Update Chrome now and get a smoother browsing experience and battery savings

Leonard Sengere Avatar

Yesterday we talked about how 68% of Zimbabweans use Chrome for browsing, in line with Chrome’s worldwide market share. It’s crazy that Chrome usage is increasing whilst Opera usage is falling. I thought data was expensive in this country and we still appreciated Opera Mini’s compression tactics.

Anyway, back to Chrome. We love our browser but we can also admit it can be a resource hog. Chrome has been known to demand too much RAM and use up too much power.

A quick check shows that my Chrome is using about 4.6GB of RAM. Granted there are 79 tabs open, which is a lot, but still. What’s wild is that Chrome used to use much more RAM than that.

My computer has 16GB of RAM and so I am not fretting about that 4.6GB Chrome has taken for itself when it comes to performance. Where I shiver is when Zesa does its thing and cuts power and I have to use Chrome on battery power.

Chrome has been working on improving its RAM hogging and battery consumption issues for years. The latest in that effort are two new features:

Memory saver and energy saver

Memory saver promises to offer a smoother-running browser experience. It freezes tabs that are not currently in use. Once frozen, a tab does not consume finite RAM resources. This should lead to a smoother experience, especially on computers with 4GB or even 8GB of RAM.

Snoozing a tab is not the same as closing it. You can still just switch to the snoozed tab as if it weren’t snoozed. The tab will reload when you do this and you can pick up where you left off. You may not want some websites to have to reload and you can mark them as exempt from being snoozed.

Energy saver limits unnecessary background website activity and visual effects for websites with animations and videos. By default, energy saver kicks in when your battery level reaches 20%. You can set it to kick in once you’re unplugged and I’d recommend you do so if you’re living in Zimbabwe.

Here’s how you do that:

  1. Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Click on Performance

That’s it. You can then add websites you don’t want to be snoozed and/or choose when you want the energy saver to kick in.

Updating Chrome

Do note that you have to be running Chrome 110 to get these new features. The features were announced back in December but are only now rolling out. Google says Chrome should use up to 40% and 10GB less memory with these features enabled.

If you’re not sure whether your Chrome is up to date, here’s how you go about it:

  1. Click on the three-dot menu in the top right corner
  2. Click on Settings
  3. Scroll all the way down and click on About Chrome
  4. You should see an Update Chrome button, just click on that.

If you already have the latest update, it will say Chrome is up to date. Check that the version number starts with 110. If it’s not 110, then the update is not yet available for your device. Be patient, it should come in a short while.

Also read:

Chrome support to end for some Windows users

Reopening a tab you mistakenly closed & other Google Chrome shortcuts you need to know


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  1. Core95

    79 tabs open. You must have the focus of an eagle. I can do 4 at most without getting lost

    1. Leonard Sengere

      It’s usually worse than that. Instead of bookmarking stuff and then coming back to it like a normal person, when I find something interesting I’ll want to get back to, I just leave the tab open until I get to it.
      Then of course there are about 10 work tabs that are always open reardless of what I’m doing.

  2. Toup

    Opera is now boring to use. Browsing the web is no-longer the main priority but rather pushing adverts wher ever and when ever they can.its now a pain in the donkey to use it.Chrome for me is no good or the mobile version of it,i use firefox and absolutely without a doubt love it. As for some light browsing im ok with phoenix, i hate the fact its a browser but every now and then a notification pops up telling me to extend my battery or clean up junk in my phone but the pros outweigh the cons

    1. Leonard Sengere

      Really. It used to be a clean browsing experience. Sad to hear they ruined it. The numbers don’t lie, people are not satisfied with the current version.
      I feel you when it comes to extra ‘features’ in browsers that noone really asked for. We know they allow these browsers to exist but it’s still frustrating having to deal with the ‘clean junk on your device’ notifications.

      1. Fatso

        The MNO are blacklisting Opera… ISP are doing that also. So u cant use opera in Zimbabwe due to being blacklisted… if it wasnt it wolud have been on top

  3. Anonymous PQR

    I bought my current device in August 2022 and I have never used Chrome. My bets are Samsung Internet and Opera. Opera’s problem is that it does not continue huge downloads once paused but Opera Mini does that well. When it comes to add blocking Opera used to be King but Samsung Internet takes the Crown. I left Chrome long back and never looked back. The same applies for PC I use Microsoft Edge and Opera. What I only hate about Edge is that after every update Microsoft keeps bothering with “use recommended settings” which changes my search engine.

  4. Shirley

    Chrome has been striving for years to improve its RAM hogging and battery use issues.

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