Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

A new feature in development shows how much RAM a tab is using when you hover over it.

Google Chrome has been criticized over the years for taking up too much RAM, which is mostly due to sandboxing each tab and extension, on top of the ever-increasing demands for modern websites and web apps. Google has been improving RAM usage with the Memory Saver feature, and now the company is working on another change that will make it clearer which tabs are eating up your memory.

The latest Chrome Canary builds include a new feature flag, called “Show memory usage in hovercards,” which lists the current memory usage for a tab when you hover over it (below the full title and domain). This same information is already available in Chrome’s built-in task manager, which is accessible from the main menu > More Tools > Task Manager, but adding it to the hover cards makes memory usage easier to check. This is another change to help people figure out which tabs and sites are eating up the most memory, alongside automatic features like Memory Saver mode.

Memory usage in Chrome tab

Addy Osmani from Chrome’s Developer Experience team wrote in a blog post, “This feature provides transparency into Chrome’s tab throttling behaviors and gives users insight into a site’s memory consumption. The current usage indicates memory consumed by the page itself along with any background processes. State suspension happens when Memory Saver determines the tab has been inactive for a sufficiently long period.”

The flag actually first appeared in June, but it still hasn’t rolled out more widely. It’s also temporarily unavailable in Chrome Canary, since the initial test was set to expire in Chrome 119, and the Canary branch just got updated to version 120. The flag will probably be extended soon—this happens a lot with experimental features in Chrome. Hopefully, it will roll out to everyone at some point after that, but there’s no firm timeline on that yet.

You can try out the feature by visiting chrome://flags, searching for “Show memory usage in hovercards,” and switching the dropdown to Enabled. It works in the current stable release of Google Chrome (v117), but may not appear in the other branches until the feature flag is extended.

Source: Medium

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By John P.

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