Google plans to introduce a new feature in the company's Chrome web browser soon that will inform users if too much storage is being used.
New web technologies give sites and applications lots of options, and that includes storing data in manifold ways on user devices. One of the issues associated with this is that it is difficult to keep track of how much data is stored by apps or websites.
While it is possible to check using third-party tools to find out how much storage space a browser and all its components require, e.g. File Explorer on Windows 10 or the excellent WizTree, browsers don't provide detailed information about storage requirements.
The upcoming change, which will be enabled by default in desktop versions of Google Chrome, changes that. A new experimental flag is added to Chromium and Chrome that is called "Enable storage pressure UI". Flags are used by Chromium developers to introduce features in the browser that are not yet ready for wider distribution.
Once enabled, Chrome will trigger a notification when a site's attempt to store data would reduce free disk space below the 15% threshold. Google plans to set a "once every 24 hours" threshold for the feature to avoid notification overload.
The notification is triggered by attempts to use quota managed storage APIs such as IndexedDB or AppCache.
Note that the feature does not address Chrome's own storage use on a device.
A mockup published on the Chromium bugs tracker suggests that Google plans to improve the clearing of site data dialog as well in the near future. The prompt will display additional details on what is being cleared when the function is executed in the browser.
Chrome users can clear site data by clicking on the icon in front of the address of the active site and selecting Site Settings from the menu that opens; this opens a new page and the option to delete the data is displayed at the top of that page. Only data associated with the active site will be deleted when the operation is executed. Users need to use the general option to clear browsing data in Chrome if they want to clear data for all sites in the browser.
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