The Microsoft Edge browser is putting billions of tabs to sleep
Microsoft Edge has come a long way since the software giant decided to launch it as a Chromium-based browser and in November 2022 made up roughly 4.5% of the web browser market. One of the innovations the browser has seen is sleeping tabs, which are designed to save RAM and free up your computer’s resources by putting inactive browser tabs to sleep. Microsoft has now released details of just how many tabs the browser has been putting to sleep. Let’s take a look.
According to a new blog post from Microsoft, the sleeping tabs feature, which has been active since Microsoft Edge 105 has been working overdrive and putting a lot of tabs to sleep. In fact, in September 2022 alone, the browser put 1.38 billion inactive tabs to sleep in a bid to relieve the pressure being placed on the RAM of Windows devices.
The blog post goes on to say that sleeping tabs in this manner saves on average 83% of the memory normally used on active tabs. However, as Ghacks has already examined the feature and discovered that the sleeping tabs feature saves on average 39.1 MB of RAM per tab put to sleep we can try to run some basic math to figure out just how much RAM the feature saved Windows device users in September 2022.
As you’d imagine the number is quite large. At 39.1 X 1.38 billion, it comes in at 53,958,000,000 MB of RAM saved in September 2022. That means that in total Microsoft Edge saved just under 54 Petabytes worth of RAM in a single month. These numbers are truly astronomical, but they would get even larger if we were able to carry out similar calculations for the RAM Google Chrome saves with its Tab Freeze function. Compared to Edge, Chrome holds over 65% of the web browser market share, which puts it having almost 15 times as many users as the Edge browser.
It would be interesting to know if these savings have any knock-on effects on energy consumption and could therefore be claimed as sustainable savings for the environment too, but that investigation is beyond the means of this article.