Version 57 of the desktop Chrome web browser includes a new CPU throttling feature that Google says will lead to 25 percent fewer busy background tabs and help reduce overall power consumption.

Charges that Chrome is a battery hog have long dogged Google's browser, leading the company to make efficient power usage a key pillar in its long-term development strategy for the software. Throttling background tabs by limiting Javascript timers is the latest attempt by Google to improve the browser's reputation.

macbook air google chrome
Javascript timers are often used by news sites and social media networks to update web page content in tabs, which uses up valuable CPU cycles. From version 57 of the browser, Chrome will delay timers in individual background tabs if their power usage oversteps the mark. Tabs that play audio or use real-time connections won't be affected, however.

Chrome has focused on improving the user experience by throttling tab performance for many years. Like many browsers, Chrome has limited timers in the background to only run once per second. Via the new throttling policy, Chrome 57 will delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of a core if an application uses too much CPU in background. Tabs playing audio or maintaining real-time connections like WebSockets or WebRTC won’t be affected.

According to Google, the new throttling mechanism leads to fewer busy background tabs, which typically consume a third of Chrome's power usage on desktop computers. In the long term, Google aims to fully suspend timers in background tabs and instead rely on new APIs to do the work instead.

Chrome 57 is available to download for Mac users now. Existing users can update by selecting Chrome -> Preferences via the menu bar and clicking the About section. Users downloading Chrome for the first time will automatically receive the updated version from the Chrome download page. An update for the iOS browser app has also been released with a new Read Later option.

Tags: Google, Chrome

Top Rated Comments

darcyf Avatar
63 months ago
What about throttling its memory hogging issues. I have to use chrome at work and with 16GB of ram I still get out of memory warnings on my Mac. There are dozens of "helpers" running in memory at 100-600MB a piece. How is that ok?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
JGRE Avatar
63 months ago
Sounds that they only apply a bandage without actually fixing the problem of high power consumption. Perhaps they should remove all the spy-ware from the browser :).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
63 months ago
What's your browser league table, and why?

On Mac and iOS safari gives me no problems so I use them. At work on Windows I use Chrome. What am I missing out on?
Chrome across the board. It travels nicely no matter the device or ecosystem. Makes my life easier.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
63 months ago
What about throttling its memory hogging issues. I have to use chrome at work and with 16GB of ram I still get out of memory warnings on my Mac. There are dozens of "helpers" running in memory at 100-600MB a piece. How is that ok?
If you get out of memory warnings it means all of your physical RAM is being used AND your disk is almost full since it writes to Virtual Memory.

:rolleyes:

This is either a lie or you need to reinstall Chrome. I run Chrome just fine on a Macbook Pro with only 8gb RAM and my wife runs Chrome just fine on her Macbook Air with 4gb RAM
Don't call him a lier, I ran out of RAM and I too have 16 GB RAM, any App nowadays runs fine even with a bit less RAM, if it needs more it uses VM and most of Macs today have fast SSD storage so you don't see as much difference, it used to be much slower when Hard disks were used not too long ago and some still have them.


Rubbish, no way you're running out of memory with normal use unless something else is using most of it to start with.
As above, what is normal use to you does not need to be normal use for others.
I myself have more than 30 tabs open at any time, it uses quite a bit RAM, but I have enough, and even when it's full it's not much of a deal nowadays with fast SSD's inside.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
H3LL5P4WN Avatar
63 months ago
So chrome is a battery and resource hog. Gmail is a battery hog. Android is a battery hog.

I'm noticing a trend here. Does Google not know how to optimize code?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Christoffee Avatar
63 months ago
What's your browser league table, and why?

On Mac and iOS safari gives me no problems so I use them. At work on Windows I use Chrome. What am I missing out on?
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
safari icon blue banner

Safari Bug Allows Websites to Track Your Recent Browsing Activity in Real Time

Sunday January 16, 2022 3:37 pm PST by
A bug in WebKit's implementation of a JavaScript API called IndexedDB can reveal your recent browsing history and even your identity, according to a blog post shared on Friday by browser fingerprinting service FingerprintJS. In a nutshell, the bug allows any website that uses IndexedDB to access the names of IndexedDB databases generated by other websites during a user's browsing session....
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...