Background pages and background apps

Many extensions and web apps use background pages in order to carry out their functions. The background page is invisible to you, but it’s constantly working in the background, for example checking your mail so it can let you know when you have new messages. 

In order to provide more functionality, some apps can keep running even after you close the last window of Google Chrome. These are called background apps. To indicate that a process is still running, a Google Chrome icon will appear in the system tray (bottom right corner of your desktop screen) on Windows and the dock on Mac. When you right-click the icon, a list of running background apps will appear.

Manage your background pages and apps

Background pages allow extensions and apps to do great things, but they also require computer resources. For that reason, we want you to be able to see when background pages are running and how much resources they’re using.

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu in the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Tools.
  3. Select Task manager.
  4. If you have an extension or app installed that uses a background page, you'll see an item in the dialog that appears labeled "Background Page".

The task manager shows you how much memory and CPU are being used by your extensions, tabs, and apps. To stop any of these items, select it from the list and click End process. You can also disable extensions via the Extensions page and uninstall apps via the New Tab page to stop background pages.

In order to close Google Chrome completely when background apps are running, select Exit from the Chrome menu (Quit on a Mac). Alternatively, you can uninstall the apps.

Close background apps after closing Chrome

This is only applicable to Google Chrome browser on Windows and Linux.

You can disable all background apps from running when you have closed Chrome.

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu in the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings.
  4. In "System" section, deselect "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" checkbox.