How to Fix Google Chrome Draining Battery on Mac

April 5, 2023

Google Chrome is the most popular browser, holding over 60% of the market share. Users love its clean, simple design, and it offers a repository of extensions for various functions, including productivity, task management, keyword research, etc.

Yet, it has received a bad rap due to draining the battery power, especially on MacBooks. The good thing is that this is a problem that Google is aware of, and the company has been making software updates to address the issue and improve performance.

If you’re struggling with the Chrome memory drain problem, this post will offer tips on how to fix the issue.

Why Chrome Drains Your Mac Battery

A seamless performance of software programs relies on your computer resources, including CPU, memory, and disk space. The more tasks or processes a software runs, the more resources it will need.

In the case of Chrome, the browser will use more resources if you have many open tabs to ensure performance continuity. Typically, Chrome is optimized for performance, and this comes at the cost of increased CPU usage, leading to high energy consumption.

Compared to Safari, Chrome gives you 5 to 10% less time on battery power, depending on usage. You’ll need to recharge your Mac sooner if you prefer using Chrome.

Fixing the Problem

Some people will opt to uninstall Chrome due to its heavy dependence on the CPU. If you prefer using Chrome, you can do several things to minimize battery draining when using it on your Mac, allowing you to work longer with every charge.

  • Keep Your Chrome Up-to-Date

Failing to update your Chrome browser can cause increased CPU usage and power consumption. Google updates Chrome to improve performance and fix issues that take up much of your battery power.

Click the three dots at the top-right corner of your browser, and go to “Help” > “About Google Chrome.” You can update your browser here if it’s not up-to-date. Be sure to relaunch your browser to complete the update.

  • Close Idle Tabs and Windows

When working, it’s easy to forget to close tabs and windows you no longer need. Note that each idle tab or window takes up vital resources, pushing your Mac to work harder to keep everything running on limited resources.

Simply stop for a moment and close all the idle tabs and windows. You will likely notice performance improvement after closing them, which will also be good for your battery.

Inspect Your Chrome Tasks and Processes

Tabs, extensions, and subframes could be eating up your memory and CPU. Identifying and closing them can reduce the toll on your CPU and battery power, leading to more efficiency.

Click the three dots (More) at the top-right corner of your browser. Go to “More tools” > “Task Manager.” This will open a new window that shows active processes with their memory footprint and CPU usage.

Close those that are taking up too many resources, yet they’re not useful. Select the process you want to close and click the “End Process” button at the bottom-right corner.

4. Tweak Your Chrome Settings

Chrome offers different settings that can help improve its performance and save your energy. Here are some settings you should check:

  • Performance Setting

You can configure this setting to save your memory and energy. Follow these steps:

  1. Click More (3 dots) at the top right corner
  2. Go to “More tools” > “Performance.”
  3. Turn on “Memory Saver”
  4. Turn on “Energy Saver” and select “Turn on when my computer is unplugged.”

Memory Saver helps to free up memory from idle tabs and windows, allowing active tabs to perform better. Energy Saver limits visual effects and background activity to conserve your battery power.

II). Enable Page Prefetch

This setting enables Chrome to preload pages for faster browsing and searching. Once activated, Chrome identifies pages you’re likely to visit and preloads them to save memory.

  1. Click the three dots at the top right corner
  2. Go to “Settings”
  3. On the left of the screen, click “Privacy and Security.”
  4. Locate “Cookies and other site data” and click it.
  5. Scroll down to find “Preload pages for faster browsing and searching” and enable it.

You must allow Chrome to use cookies for this setting to work efficiently. Chrome will learn your browsing behaviour and history to preload pages you will likely visit.

III). Deactivate Hardware Acceleration

The Hardware Acceleration function enables Google Chrome to use CPU and GPU when processing heavy loads. In most cases, this feature never works seamlessly, leading to increased CPU usage.

  1. Click the three dots at the top right corner
  2. Click” Settings”
  3. On the menu, click “System.”
  4. Disable “Use hardware acceleration when available.”

Once you complete these steps, you should notice improvements over time. Also, it’s advisable to uninstall extensions you are not using and clean up your Chrome browser regularly.

To remove extensions, click the three dots, and go to “Settings” > “Extensions.” Identify and uninstall extensions you don’t need. You can clean up your Chrome by clicking the three dots, then “Settings” > “Privacy and Security” and tapping “Clear browsing data.”

A small window will pop up. Pick your desired time range, check all the boxes, and click “Clear Data.” This should help free up some space on your disk.

Protect Your Mac’s Battery Life

Charging your Mac frequently can be quite bothering, and it also affects your battery's performance. Google Chrome has a history of using a lot of resources to deliver optimal performance. Consequently, this results in more power consumption.

Simple actions like closing idle tabs and updating your browser can reduce memory and power usage. In some cases, re-installing Chrome can help, too. In this post, we’ve shared a few tips for addressing this problem.

If these tips fail to address your problem, consider using another browser like Safari, Edge, or Firefox and monitor your battery performance. You should visit the Service Center for a battery replacement if the issue persists.

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