[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:



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installed, my next step was to clean my registry in case there were old registry keys that were mis-pointed or just out of date that would be hurting the performance.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.


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:


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.



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Comments And Reactions

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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”.

  4. 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.


    • 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Mark Alan Effinger says

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

  14. 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.

  15. Rufat Nadir says

    Thanks for time you spent for investigating the issue and writing this article, but in fact, even this is bold on your screenshots, one process of Firefox consumes almost the same amount of RAM as a summary of all Chrome processes (450 versus 500 Mb). But FF not runs my fan and not makes Macbook so hot. And this extensions helps not much. I’m really used to all Chrome add ons and integration on all my devices, but need more smart solution that this

    • Doug Heffernan says

      Thanks for your comment. I have the same issue, I have a non-Mac laptop and it does the same with mine; runs my fan and makes my laptop so hot. I see Chrome using an add-on as more of a gimmick to something they should fix in the browser itself. We all know, the more add-ons from a company, the more money they make through advertising and also the more you’re forfeiting even more of your privacy to the vaults of Google.

  16. Very explanatory article with useful links. I installed and configured the extension which then made a hUUUUge difference! Even more important maybe because my satellite-linked internet upload-download connection isn’t as fast as cable or wifi. Don’t have to sign-off of everything and restart my computer to ‘refresh’ its CPU processing the way I used to. Thanks, thanks and thanks again!! 🙂

  17. Adrienne McCue says

    I found the same issue, but this is a workaround, how are we going to get Google to fix this issue? I had to delete my beloved Chrome and go back to FireFox! I want Chrome. Has anyone talked to Google about this? I’m about to call them.

    Also, if you check, the chrome browser, slows down your wifi. I have tested this out with http://www.speedtest.net/, with all 3 browsers. but you can’t find this out really unless you delete chrome and see your speeds go from 20m to 80mg. Test it out!

  18. Mårten Woxberg says

    If you add all the RAM that Chrome is taking it’s almost exactly the same amount that Firefox uses…

    • pablo arista says

      This article was discussing the CPU usage. If you add them up, Chrome uses way too much CPU compared to Firefox.

    • BUT NOT HOW IT USES IT. IT stays in ACTIVE modes using CPU instead of in RAM to be addressed when needed.
      possibly however there is not much excuse for it at all. Part of the problem is that programmers and application designers consider RAM as cheap…they all want the full 2 gig of ram. Because you have an OS and run mitultiple apps they can not get. They could design the app to use .2gig and run great, but that takes REAL programmers. Most programmers today are people not worried about ram or CPU. However 8 is the HIGHEST addressable efficiency unless special programming is used. That means that 8 gig is ALL that matters, after that your processor can’t use the data it has available. Not even if you have a quad processor…it is JUST TOO MUCH to process efficiently. Sort of like the limit of a human brain in a way.

  19. James Marshal says

    Pro Tip: Next time something slows down your computer, the first thing you should do is open the task manager and check what processes are eating up resources.

    Fragmented file systems and registry problems arent going to slow your system down that much.

  20. Martin Kurzmann says

    Pure Gold!

  21. Sean,

    Thank you for this tip. For months I’ve been having trouble with Chrome slowing down my computer. I would have to close the entire browser and then re-open it. And even then it would sometimes stay slow. The only reason I didn’t quit on Chrome is because I have a Chromebook that I love and I would like to use Chrome on both my PC and my Chromebook. So I did an Internet search and most of the articles told me stuff I already knew such as how to open Chrome’s program manager, close extensions etc. I was at the end of my rope when I read your article. I decided to try just one more thing. So I installed “The Great Suspender” and it seemed to solve everything. I can have multiple tabs open with no problem now. It’s been less than 24 hours but when I got to my computer this morning and instead of having to close Chrome or restart my computer, I was able to start my work right away.

    So thanks so much for writing this article. It’s been a lifesaver!

    • Sean R. Nicholson says

      Glad to, Rodney! I was frustrated for the longest time with this, as well. Glad it helps others 🙂


  22. chrome plugins can be guilty of cpu-hogging.


    disable them all, then enable them as you need them.

    The symptom I had was that chrome worked fine – even with many tabs open – until I played a video in chrome. Once I did that, chrome hogged cpu – regardless of dismissing all the existing tabs and creating new ones (so much for running the tabs in separate processes to protect against cpu-hogging), or even killing all the chrome processes. The only solution was to reboot.

    • There is no place to turn them off on the current chrome version for mac High Sierra. Google needs to be torn apart as a vertical and horizontal monopoly. NO other company has been allowed what google has done, The feds have ALWAYS stopped it. Call your senator and congressman.

  23. Chrome will hog cpu even if you don’t have any malware or other issues.

    Go to chrome://plugins

    disable the plugins one-by-one


  24. I noticed that all the extensions use separate processes as well; I had wondered why, with only 2 or 3 tabs open, I had 11 or more chrome.exe processes.

  25. Peter J. Bury says

    Sean thanks a lot

    I will try the suggested extension. I did not find or get satisfactory answers on Google Chrome Forum 🙁 . Yours addresses the issue BUT…

    I still think Chrome should be setup to at the very least end processes related to accounts, sessions, tabs and otherwise which I have SHUT DOWN in order to recuperate resources. Chrome doesn’t. Even if I completely shut down Chrome it takes a bloody while before all the Chrome processes are shut down.


  26. Brian Richard says

    Thanks for sharing this, my computer has been driving me nuts with it slowness.

  27. Thanks for the tip, my computer has been slow as of late. Will definitely give this a try.

  28. thanks for the tip as I have noticed a decrease in speed and thought it was just the backup system and or the AVG virus update.

  29. “CPU hogs slowing down my computer…that’s just bad architecture”

    You’re wrong.

    The one process per tab paradigm is based on user requirements presented to Google in order to address what has been a very typical (and super annoying!) problem since, basically, the day the browser was invented and somebody other than CERN started creating websites; One poorly designed website causing the browser (and, these days, all of your tabs) to become unresponsive and needing to be “killed”.

    A couple of ways to work around the “problem” you highlight: Stop going to websites with a lot of javascript (not really an option), or don’t open as many tabs at once.

    Or, you could buy a less resource constrained PC or switch to Windows Internet Explorer /Firefox on Windows. Neither of which are all that resource friendly either! Notice how Firefox has 400MB of memory consumed in a single process. Now, imagine if Facebook – which it is prone to do on occasion, deadlocks itself in the Tab it’s running in on Firefox. And all of your other tabs go with it…

    • > One poorly designed website causing the browser (and, these days, all of your tabs) to become unresponsive and needing to be “killed”.

      In that case, Google has failed miserably. Chrome is “unresponsive and needing to be killed” when I open two blank tabs.

      Why can’t Google automate the “suspend this tab”? Chrome can tell which tab(s) are visible. There is no need to run javascript on tabs that are not visible (please don’t tell me that because Chrome is so slow, a user might want to have javascript running on a hidden tab, since they went off to read the news in another tab because they got borrowed waiting for Chrome to respond)

    • freonpsandoz says

      Chrome’s design doesn’t seem to work as intended. I still get to websites (usually news) that consume so many resources that the computer becomes sluggish and Chrome completely stops responding. I have to kill it from task manager. I often have only two tabs open when this happens: Google News and the news article I’m attempting to read. Your suggestion that I spend thousands of dollars to have the ability to follow the news is infuriating, to say the least, I think the solution is to learn hacking and develop the ability to remove the websites (and their designers) that do this to us from the face of the earth.

      • Mike Stoddart says

        This is probably nothing to do with Chrome and everything to do with how much crap news sites load and run. News sites these load and display too much media including auto-run videos that will bring Chrome to its knees. They also load and run a ton of tracking scripts and ads.

        Maybe you were running a bitcoin miner in your browser and didn’t know it?

        Blame the sites, not Google.

    • BS. My other browsers are FASTER than Chrome without the multiple process issue. Current Safari SCREAMS compared to Chrome.
      The question is NOT the app it is the target site response and architecture. Chrome should NOT be attempting to “speed” the site because of site issues.

      Bad sites need to be re-done properly for the efficiency of ALL involved. This includes your electric bill. BTW the way that Google set this up sites can Java Script your computer and USE YOUR CPU. Do you think that makes any sense?

  30. thank you for sharing

  31. Lee McCaskill says

    Thank you so much! I, too, had already gone through those other steps and discovered it was google chrome but I din’t know what to do about it!!! Problem solved. I bet it will save on our bill too as I have been going over budget .

  32. Mike Ramirez says

    Not to downplay the plugin, as I’m sure it’s useful…but Chrome runs all the tabs in separate processes in order to prevent an issue with one of the tabs forcing the entire browser to crash (a la Internet Explorer). Notice that your Firefox has a single process taking up over 400k, it most likely doesn’t have as many tabs open as your Chrome window does. So, while Chrome has all those processes, it doesn’t really mean it’s doing anything all that unusual in terms of resource usage. It is nice in my opinion that it does that and thus allows a plugin to free up some of those resources. 🙂
    I’m a Linux user myself, so I don’t have much trouble with system resources being consumed like that, but I’m gonna try the plugin anyway and see how it does! Thanks!

    • polymathenator says

      In theory I like how Chrome separates the processes, BUT in practice I have found one misbehaving tab will take down my entire system. I don’t even have a chance to kill the one process because Chrome will crash and many times take my whole system with it. How is this any different than other browsers that use one process? If it actually worked it would be great.

  33. Hi Sean, I use Chrome on a MacBook Pro, and I just wanted to let you know that “Suspend this tab” works with Macs. I installed it and suspended a couple of taps, and I saw my available memory increase. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Steve Cassady (@SteveCassady) says

    Thanks for the insights. I’ve done the same thing (Other than your fix) since I can get quite a few Chrome windows up and running. Now to add the extension

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