/chrome/community?hl=en
/chrome/community?hl=en
10/25/12
Original Poster
jcc1027

Chrome Bloated Memory Usage Becoming Worse For Many Users - Bug or Sign of the Times?

I've been a Windows 7 Tech User for many years now running IE, Firefox, and now Chrome the last couple of years. Starting about 8-10 months ago, I started noticing I was getting more more frequent low memory warnings. I had 4GB physical RAM. So I upgraded to 6GB. Being a "Power User" I have done all the tips and tweaks to maximize Win 7 performance and minimize memory usage including disabling unnecessary "Bloat" Startup Programs and Services.
 
The additional 2GB of memory helped somewhat but now that four months have gone by, the low memory usage warnings seemed to have increased again. So I decided to do some research. One thing I found out is that there are many more processes running attributed to Chrome than there are tabs open. This is for all the extensions and plug-ins, which I believe I have an average amount.
 
The other thing is that Chrome is a multi-process browser, different than other browsers. You can read all about it here:
 
http://dev.chromium.org/memory-usage-backgrounder
 
While each person's PC config and usage patterns are different, I believe I am seeing a pattern that is indicative of a larger spread issue. Considering 4GB is probably about average for your *average* (non Power) user, I think that there may be many Chrome users out there that are or are about to start experiencing issues with memory usage. This is evident from these many articles and posts just from the past 10 months:
 
Chrome uses way more memory than Firefox, Opera or Internet ...
http://www.ghacks.net/2012/06/21/chrome-uses-way-more-memory-than-firefox-opera-or-internet-explorer/
 
Google Chrome's Ridiculous Memory Usage
https://productforums.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/chrome/5xKEJs9M98g
 
Chrome memory hog
https://productforums.google.com/forum/?fromgroups=#!topic/chrome/9A8IprS2aKU
 
Google Chrome Running Too Many Processes
http://www.online-tech-tips.com/google-softwaretips/google-chrome-running-too-many-processes/
 
Chrome uses way more memory than Firefox
http://newsblog.wti.com/index.php/2012/06/chrome-uses-way-more-memory-than-firefox-opera-or-internet-explorer/
 
Chrome memory usage is horrible
http://www.overclock.net/t/1258931/chromes-memory-usage
 
Major Chrome Memory Leak
http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2001870
 
Google Chrome Memory Leak Discovered
http://thepileof.blogspot.com/2012/01/google-chrome-memory-leak-discovered.html
 
Keeping en eye on Chrome's Memory Usage
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/australia/keeping-an-eye-on-chromes-memory-usage/1467
 
I won't go into SUPER detailed memory dumps and analysis, but will say in general, the biggest culprit relative to the other Chrome related processes is the tabs. It appears websites using a lot of javascript and/or FLASH (especially lots of ads typically) can easily consume 200+ MB of memory per tab. If you have 5 of those websites open, that can be 1GB in tabs alone, and many people have more than 5 tabs open. I typically have 8-12 tabs opens. My extensions are: Google Global, Last.fm Scrobbler, LastPass, Mozbar, SearchPreview, and Xmarks. Probably more than your average users, probably average for a "Power User."
 
It is not uncommon for me to see Chrome taking up a total of 2GB and at times 3GB. A recent session where Chrome was using 1.7GB broke down something like this:
 
13 extensions - 130MB.
GPU Process - 92MB
Flash Plugin - 115MB
LastPass Plugin - 92MB
Browser - 212MB
10 tabs - 640MB (this is lower than want I usually see for 10 tabs)
 
So I, like many others out there, are wondering what is REALLY going on here? I think there are several possibilities or a combination thereof:
 
a) The information written in the memory backgrounder article under "Helping The Operating System" is referring to functionality that never really worked well, or, in some recent versions of Chrome has become broken. A lot of times, half my tabs aren't used all day yet I see no memory usage decrease.
 
b) More and more websites are becoming FLASH and javascript heavy (especially with more ads) causing the memory usage for each tab on average to have gone up over the past 12-18 months.
 
c) There's a bug in Chrome of some kind causing memory leaks.
 
We can all guess at the reason, but without some very detailed, careful testing, we may not know unless Google can confirm one way or the other.
 
For now, it seems the only solution is to a) keeps tabs open to a minimum, b) switch browsers, or c) buy more memory
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Dingus
10/27/12
Dingus
jcc1027,

With that many extensions, you might want to update to Google Chrome Dev if you're not using it already.  

Jo
10/28/12
Jo
I totally agree with you. I'm personnally about to switch to an another browser because I just can't keep going with the urge memory footprint Chrome now need. And there is no switch or flag you can activate to lower the memory footprint. As for me, I'm a power user, but right now, the only extention I allow to run to save as much memory is adblock and mail checker. My computer is 8 months old and it's now almost impossible to do my job. It got a 4Gb. but the worst is that it's an ultrabook. You can't upgrade memory in that thing and the there is no ultrabook that have more than 4gb except for the samsung series 9 and the macbook which are extremely pricey >1800$ for something that will be outdated in two years.

Plz google, fix this!!!!!

Right now I got 4 tabs open:
Browser: 199mb
Youtube: 392 mb
Google group: 236mb
Google Reader:: 264 mb
Gmail Inbox: 261 mb
Facebook: 320mb
Extension: Adblock Plus 4.7mb
Extension: Adblock+ 37mb
Extension: Mail Checker Plus for Google Mail 31mb
Extension: RSS: 4mb
GPU: 35mb
Plug-in: Shockware Flash: 32mb
Plug-in: Google Talk Plugin: 1.6mb
Plug-in: Google Update: 32mb

So for only 4 tabs open, it take 1849.3 mb or 1.8gb of ram.
That a lot of memory!!
Over that, windows take a it's good share of memory and is blocking you for going over 75% of usage. As soon as you go over 75% it starts to use pagination...
With 4 tabs, i'm almost already running out of memory. Windows at startup generally takes about 1.2gb for the 64bits version. 1.2 + 1.8 = 3gb. My system has 4gb which 128mb of it is used by the video card (I learn it only when I got my computer in my hand). 75% is at (4 * 1024 - 128) * 75% = 2976. So with 4 tabs, i'm hitting the limits. Add skype to that which is a huge memory hug also with it's 200 to 300mb and you are over. I'm not even counting here Visual Studio which I use on a daily basis, ftp program, itune, sublime, gdrive, photoshop, and all the program I need to do my work.
Jo
10/28/12
Jo
Just to add I little bit more: I think the problem reside in the fact that the memory is never reclaim. As you navigate from page to page, the footprint of the tab keep growing. It allow fast "go back action", but it's a big memory taker.

Also, the browser itself (the container) should be way smaller. There is absolutely no reason to be 200mb. There is no content inside of it, not much of graphics beside the theme, bookmark and the small icons for extension....
Mr Dude
10/30/12
Mr Dude
I will ad, that it takes 682M to run 4 tabs on OSX. I don't know what is up with chrome either, definitely not light weight anymore and will be dumping what used to be a fantastic browser.
11/14/12
Original Poster
jcc1027
Some have found the solution is to run Chrome Canary. There are three versions of Chrome. Production (normal version). Dev - the development releases. And Canary, which are basically development releases that are released daily (from what I understand). Out of the three, Canary is the most untested and will be most prone to bugs but will also have the newest features. I tired Dev a month ago and it didn't seem to fix the issue. Then I tried Canaray an wa-la. No memory issues any more! I'm currently on Canary 25.0.1024. It appears you have to manually update it via the About if I recall. I only updated once and then stopped as it seems stable so I was scared I'd get a less stable copy if I kept updating. So I guess now I just need to wait for a 25.x version of the production version to come out.
 
The other downside to Canary is that you can't make it your default browser with running a registry hack. No big deal, but a minor inconvenience.
 
https://tools.google.com/dlpage/chromesxs (run at your own risk)
 
http://techie-buzz.com/how-to/set-chrome-canary-default-browser-windows-mac.html
8 MORE
1kenthomas
5/17/13
1kenthomas
Literally it means something like "see that!",  which is easily enough,  taken as a statement of satisfaction.
 
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