Exit Chrome Completely by Closing Background Apps, Extensions and Processes

Do you know that Chrome does not always closes itself completely, even if you click the cross button and exit from it? It will keep running in the background and it will keep consuming memory endlessly. When it comes to things making your computer slower, you can find Google Chrome in the front line. Here is a simple trick to completely exit Chrome by closing all background processes.

Related: Group All Tabs Under One Tab and Make Chrome Work Faster

Apart from eating up a lot of memory, Google Chrome also chokes your laptop battery to death while running in the background. This activity goes unnoticed by most of us even if we are aware of it, when running on critical battery level.

Why is Google Chrome always running in the Background?

The reason is those extensions and applications that need to run in the background to function. Even if you close Chrome, they will continue running so they can synchronize or notify or be ready even if the browser is not running. You might need to manually end the task of these applications from the task manager to stop them completely.

Most of the times, it is good for apps to run in the background. For example, a chat program needs to pop if you receive an instant message or a video call. Or when mirroring Android notification to computer with Pushbullet that comes as an extension, it needs to remain active, even if you close the browser.

And considering the importance of these notifications, we can spare a small amount of RAM for them. But, when you have a lot of such apps installed, then it’s going to make your system slow and drain your battery fast.

Have a look at my task manager even when Chrome browser window is not running.

task manager

Find Which Apps and Extensions are Running in Background

For apps, go to Chrome’s Task Manager by pressing Shift+Esc and check for rows which mention background pages.

background pagesrunning in Chrme

For extensions, there is no sure shot way of knowing which are the culprits. You will have to manually go to their options from the Extension Manager and see whether they provide information about background running. Most probably, it will be the extensions that provide notifications and help in synchronization.

Completely Close Chrome Running in Background

First, I would recommend you to remove unnecessary apps and extensions that you might have collected with your years of usage. After this preliminary cleanup, Chrome will feel much more responsive and light-weight. Now, back to our topic at hand –

Temporarily Preventing Chrome from Running in Background

While you have closed down Chrome’s window, you can still notice it’s icon in the system tray. It represents that some apps from Chrome are still running in the background.

Chrome system tray icon

Click on the icon to view a list of active tasks and hit on ‘Exit’ option. This will temporarily cause Chrome to shut down completely. But the next time you start Chrome again, you have to do the same to shut it down completely.

Chrome system tray settings

Permanent Setting to Close Chrome Completly

To avoid Chrome from running in background completely, follow the below steps –

Step 1: Go to Settings in Google Chrome.

chrome settings

Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the screen and click Show advanced settings.

Chrome advance setings

Step 3: Under System, uncheck the box next to “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed”.

Uncheck to stop chrome running in background

That’s all!


Allowing Chrome to run in the background will consume memory and will also cause the battery to drain faster. If you can do without notifications and synchronization when Chrome is not running, it is better to close it completely.

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Filed under Google Chrome. Posted by Akhil on 16th April 2016.

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You can also completely shut down Chrome (on Windows) by clicking on the so-called Hamburger menu at the upper right of the browser, and choosing Exit.

taskkill /F /IM Chrome.exe /T

So, where do I find steps 1,2&3 in Win 10 ?

Thank you , this is just what I needed , Chrome has been driving me mad !!!

Another way to shut down Chrome: Create a bookmark or navigate to chrome://quit

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