Despite the strength of its rendering engine, Google’s Chrome browser has become know as something of a resource hog in recent years.
The main culprit, according to the Chromium blog, is Chrome’s background tabs, which account for a third of the browser’s power usage on desktop.
Starting with the latest release of Google’s browser, version 57, which non-beta users can download today, Chrome will throttle background tabs to stop them from consuming excessive amounts of power. Excepted from this rule are background tabs that play audio or ones that need to maintain a real-time internet connection.
According to Chrome’s Alexander Timin, the Chrome team has seen the new throttling mechanism lead to 25 percent fewer busy background tabs. However, he notes that his team’s long-term goal is to create a scenario where Chrome will completely suspended background tabs.
If you’re using Chrome as your primary browser, you can check to make sure you’re running the latest version of opening the Settings pane and clicking “About”. Chrome will automatically download the update at this point.