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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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          Last Updated on February 15, 2019

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

          Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

          Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

          Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

          So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

          Joe’s Goals

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            Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

            Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

            Daytum

              Daytum

              is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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              Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

              Excel or Numbers

                If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

                What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

                Evernote

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                  I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                  Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                  Access or Bento

                    If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                    Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                    You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                    Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                    All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                    Conclusion

                    I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                    What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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