Google Chrome is getting even smarter at reducing its memory usage

 Google Chrome browser icon.
Google Chrome browser icon.

Google Chrome on the desktop comes with a Memory Saver mode that does exactly what its name suggests. Now that feature is getting even smarter at working out which open tabs it can use to cut down on memory usage.

As spotted by Windows Report (via SamMobile), something called Probabilistic Memory Saver Mode is currently being tested in Google Chrome Canary version 121. It's not enabled by default, but you can find it by typing "about://flags" into the address bar.

Memory Saver essentially snoozes tabs that you haven't visited in a while, freeing up RAM for the tabs you are using. However, the trade-off is that if you do go back to those inactive tabs, it takes a little longer for them to get going again.

Probabilistic Memory Saver Mode uses "probability distributions to estimate the chance of tab revisit based on observations about the tab's state" – which should ultimately mean a better balance of memory saving and tab snoozing.

Take a chance

We haven't heard anything from Google about this yet, so it's difficult to know exactly how the new feature works, but from that description it would seem that all of your open tabs would be given a probability score – representing the likelihood of them being reopened.

That might be based on what's in the tabs (a rapidly updating social media feed or a static news page), and how frequently you've been revisiting it since it was opened. The amount of time it's been inactive will clearly be a factor too.

It remains to be seen if this will roll out to the stable version of Chrome for everyone, but anything that improves Memory Saver has to be beneficial. The feature may well be tweaked and optimized based on its testing stage.

This wouldn't be the first upgrade given to Memory Saver: back in June Google added the ability for users to see just how much RAM each tab is hogging, making it easier to see the worst offenders so they can be shut down manually, if needed.

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