to itself.

What happens when memory gets full

So, the things here is, having your RAM almost full can be considered as a bad thing. It can cause a problem when the RAM always full and keeping your system slow. If the things which you are doing requires more RAM than your system is providing it can be caused application errors and slowness of your PC or Mac.

Few things that I have noticed while using Google Chrome and RAM gets full.

  • Got a Chrome.exe application error “The application was unable to start correctly (0xc000012d).”
    chrome.exe application error the application was unable to start correctly (0xc000012d)
  • Chrome tab crashed and give a message “AW, Snap! Something went wrong while displaying this webpage.”
    aw, snap! something went wrong while displaying this webpage

Learn More: Change default file downloading location of Chrome

Why Chrome uses so much of RAM?

Chrome gives every tab, plugin, and extension its own processes. Because if one thing goes down nothing will go with it or the whole web page will not be suffered. All your tabs will be there as save as they were before the crash. This facility of chrome can lead to the higher usage of RAM because it has to make a copy of tasks for every tab. But it also makes things a lot more useful. There are other works running on behind the scenes. Chrome’s pre-rendering feature, for example, can use higher memory usage, but it also gives the power to your web pages to load faster. The use of some extensions or websites may also be used memory, which won’t get “cleaned up” when you stopped using them, causing higher RAM usage.

chrome task manager separate process for each chrome's tab, extension

The basic thing that makes Chrome’s use of much RAM is that it keeps every tab, plugin, and extension in another RAM process. You can call it process isolation, this process saves one process from the other process. Because of it, whenever you open the task manager, you see different Chrome tabs showing up on the task manager on your PC or Mac. Each of the processes uses a different amount of memory but when you add all the memories which are being used, the sum of them can be very high.

Numbers of open Tabs vs Task Manager processes

Let’s say you have open 5 tabs in the Chrome browser but in the Windows Task manager its show 15. The huge number tabs of Chrome showing in Task Manager’s Memory list can be shocking. So Chrome is not using RAM for the open website it’s also using the memory for other stuff like Chrome extensions. To know more about this difference see how to use Chrome’s task manager to identify each process.

difference in number of tabs open and showing in windows task manager

See also: How to access open tabs on another device

How to Reduce Chrome’s RAM usage

First, to free up some RAM find out which chrome tabs or process using more memory. You can use Chrome’s Task Manager to look for tabs and extensions which are using a huge amount of memory.

  1. Press Shift+Esc keys from the keyboard while using Chrome browsers. If you are using Mac, then you have to open it from the menu. Click the Chrome menu and then select More tools > Task Manager.
  2. Task Manager will appear on your screen. Here you can see the list of all the open tabs and other background processes of Chrome’s extension and other processes. See processes by the size of the memory they are using. Just shut down any of the undesired extension’s processes which are running.
google chrome task manager showing open tabs, extensions and more

Tip: Due to a memory leak, there might be some tab that continuously taking more RAM as you keep open them for some time. Always try to open a fresh tab and browser a website.

Disable or remove extensions

An extension is useful till it’s work is done. When an extension is no longer required you just disable it and it will save much amount of RAM.

  1. Open up the Google Chrome.
  2. Type chrome://extensions in your address bar of chrome and hit Enter.
  3. Choose the required extensions that no longer needed just disable them or you can delete them too.
    disable of remove chrome extensions that you don't use frequently

I wasn’t using some extensions frequently. So, I decided to disable them temporarily and removed few that I no longer use. When I removed some and disabled few extensions I spared about 200MB of Ram on my computer.

Few more suggestions

  • When you open more tabs, Chrome will use more RAM. Change the browsing habits and open a few tabs at a time.
  • Chrome’s Task Manager may help you to determine which extensions or process using more RAM. Once you found that then you can remove that specific Extension or process as told above.
  • Personally, I don’t want to leave the Google Chrome browser. So, I decided to increase RAM from 8GB (2 X 4GB) to 16GB (2 x 8GB). If possible, you can also do that too just Buy a New RAM and add more memory to your computer.
  • Otherwise, Google Chrome is not the one browser in the market switch to another, the choice is yours.
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