[SOLVED] Butchering The Google Chrome CPU Hog

This one is going in the tech category and isn’t necessarily focused specifically on social media. But since so many of manage our social media channels or blogs via a browser, like Chrome, I’m going to post a solve that might help others out there who are frustrated with their slow PC.

Recently, one of my computers has been behaving badly. The fan run constantly, the CPU cycles are running high, and the performance is just…well…horrible.

Chrome can slow down your computer by using too much memory and causing high CPU cyclesChrome can slow down your computer by using too much memory and causing high CPU cycles

I spent a considerable amount of time looking for spyware to see if some malicious little software spy had been installed, but came up empty. BTW, if your PC is running slow and you haven’t run a spyware check recently, now would be a good time to do it.

If your computer is running slow, the first step is to run a spyware scan. Click To Tweet

Here are links to a couple of tools that offer free trials that will get you going:

MalwareBytes

AdAware

Since I didn’t find any offending malware installed, my next step was to clean my registry in case there were old registry keys that were mis-pointed or just out of date that would be hurting the performance.  Again, I turned to a free tool.

Took 30 minutes using the CCleaner tool, cleaned up quite a few old registry keys, but no luck in calming down my CPU.

CCleaner

The final step I took was to defragment my hard drive. Just to make sure that disk fragmentation wasn’t slowing the computer down.

I followed my own advice and used Defragler to clean up my hard drive space. Unfortunately, it didn’t really help speed up my computer, so I had to continue the search.

Since the easy stuff was done, but my CPU was still cycling high, I turned to the Windows Task Manager to see what might be causing the issue. You can open the Task Manager by choosing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

You can see how your CPU(s) are performing by selecting the Performance tab. As you can see from the image below, my CPU cycles are really high…that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Windows Task Manager Shows That My PC CPU Is Running Hot

The best way to see what is using all those CPU cycles is to switch to the Processes tab and then order the CPU column from highest to lowest by clicking the column header twice. When I did that, I saw something very, very interesting.

Chrome. Multiple instance of Chrome. All consuming a ton of resources.

Wow! Chrome Is Using All My CPU Cycles, Causing My Processor To Work OvertimeGoogle Chrome in the task manager shows multiple instances and high CPU and memory usage

Seriously, Chrome? You are running 13 different process that are consuming a TON of resources on my machine?

So, the next questions become why is Google Chrome using so much memory? Why Is Chrome causing high CPU usage? Why are multiple Chrome processes slowing down my computer?

After thinking about this for a couple of minute and Googling for a couple minutes more, I realized that each of the tabs I have open in Chrome are being treated as a separate process, and are consuming their own allocated resources.

There is one word for that…ridiculous.

Yes, I had 11 tabs open in Chrome and that was probably a little on the high side, but for there to be 13 different memory hogs and CPU hogs slowing down my computer…that’s just bad architecture.

Chrome is an amazing browser. But if you run multiple tabs, here are a few tips to keep it from killing your computer's performance. Click To Tweet

In fact, take a look at the image above and notice that Firefox is running. I opened the same 11 tabs in Firefox and it’s running a single process using significantly fewer resources than Chrome.

I could ditch Chrome altogether, but I actually like the integration with my phone (a Samsung Galaxy), so I wanted to find a way to keep Chrome, but have it run more efficiently.

Ironically, this led me back to Chrome to run some Google searches like:

  • Why is Chrome so slow?
  • Why are there multiple Chrome processes running in the Windows Task Manager?
  • Are there ways to speed up Chrome on Windows?
  • Tips for speeding up Chrome
  • Tips for reducing Chrome’s usage of Windows resources.

The answer {drumroll please} is an extension in the Chrome Store called “The Great Suspender”.

You see, whether you are using those tabs in Chrome, they are still consuming resources. Chrome doesn’t know that when I’m not looking at a tab, I want it to go to sleep and stop consuming resources.

So, The Great Suspender does just that. It allows you to put a tab (or all the tabs) to sleep so they don’t bog down your computer while you are working on other things.

To install this great extension, just go here:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/the-great-suspender/klbibkeccnjlkjkiokjodocebajanakg?hl=en

and choose “Add to Chrome”. The extension will install and you’ll see a new toolbar icon that gives you the ability to control your tabs.

The Great Suspender Chrome Extension Puts Your Browser Tabs To Sleep While You're Not Using Them

By choosing “Suspend this tab” you can put the currently active tab to sleep or by selecting “Suspend all tabs”, you can stop Chrome from using all but a bare minimum of your CPU cycles so you can work on a Powerpoint deck, play a game, or work on a cool new infographic in Photoshop.

Then, when you want to browse again, either activate the tab you want to use or activate all your tabs.

Want to see the proof? When I suspended all 11 tabs mentioned above, the additional Chrome processes disappeared and look how many cycles it’s using now.

The Great Suspender Chrome Extension Stopped Chrome From Using All My Processor CyclesBy suspending active Chrome tabs, I was able to reduce the number of chrome processes and reduce chrome CPU usage

Not too shabby. Basically, Chrome CPU cycles were reduced to nothing.

Butcher the Google Chrome CPU hog with this quick tip and get your computer performance back! Click To Tweet

So there you have it. Hopefully, that little tip will help someone else out there who is having issues with Chrome chewing up all their CPU cycles.

Sure…you could buy more memory or a faster computer, but why not just nip Chrome in the bud?

I hope this helps someone out. The introduction of tabbed browsing has been great from a user experience perspective and I know lots of folks (myself included) have a lot of tabs open at the same time.

The nice thing is that having those tabs open doesn’t have to kill our machines.

Have experience with this or other tips that could help reduce the overhead of running Chrome as your browser? Definitely share them in a comment! As I find new tools our resources, I’ll update them here, as well.

Cheers!

–Sean


Share This Post With A Pin!

Chrome high CPU usage can be a real pain. Here's how to solve it!
Are Chrome multiple CPI processes slowing down your computer? Here are some tips to reduce Chrome high CPU usage
PC Performance Tip When Chrome Browser Is Using Excessive CPU resources

Content So Good You Can Almost Taste It!

Subscribe to my email list and get updates in your inbox

Join my mailing list and get all of my social media tips, tricks, and comics in your inbox. Spam-free, guaranteed!

Below Content Subscribe

Comments And Reactions

  1. one-tab dot com works good as well at handling all the open tabs. I think your problem is more likely that you only have 2 gigs of RAM. Ram is cheap! Go get some more.

    • 8 Gig is the MAXIMUM for highest and best use and fastest. More than 8 without specialized applications does NOT increase speed or reduce power needs. 2 is the Standard minimum and should always work. 4 should create a SCREAMING machine and 8 should allow for HEAVY multitasking PLUS heavy multi application usage.
      If one is running a SINGLE application or light multitask, such as streaming to a monitor and working on an average spread sheet and a document or three then there is NO excuse for over burden of a computer at all!
      I know and remember what could be done with only 32-64K in a machine. No excuse at all.

      • I run my business “on the net” and often have Chrome open with 15 or 20 tabs…or more. This DOES eat up RAM and a machine with less WILL be SLOWER, unless you know how to LIMIT the ram allotted to INACTIVE tabs without a browser PLUGIN. Also, using ALL CAPS on words makes you look like an arrogant A-HOLE.

  2. Mark Alan Effinger says

    Genius! And man, have I needed this. Thanks Sean!

  3. I think there are a lot of great tips here to help with a slowing computer. I myself had malware. Thank you for your suggestions. I also notice if I go to long without a defrag my machine gets slower. I am still learning about the rest and recently tried to get rid of chrome but explorer was worse in my case.

  4. Game Brothers says

    I recently experienced this issue. I have a decade old HP Invent computer with Windows 7 and I regularly use the Windows Task Manager to check on my performance. I was running chrome at the time and had the task manager open next to it. The cpu was running 100% and I couldn’t figure out why, so I consulted the task manager to see 5 instances of chrome running. However, I only had 1 tab and that was it. Even after closing chrome my cpu didn’t slow down so I decided to restart my computer. Upon restart my cpu instantly began to overload at best guess, the back fan just kept getting faster and faster until I cut the power by manually shutting down from the power button. I have it running fine now but this scared me a bit since I have a lot of my personal work on this computer.

  5. David Holmes says

    I have the same problem on my Chromebook. I have concluded that Chrome OS does not appear to use “light-weight processes” (LWP), an OS feature pioneered by SUN Microsystems Solaris UNIX OS in the 1990’s. In original UNIX and Linux network programming, the “Bind to a socket” command was used to create a separate address space for each new instance of a process (for example a web browser tab in the Chrome case). Each process contained a separate address space which required swap in/out, and cpu interrupts, page faults, etc. For computer scientists, the Bind technology was an instance of the general problem of efficiently handling an infinite number of tasks with a finite set of resources. LWP’s provided an elegant solution by creating new child processes under the same address space as the parent process, thereby reducing the number of address spaces each of which required swap in/out, etc.
    It appears that Google’s Chrome developers have not produced an efficient OS. The question is why has Google apparently not implemented a 20 year-old LWP technology?

    • because they do NOT care. it is about capturing MARKET share. Sell a dongle that streams from your computer to your TV and do not allow others to program browsers for it and voila …you have captured a market.
      The Feds should be shutting Google down as a vertical and horizontal monopoly and requiring them sell off of all their “arms” as seperate entities just like they do with all other monopolies.

  6. Google Chrome has my mac running at 245-350% CPU and I have dual processors!. Think about this, each time that you increase CPU usage you increase power to your computer. This takes power from the grid (even if is from a battery laptop that power comes from the grid). That increases your utility cost and the harm to the planet.
    Google knows this and wants to allow your computer to CONSUME. It is apparent that they must be allowing come kind of backdoor usage at this point. There is no way that a single app that is as basic as a browser can use 250-350% of my CPU to stream a movie on an i7 dual core. Can’t happen. That means that google is allowing others to address my machine to their use because of GOOGLE CHROME. Your machine is begin used by Google and programmers to do other things in the background that are NOT necessary to the task you have given it.
    The best answer. DELETE CHROME FROM YOUR MACHINE and tell google why you are doing it. Tell them because they have bloated their browser and allowed it to use ALL of your CPU resources and have REMOVED the controls that allow users to stop this.
    They will then address the issue. Get rid go Chrome altogether.
    High Sierra using fully updated Google Chrome.
    Also DEMAND that Google release the protocols for Google Casting devices. Currently only available on Chrome for Mac That is ALL I use Chrome for and I still have up to 350% CPU usage on a SINGLE tab while casting.

  7. You might want to check out , ( chrome://discards/ ) to manually discard
    and ( chrome://flags/#automatic-tab-discarding ) for automatic tab discarding.

  8. The processes are in individual sandboxes. That is why they are separated. To prevent one tab from freezing, causing the others to freeze. https://www.technipages.com/why-does-google-chrome-create-so-many-windows-processes

  9. I had this same problem on my Dell XPS 15. Couldn’t find out why it was so slow. Tried everything, even upgrading RAM etc. but to no effect. Changed to using Firefox (which is not as easy to use as Chrome, unfortunately) but the difference is incredible, like really incredible.

  10. I am using Chrome as my default browser and lately, whenever I want to access websites, most of them can’t be accessed. I always see messages informing me that my browsing is not secure or that the site took too long to load.

  11. This was an excellent fix for me, as google chrome was starting to become a real pain. I just thought my CPU was on the way out as sometimes it was hitting 99% usage rate with just 2 web pages open. Bloody ridiculous, anyway, the great suspender has put a stop to it and pc is running 60% quieter with CPU usage now burning at 10%.Excellent result!

    Many thanks for this info and quick fix.

    Frank

    • The only other thing I was confused about with all this browser mess up.Was also getting the same heavy CPU usage showing when using MS Edge? I prefer chrome and be sticking with that although may have a look at firefox and see how that’s doing these days.

  12. Since you don’t show dates here, i don’t know how old this post is. But, Chrome now has native hibernating. Native is better. Eg, you don’t lose your text on filled-out forms, as you do with Big Suspender. However, native mode operates according to it’s own mysterious logic, and you can’t exempt tabs or domains from hibernating. Enter Tiny Suspender. It’s based on native hibernating, but allows you to exempt certain tabs or domains, plus other features. Be sure to enable “native mode”.
    https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/tiny-suspender/bbomjaikkcabgmfaomdichgcodnaeecf

  13. The only thing that Chrome does that I don’t like is when I play my SoundCloud with the screen off or in the background through Chrome after the cached data is ran it starts to really crack up bad and I cannot figure out how to fix it. it does not do it with other audio players. chrome crashes a lot on my note 9 lately, but my cpu has no issues but I have some advanced settings that drastically reduce chrome’s reach inside my os. first is lightmode…i never run it. the compression acts on cpu. i haven’t measured it but compression utility is all cpu. i also allow for a portion of my hdd and or ssd to be dedicated to gmu processes and i limit the kind of info processed by gmu. im self lerneded so hopefully im making some sense to someone. I also run my ms desktop 8.1 under a metered connection and my metered connection has ZERO EXCEPTIONS to background data. dont be afraid to automate a good old stop all command from an independent utility like termux.

  14. I have been using this extension since last year when I built my machine, my CPU still spikes to 100% funny that you suggested it at first I thought it was the cause, not the solution. Obviously I’m already running it, and I’m still seeing 100% CPU usage. hmmmmmmm


Speak Your Mind, Share A Comment, Ask A Question

*