Google Chrome 86 update could add 28% to your battery life

Update may throttle background tabs so Chrome hogs less battery

Google will throttle background Javascript timers in Chrome 86 to help boost battery life by up to 28%, according to TheWindowsClub.

Google Chrome is the most popular browser for a reason - and it’s not because it’s preloaded on nearly every PC on the market. It’s because Chrome is a robust browser with loads of built-in functions and thousands of apps that make our daily lives easier. 

But it’s also got quite the appetite for voltage and drains your laptop battery quite quickly. According to reports, the Chrome 86 update may solve this by limiting Javascript timer wake ups in background webpages to one per minute. This throttling will mimic what Safari does to help save battery life.

Google allowed more background activity in the past thinking it would help users when clicking back to a tab after it’s been idle for a while. But its testers found minimal benefits to most Google Chrome users. 

In testing, Google engineers reportedly noted a two-hour improvement in battery life with 36 background tabs open and a foreground tab opened to “about:blank.” This was a 28% improvement in the benchmarking machine. 

Because most users won’t have “about:blank” open on the foreground page, Google also ran a test with YouTube in the foreground tab. This throttling netted a 36-minute battery-life increase, which was a 13% gain compared to the current Chrome running on the same test machine. 

For many, this may mean nothing. But for people like myself who always have at least a dozen tabs open, this could be huge when working sans plug access. 

Google hasn’t confirmed the update will be ready in time for the Chrome 86 update. Stay tuned for more details. 

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