Google Chrome may run using less battery life

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Google Chrome is the most popular internet browser in the world, but it is also known to drain battery life in many cases. However, a new behind-the-scenes change could help moving forward.

In recent Google Chrome updates, a new flag has surfaced that shows a potential source of battery saving from the browser. Titled “fast intensive throttling,” this upcoming feature prevents background pages from consuming excessive battery life.

The tweak was first spotted by the folks at About Chromebooks in the Chrome OS 105 update, but this actually applies to all platforms that offer Google Chrome – Windows, macOS, and Linux included.

How does this work?

“Quick intensive throttling” in Chrome prevents background pages from loading JavaScript elements after 10 seconds, down from the previous five-minute limit. Google explains:

For pages loaded in the background, enables intensive throttling after 10 seconds instead of the default 5 minutes. Hard throttling will limit wakeups, from setTimeout and setInterval tasks with high nesting level and delayed scheduler.postTask tasks, to up to 1 per minute.

In another comment, Google translates this into something a bit more relevant.

This should extend battery life. An experiment on the Canary and Dev channels revealed no regression against our guiding metrics and there is significant improvement[s] (~10%) to CPU time when all tabs are hidden and silent.

Of course, this only applies in the right circumstances. For most people, the battery life savings will occur when opening multiple tabs at once. If a page is opened in a new tab, but without immediate interaction, this change will prevent that tab from fully loading and, in turn, draining your battery. But that really only applies if the page you’re visiting relies heavily on JavaScript.

This change is only currently appearing in the Dev channel, so it may be a while before it rolls out to everyone in the Stable channel.

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