How to Test Chrome's New RAM-Saving Trick

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Google Chrome has long been accused of being a memory hog, but it looks like the browser may be trying to change its ways. A new feature found in its latest Beta seeks to free up RAM, and it's available for testing now on Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS and Android.

shutterstock_640441540Credit: Miss Ty / Shutterstock.com

Found by Chrome Story, a new feature named "Skip best effort tasks" aims to reduce background task processes. The notes for the feature, which is hidden in the latest build of Chrome Canary state "With this flag on, tasks of the lowest priority will not be executed until shutdown. The queue of low priority tasks can increase memory usage."

After you enable this feature, you'll see a slightly ominous note reading "Stability and security will suffer." Specifically, the note states "it is expected that some non-visible operations such as writing user data to disk, cleaning caches, reporting metrics or updating components won't be performed until shutdown."

But, dear reader, if you feel ready for the risk, here's how to enable Skip best effort tasks in Chrome.

1. Download Chrome Canary.

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2. Open the googlechrome.dmg installer file.

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3. Drag and drop Chrome Canary to Applications to install it.

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4. Open Chrome Canary.

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5. Navigate to chrome://flags/#disable-best-effort-tasks

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6. Click Disabled.

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7. Click Enabled.

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8. Click Relaunch Now.

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You're now testing Chrome's memory freeing Skip best effort tasks tool. Best of luck!

Author Bio
Henry T. Casey
Henry T. Casey,
Henry is a senior writer at Laptop Mag, covering security, Apple and operating systems. Prior to joining Laptop Mag — where he's the self-described Rare Oreo Expert — he reviewed software and hardware for TechRadar Pro, and interviewed artists for Patek Philippe International Magazine. You can find him at your local pro wrestling events, and wondering why Apple decided to ditch its MagSafe power adapters.
Henry T. Casey, on
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1 comment
  • John IL Says:

    Had to stop using Chrome once it implemented the Spectre fixes which added around 10% overhead to a already RAM hungry browser in 2018. I've had less then a dozen tabs open in Chrome with 8Gb RAM in my system and my PC comes to a grinding halt using almost all the RAM. Task Manager showing it mostly being used by Chrome. Yeah, I shouldn't need 16 Gb RAM to run a browser these days. Not sure Google's fix for Spectre was effective and it certainly has consumed more RAM and probably more then 10% in my opinion.

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