“Tab Freeze” is a feature which will pause the extra tabs in the browser thereby allowing faster browsing, better CPU usage, and longer battery life on laptops.
What Problems Do we Face with Too Many Tabs
You see when you have opened a single tab, that means only one web page is opened for the time being. But that’s usually not the case. In general, we open up too many tabs, even when we are not using them at all.
Too many tabs mean too many open web pages. All these web pages together utilize system memory. Every script, active contents on the web pages will drain out CPU resources in the backdrop. Consequently, this will slow down the system speed affective your work further.
Although having multiple tabs help you to actively switch between various web pages in time without waiting for a new page to load.
But it can be a precarious burden over your system if you want to accomplish your tasks with a faster speed. Not only too many tabs, even few tabs loading heavy web pages, which require loads of system resources, too much CPU cycles, drain your battery at heavy cost. So you shouldn’t take this issue for granted.
But now what to do? As per se the discussion, we should not keep too many tabs active which might make Chrome less responsive. And at the same time, it is very difficult to work with only one tab actively opened.
This is the reasons the browser designers had developed “Tab Discarding” utility back in the year 2015, and now “Tab Freezing”.
However, these both features are interrelated but seemingly give the same benefits.
So before we embark in knowing how “Tab Freezing” feature works, it is highly needed for you to first understand the feature “Tab Discarding”. Thereupon, it will be smoother for you to relate it with “Tab Freezing”.
How “Tab Discarding” Helps to Save your RAM
This is a memory saving feature which was launched back in the year 2015 by Google to lower the RAM burden.
In case your system in low on memory, Google Chrome will discard the unessential tabs all of its own accord if the “Tab Discarding” feature is enabled in the web browser.
But how does Chrome know which one is unessential or essential? It’s a pretty smart move.
It wouldn’t discard the tabs you are constantly interacting with. But the tabs which you have not used in hours will automatically be discarded by it. Besides, when a particular tab is discarded, it is also removed from your system’s memory as well.
Nothing would change in appearance, you can still see the discarded tab in the browser, but if you try to click on it, Chrome will take some time to reload it since it is not active any longer.
Now let’s jump to the “Tab Freezing” feature.
How “Tab Freezing” Feature Works and Saves your CPU and Battery
Tab Freezing is more like that of Tab Discarding but there are slight differences.
One of them major contrasting difference is that when any specific tab is frozen by the “Tab Freezing” feature, it’s contents still stay in system’s memory, though the contents are frozen (inactive). It is not totally discarded from the system memory like in the case of “Tab Discarding” feature.
For instance, there is a tab that you are not working on for some time, the Chrome will automatically freeze the active contents or scripts running on that web page, until you choose to interact with it again.
This freezing mechanism lets Chrome reload the inactive page quickly than in the case when it was discarded previously with Tab Discarding feature. This in turn will help the user to switch back to the non-essential tabs in time without waiting for the page to reload, and at the same time saving the CPU and battery performance while it was not in working mode.
Tab freezing is totally an experimental venture, which is built into the latest Chrome version, Chrome 77. But in this version, the feature has to be enabled manually.
The team of developers is planning to build it in such a way in the upcoming Chrome 79 version of Chrome Canary that Chrome will automatically freeze the non-working tabs. You don’t need to initiate it yourself.
So in the latest Chrome Canary version, if you visit the hyperlink chrome://flags, and look for the “Tab Freezing” feature, you must check if the feature is enabled or not.
If it is enabled, then the Chrome will automatically freeze the non-working tabs within a span of 5 minutes.
You can customize the function of Tab freezing from the options available in the operating section. For instance, you can choose either to freeze tabs or you can choose to unfreeze the tabs for 10 seconds after every 15 minutes.
Right now Google is working on selecting which option would be the best one to add.
Though it is an experimental project, but soon you will get to see this feature any the latest Chrome browser versions.
How to Use Tab Freezing Feature ( or Discarding) in the Latest Chrome Version
You can mingle with both the features in the latest Chrome versions if you want to.
Just type chrome://discards in the URL field of browser.
Instantly, a diagnostic page will appear. It will display all the current open tabs and also inform you whether they can be frozen or discarded completely.
You can check the status under the “Actions” column at the extreme right side.
You can test both the options one by one to check how they work.
Hopefully the article has been helpful for you.
But remember Tab Discarding is not a bad option after all compared to Tab Freezing. When your system is low on memory, it actually helps you to free up space by discarding the tabs you are not working on.
But if you enough memory, Chrome will look for an opportunity to freeze tabs you are not interacting with to save battery juice, potentially making your entire system more responsive.
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