Free Computer Memory In Google Chrome

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 22, 2010
Updated • Aug 10, 2016
Google Chrome

The Google Chrome browser ships with a Task Manager that reveals information about the browser's memory consumption, as well as cpu and network load.

When you open the Task Manager in the browser, either by using the shortcut Shift-Esc or by opening it from the More Tools sub-menu, information about all open tabs, extensions, plugins and the core browser are displayed in it.

This can be useful to find out which website or extension uses the most memory, and which may be slowing down the computer due to high cpu load.

You may click on a header to sort the listing accordingly, for instance by memory or cpu use. The browser task that uses the most is displayed at the top this way.

Update: The purge memory option is no longer part of the Task Manager. You may want to check out extensions like Tab Memory Purge instead which may help reduce the memory use of the Chrome browser.

The developers have added a purge memory button to the task manager that is disabled by default. This button can be used to free up computer memory allocated by the Internet browser. It works in this regard like other tools that free computer memory.

Firefox users can for instance install the Memory Fox add-on to free computer memory while Windows users the computer memory optimizer Minimem.

The purge memory button becomes only available if the Chrome web browser is started with the startup parameter --purge-memory-button.

The easiest way to do that in Windows is to right-click the Google Chrome shortcut to display the context menu. Select properties from the available choices and locate the Target field in the Shortcut tab. Append --purge-memory-button at the end of that line so that the command to execute Google Chrome looks similar to this:

C:\Users\xxxx\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --purge-memory-button

It is necessary to use "" to mark the path if the path to Google Chrome contains spaces.

The purge memory button should be active in the task manager if the startup parameter has been added correctly.

Clicking that button will free computer memory in the web browser, but only memory that is not needed will be purged. Please note that this is only a temporary method, as Chrome will start allocating memory when you start using it.

Free Computer Memory In Google Chrome
Article Name
Free Computer Memory In Google Chrome
Find out how to display the Chrome browser's memory usage, and how to reduce it using a purge memory option built-in the browser..
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Wayne Bartosh said on September 20, 2013 at 7:18 am

    Everytime I click the “Purge Memory” button in chrome; chrome crashes and has to be restarted. Is this normal?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 20, 2013 at 8:36 am

      No that is not normal.

  2. Bob Smith said on March 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    like i care.

    1. Bob Smith said on March 22, 2010 at 6:49 pm

      about releasing memory

  3. abhishek said on March 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    What happens when we end the process – i mean tabs through google chrome task manager – what will happen in that case, will memory occupied by that tab will be released

    1. Martin said on March 22, 2010 at 3:57 pm

      Memory is released if you close tabs.

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