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This Is How You Can Avoid Chrome Using So Much RAM

This Is How You Can Avoid Chrome Using So Much RAM

When it comes to the internet there is one name that I think all of us know, Google! The name is so common that it has actually become a verb in it’s own right! Hey man, just google it! With that, it should come as no surprise that Google has a web browser among many other online products. I am a heavy google user, and Chrome is my go to browser of choice. However, with all good things, there can be negative side effects. This article will cover a major unwanted side effect behind Google Chrome’s technology and provide some tips on how you can address this issue.

What is RAM?

Some of you may not know what RAM is, so here’s a quick breakdown. RAM is the memory that your computer uses to temporarily store data, programs, and more or less everything that you are working on. For instance, this web browser that I am writing this article on is sitting on my computer’s RAM temporarily. Once I shut down the browser or computer, it will be removed from RAM. Naturally, the more programs you run, the more RAM you use, and the more RAM you will need.

Without going all super nerd on you guys, think of RAM as a cup. Anything inside the cup is currently being used by the computer. Once the cup is full, some of the water has to be removed and put back into the container so that more water can be added to the RAM cup. The process of transferring the water back and forth creates a slight delay. The bigger your cup, the more water it can hold. If you have a small cup, and a lot of water, you can understand that there will be spills, a mess, and things will eventually slow to a crawl as you transfer water back and forth.

The technical name for this process is called “file swapping.” That’s sort of how RAM works. The water represents your programs, data, drivers, and so on. While the cup is your RAM and your container is the Hard Drive which permanently stores the data. Are you still with me? Google Chrome tends to use more memory because of the way it functions. Normally when you run a program, a process is started and all of its functions are contained within that process. You run a program such as powerpoint, and the process runs, everything you do within that powerpoint session is working within that process.

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Google Chrome does the same, except that they care so much about your work, that they separate some of the processes by tabs. If you are running flash on one tab, and that tab crashes, Chrome doesn’t want your entire session to crash. The way they get around that is by creating separate processes. If that tab crashes and takes down Flash, no problem, your other flash tabs will be fine because Chrome created a separate task for each.

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    The whole idea behind that move is to protect your other tabs and work, but the downside is that there is a duplication of processes and work. Using my prior analogy, Chrome uses more water to create separate processes that are independent of each other.

    What can you do to combat this memory situation?

    Well, the simplest solution is to upgrade the amount of memory that you have. However, on older systems this may not be an option, or your wallet may not afford you with this option. The next best step is to optimize your computer’s usage of Chrome and other apps!

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    One of the simpler options you have when a memory upgrade is not feasible is to minimize the amount of windows and tabs that you have open at any one time. As established before, the less you open, the less memory you are using. You can accomplish this on Chrome by not launching too many tabs at once, being aware of what you are running and limiting the number of extensions that you use.

    Google Chrome has its own task manager too. You can press Shift+Esc (or, on a Mac, go to Windows > Task Manager) and kill any tasks that are hogging up your RAM! Always save your work first!

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      You can also use some tools that will further help you manage memory! Here are a few that we like:

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      Click-to-Play

      I like this extension as it prevents media from running without your approval. The plugin doesn’t run unless you “Click-to-Play.” See what I did there? This one is great because so much of what is hogging up your memory is not very apparent!

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        The Great Suspender

        This tool unloads tabs that are inactive for a specific period of time. Thereby freeing up your browser and computer memory. The only downside is that when you click on them again the tabs need to be “reloaded” and that will take a moment.

        OneTab

        This one provides a very cool solution that I had sort of manually implemented and use often. This app takes all of your open tabs and saves them to one tab from where you can open them as you need them. Quite a useful tool! Please note that this one is not automatic and you have to manually execute it.

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          Recently I had to purchase a new computer to address my memory and usage issues. This is something that many of us have to do after some years. However, in the meantime I hope that these tips can help you manage the memory hog that is Google!

          Featured photo credit: Kate Ter Har via flickr.com

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          Published on September 20, 2018

          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

          11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

          In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

          Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

          In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

          Minimizing Tabs

          Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

          Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

          Incognito Mode

          Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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          1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
          2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
          3. Download extension New Incognito Window

          This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

          Save Webpages as PDF Files

          Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

          Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

          Open Recently-closed Tabs

          Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

          One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

          The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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          Solve Mathematical Problems

          Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

          For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

          Play Media Files

          Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

          In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

          Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

          With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

          Stay Focus(e)d

          Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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          Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

          With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

          This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

          Grammarly for Editing

          Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

          You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

          Loom

          There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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          There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

          With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

          Chrome Calendar Extension

          No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

          Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

          Final Thoughts

          Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

          Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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