Google Chrome Starts Throttling Background Tabs to Curb Battery Drain

March 16, 2017, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

Google has commenced its long-term initiative for bringing down the battery drainage in Chrome browsers caused by background tabs. A new update is now being rolled out that kick starts the effort by limiting the activity of background tabs.

The initial step involves throttling the background activities by limiting the timer fire rate for those background tabs that consumes excessive power. By doing so, Chrome will limit the average processor load to nearly 1% of a single-core CPU according to Chrome developer team member Alexander Timin.

However, Google’s throttling won’t be applied to all the background tabs. Chrome will still let sites that require real-time connections to be maintained to run as usual in the background. These include sites for video-conferencing and audio-stream along with the rest.

Google claims to have achieved 25% fewer background tabs with this tweak, which however doesn’t indicate how much power it saves with the new feature.

The feature has been included in version 57 of Chrome, which started rolling out globally on March 9. Chances are that the update might not have arrived in your devices, as Google has slated that the rollout will be a gradual one.

The new update is a part of Google’s long-term initiative which focuses on suspending background tabs completely. This will initially be shaping up for mobile Chrome, with Google setting June 2017 as the deadline for the same. The desktop Chrome would have the background activities halted after a few minutes, but developers will still be provided the option to keep the apps active in background.

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