Google Chrome is one of the most popular web browsers, but its memory leak causes a lot of trouble for the Operating System.  If you are running Google Chrome on a PC with less RAM, the chrome memory leak will make your PC much slower.

When you look at your PC’s task manager, you’ll see Google Chrome at the top of the list.

task manager chrome processes

Have a look at the snapshot of my PC’s task manager. I have taken a snapshot when only 2 tabs were opened on my chrome but the chrome memory usage is 96MB.

Have a look at the snapshot below that I have taken after running 2 chrome windows and opening Facebook, Youtube, and other websites. This time the amount of memory used by Chrome reached up to 114.2MB.

chrome eating RAM in task manager

From the two snapshots, it is proved that the memory usage in Chrome depends upon how many extensions, Windows, and tabs are running.

Why Is Chrome Taking So Much Memory?

Google Chrome needs a lot of RAM to serve webpages as fast as possible. 

Every app on your PC runs processes in RAM. Google Chrome stores every active window, tab, extension/plugin in a different process. Each RAM process only uses a small amount of memory, but memory usage increases when there are more processes running. 

If you have installed many extensions or plugins then Chrome eats more memory because such extensions require more resources to run.

Do you know why Google Chrome runs each process separately?

Let me explain this.

To maintain stability, Google Chrome is running each process separately. If Chrome was using the same process to run every window, tab, and extension, you might have to restart the entire browser when an extension fails/crashes

The benefit of running each process separately is when a process crashes, you are required to refresh a single tab only without restarting the whole browser. 

Another benefit is, it improves the security. For example, if a tab is attacked, it will not affect the other tab. 


On the Internet, you can find lightweight web browsers that eat less memory than Chrome. Brave, Opera GX, and Pale Moon are popular lightweight browsers you can use instead of Chrome.

When you switched to another browser then I’m sure you wouldn’t find the features that were provided by Chrome in your new browser. For Chrome lovers, it is better to fix memory leaks to make Chrome use less memory.

6 Methods to Reduce Chrome Memory Leaks

There are some tricks that can limit Chrome memory usage. The tips that I will discuss here work on Windows 7, 8/8.1, and 10. 

fix chrome memory usage

1. Update Chrome

Many bugs and issues get fixed when we update a software/browse. In addition many features will be added to improve user experience.

In Computer, Google Chrome is automatically updated when your PC is connected to an Internet connection. To check whether your Chrome is updated or not, go to Menu >> Help and click on the About Google Chrome.

In case you have a problem in updating Chrome then you can manually update it from here. 

update chrome

2. Remove Extensions to Reduce Chrome Memory Usage

Just like your PC has a task manager, you’ll find a task manager inside Chrome. You can find Chrome’s task manager if you go to Menu >> More tools and click on Task Manager. Or press the ‘Shift + Esc’ key on the keyboard.  

identify useless extensions in chrome task manager

You can see there are processes and extensions running on the background and taking memory. You can check the memory footprint of each process and extensions. So, if your Google Chrome has tons of extensions and apps running then Chrome consumes so much memory.

Now you have the idea that these extensions are taking memory. So go to Menu >> More tools and click on Extensions. You have to disable or completely remove the extensions which you are not using. 

Most of the extensions may be running in the background even if you are not using them so it is beneficial to disable these extensions until you need them. Disabling and enabling only when needed will fix Chrome memory leak. 

remove chrome extension to save RAM

Now when you again look at Chrome’s task manager, there you will not see those extensions running.

3. Enable GPU Acceleration

Another smart way to make chrome faster is by enabling GPU acceleration. GPU in chrome is used only when chrome is displaying GPU-accelerated content. GPU takes less power than CPU.  So,  if you enable GPU or hardware acceleration, chrome may run more effectively. 

First, type ‘chrome://gpu’ on the address bar and hit enter. 

Hardware GPU report in chrome

Under the Graphics Feature Status, make sure most of the features are hard accelerated. This way Chrome will use hardware acceleration to execute your processes faster. 

If you don’t find acceleration enabled then you can enable it by going to Menu >> Settings >> Advanced and toggle on the ‘use hardware acceleration when available’ option. 

enable hardware GPU acceleration in chrome

4. Release the Memory from Idle tab

Earlier you read, installing more extensions makes chrome use more memory. But there are some extensions specially built to manage RAM.

If you are working on many tabs then these extensions will help you to release the memory from the idle tab. In most of the cases you may not use all tabs at the same time, extension will find which tab is idle from a long time and then suspend such tabs to release the memory.

The Great Suspender is the best Chrome extension to suspend processes on all but one tab, instantly reducing how much memory Chrome is consuming.

Features:

  • suspend opened tabs by schedule or with a single click to save memory
  • restore tab all at one or only one needed
  • create group of tabs and save it for then using  
  • suspend and restore the selected tab or all at once

5. Stop Chrome from running in the background

Even if you close Chrome, the processes are still running in the background and consuming some memory. You can see how many processes are running in the background in Windows task manager.

To stop Chrome from running in the background, go to Menu >> Settings >> Advanced and turn off the ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed’ option under the system section.

close Google chrome completely to fix high memory usage

Now open task manager, there you will not see any kind of Google Chrome’s processes running in the background.

6. Delete Google Chrome Junk

If you are using Google Chrome on your PC for a long time without any clean up then it acquires junk and makes you feel that Chrome is responding slow.

To clean up the junk from Google Chrome, first open the ‘Run’ dialog box by pressing ‘Windows Icon + R’ key and then enter ‘%appdata%’. 

Now jump back to AppData folder, and go to Local folder to find the Google folder inside.

Open the Chrome folder >> User Data >> Default. Default folder contains all of your Google Chrome data such as extensions, gmail id/password and history. 

remove junk file in chrome

Note: Deleting the Default folder will remove all of your data, so do this at your own risk. 

To rename or delete the folder, first of all kill every Chrome process running in the background using Windows task manager.

After deleting the folder, you’ll see a fresh Chrome running on your PC. 

Conclusion:

Remove the unnecessary extensions and disable the extension when not in use. Close the tabs if not needed. Close the Chrome completely to stop chrome from using RAM in the background. All the tricks that we discussed here are very helpful to fix Chrome memory leaks and reduce Chrome memory usage.

Check out our another article on How To Fix Err_Empty_Response Error In Chrome.

FAQs on How to Fix Chrome memory Leak

Below are the couple of frequently asked queries with quick answers.

  1. How to Stop Chrome from using so much RAM?

    Make your Chrome up to date. Remove the unnecessary extensions and disable the extension when not in use. Close the tabs if not needed. Stop Chrome from running in the background.

  2. Why does Chrome use so much memory?

    Chrome takes up so much memory because it sandboxes everything you’re running. Chrome stores every window, tab, extension in a different process. Each process only takes up small memory, but the memory usage increases when there are more processes running. When you install many extensions, every extension separately consumes high memory.

  3. How much RAM does Chrome use?

     In Chrome, 3 active tabs can consume up to 100 MB RAM but it depends upon the content that is loading in each tab. So the amount of RAM Chrome uses depends on how many tabs you have open and what exactly you’re doing. The number of extensions installed on your Chrome also impacts Chrome memory usage.

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