Improve Chrome Performance by Temporarily Suspending Tabs

Google Chrome is infamous for being a resource-intensive, RAM-hungry monster web browser. In comparison to lightweight browsers like Opera or other power-performers like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome utilizes a lot of memory, sometimes causing your system to lag. Chrome’s RAM usage is a well-documented and problematic issue, making people with low system hardware to search for solutions or switch to other alternatives.

As the common understanding goes, the number of tabs in your Chrome is directly proportional to the lag caused in your system. This makes it very difficult for users who multitask or do research which requires to open multiple tabs at once. Chrome is so notorious for consuming computer resources that any improvement is worthy of a news story on its own. Even while Google is clearly working to improve these matters, the fact is that many users of Chrome are now afraid to open multiple tabs at once:

Extensions to Stop Tabs from Loading

If you’re running on a computer with not much RAM to spare or, you would simply rather have your system resources being managed better, consider looking into the following extensions to help get a hold on Chrome’s sometimes-preposterous memory consumption.

Extension 1: The Great Suspender

The great suspender extension for Chrome

With The Great Suspender, tabs can be configured for suspension, unloading and more. This extension can automatically suspend tabs by replacing it with a simple screen that says “Tab Suspended”. You can adjust the suspension time and even whitelist the pages you don’t want to load. Suspended tabs can even be retained between browsing sessions, so if you want to leave your session where you started it and come back without severe loading times, that’s possible.

However, the extension fails to recover RAM memory unless the page/site has complex web elements like animations, flash or heavy scripts.

Extension 2: Tab Wrangler

Tab Wrangler extension for Chrome

Tab Wrangler serves a similar purpose to the previous extension. It automatically closes tabs that have been left idle and saves them for easy re-opening without having them constantly bogging on system resources. You can see the closed tabs that are listed by clicking the icon in the address bar. You can also lock the pages you don’t want to be closed automatically. Even without performance issues, sometimes you can just get really into a browsing session and have a whole screen of tabs open with Tab Wrangler.

Extension 3: One Tab

temporarily suspending tabs with One Tab

One Tab is the perfect when you don’t want to load all the tabs at once after restarting Chrome. Once you install One Tab to your Chrome, you will find a blue colored funnel-like icon on top right of address bar. Click on the icon before closing Chrome and all your tabs are grouped under one tab. Now, when you open Chrome again, you can restore all your tabs at once or singly as they are neatly grouped together.

One Tab claims to reduce memory consumption by 95%. You can even share your tabs with others. We have reviewed One Tab before through our article. Click to know more about One Tab. The extension is highly recommended if you want to preserve RAM.

Extension 4: Tab Hibernation

Though the name suggests that this extension it hibernates the tab, it actually kills CPU process running the tab. killing processes might actually degrade Chrome’s performance and therefore not recommended.


In testing out these four extensions, I’ve found that their functions are actually quite different, and each one is worth using. It’s best not to install those simultaneously, but I personally, highly recommend trying each one out. My preference is definitely One Tab as it gives you a lot more features just than delaying the loading of tabs.

Once you’ve installed one of these extensions, you should find that your computer is handling multiple tabs without chugging as hard, adding an extra level of convenience to your browsing experience without worrying about unwanted freezes or crashes.

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Filed under Google Chrome. Posted by Abhishek and last updated on December 14, 2015.

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Great apps, will check them out. I use the “Sidewise” app, which I can use to hibernate tabs. It pops up as a separate page w/ full list of hibernated & active tabs. I just found it has a search function, so I’m able to search, for example: for “tutorials” in all tabs, including the hibernated tabs.

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