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News hardware & software 07 July 2020, 13:24

author: Arkadiusz Strzala

New Google Chrome Function Will Extend Battery Life by Up to 2 Hours

Google conducted an experiment which proved that limiting the functioning of JavaScript in browser's tabs can extend laptop's working time by up to 2 hours.

Chrome will reduce resource consumption of inactive tabs

JavaScript running in browsers can significantly reduce the battery life of our laptop. This is the result of experiments conducted by Google. By limiting the running of these scripts in background tabs, power consumption has been significantly reduced, extending the working time by up to two hours.

IN A NUTSHELL:
  • JavaScript running on inactive Chrome tabs can use resources and reduce laptop's battery life;
  • Chrome from version 86 has an experimental feature that allows to limit JS refreshing on inactive cards.

JavaScript (JS) is a language used by pages to display interactive elements, animations, but often also to study user behavior (e.g. page scrolling, cursor position). Such scripts work all the time, even in inactive tabs, consuming resources. Google is aware of the problem and is working on solving it. The effect is already visible in the form of an experimental function present in Chrome since version 86. Its task is to limit JavaScript activity on background tabs.

The trick is to limit script refreshing to once per minute if the page is put in the background. An experiment was performed in which 36 random pages were opened in bookmarks with an active blank page. It turned out that with operation limit on inactive bookmarks enabled, battery life increased by up to 28%. This gave about 2 hours for the test equipment.

Similar results can be difficult to achieve in conditions far removed from these tests. I'm afraid not many people run 36 tabs at once to contemplate a blank page. This has been confirmed by another test performed with active YouTube, where a 13% battery life increase was gained. However, resource optimization is always welcome. The function can be launched in Chrome by typing chrome://flags in the address field.

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