Upcoming Google Chrome feature will help conserve battery life with many open tabs

In brief: Google Chrome might soon become less of a performance-hog, especially if you keep many tabs open in the background. A recently-discovered feature in the dev build will improve battery life for mobile devices and perhaps even increase performance on old low-end PCs.

Google Chrome is by far the most popular web browser around, although it has also developed a reputation for eating up system resources. That might change to an extent soon, as the company is testing a new feature that will improve battery life for Chrome users on all platforms who like to keep many tabs open.

Currently, Chrome only allows webpages to run JavaScript code once a minute after you haven’t interacted with them for over five minutes, essentially putting inactive tabs to sleep.

About Chromebooks spotted a new flag called “Quick intensive timer throttling of loaded background pages” in Chrome OS 105 (Dev channel). This feature changes the default five-minute grace period to just 10 seconds, supposedly improving CPU time by about 10 percent.

The improvement doesn’t mean you’ll get a 10 percent boost in battery life, as the CPU is only a fraction of a system’s total power consumption. Nonetheless, it might still make a noticeable difference, depending on how many tabs you keep open and how inefficiently-coded websites you visit are.

The feature should arrive in a few months for Chrome users on all platforms, including Windows, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Android. Other Chromium-based browsers, such as Microsoft Edge and Opera, might also choose to implement the change, especially considering that Edge already has an efficiency mode that works similarly.

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