The Google team wondered how to make the chrome browser more efficient in terms of RAM consumption and how to save device resources. Recently, the company’s developers have come up with a way to moderate the appetite of a brand-name browser, and now an experimental version of the browser with the function that allows chrome to “eat” less memory resources is being tested.
The solution was Tab Freeze technology, which was introduced in the new “Chrome” as an experimental function. The system monitors open tabs, and if some of them are not used for some time, Tab Freeze will unload them from the RAM, or simply “freeze” them. The function is available in four variants depending on the choice of “freezing” mode. In normal mode, when Tab Freeze is active, the chrome browser will automatically remove open tabs from RAM that were not used for the next five minutes.
The Tab Freeze can be considered an updated version of the Tab Discard option that chrome received in 2015. Its features allowed the browser to monitor the activity of open tabs, and if there were problems with the RAM, the resources of unused web pages were redirected to the right place. If you need to open an inactive tab, the chrome rebooted it again.
Today’s users are often faced with the slowdown of the browser and the entire device due to lack of RAM. The complexity of web standards, along with heavy applications and web pages, sometimes results in only a few open tabs requiring gigabytes of memory. The new feature, which is built into the chrome, will allow for more economical use of the user’s device memory.
In the raw form, Tab Freeze technology is available in the test browser versions for Windows, Linux and MacOS operating systems. Google hasn’t announced when the tab freeze feature will appear in the stable version of Chrome yet.
Mozilla developers tried to reduce the appetite of the browser in a similar way. In 2019, within the framework of the experiment, Firefox received a similar system of deactivation of unused tabs. Developers have defined a strict order in which inactive tabs will be unloaded. First “frozen” loose and silent web pages, followed by fixed, but not reproducing audio, and after them – fixed and with sound.
In theory, the mechanism was supposed to be user-friendly, but in practice the function did not work the way it was supposed to. Firefox on Windows devices began to deactivate tabs without the need to do so, because it did not calculate the available memory resources correctly. As a result, Mozilla has so far decided to abandon the experimental function.