Chrome disables feature that curtailed its memory-hogging ways

Google gleaned a fix from Microsoft but quickly dropped it due to other issues

Chrome thumbnail on a computer screen

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, but it’s also quite frustrating. The latter is well-deserved, as Chrome is quite resource-heavy, and gobbles up more RAM with each new tab you open. This became such a big issue that Microsoft fixed the problem while developing its new Chromium-based Edge browser. Google was so satisfied with the fix that it adopted it for Chrome.  

Now, Google is scrapping the fix, claiming it may do more harm than good. 

The fix Microsoft developed, which the tech firm included in the Windows 10 May 2020 update, used the Segment Heap feature to lower RAM consumption in Chromium Edge by 27%. Since the new Edge is based on the same Chromium platform as Google Chrome, moving it to the Google browser was no issue. 

Now, just about a month later, new data has led Google to scrap this feature pending more research. According to researchers, this fix did lower RAM consumption, but it also slowed the CPU by 10% and increased power consumption by 13%. A Chrome insider called this “too great for us too keep.” 

According to the report from Techdows, this is why Chrome 85 has this feature disabled as default. 

This doesn’t mean Chrome users are stuck with a memory hog, though. Google will run more tests and reconsider reactivating the feature, according to the Techdows report. Also, Chrome is feeling heat from the new Edge browser, which may push Google to include more updates to Chrome 85 to address this issue. 

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