How to Keep Your Browser from Hogging Resources

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  • Chrome: If you open a Chrome browser and press Shift+Esc, you will see a task manager specifically for Chrome. You can select an offending tab (Task Manager shows you the breakdown of memory and processor use per tab) and end that specific tab. You can also click the Stats for Nerds link to see additional statistics on your browsing session.

    • Note: Coming soon (it's already in Chromium) is a Purge Memory button so that you don't have to close the tab; instead, you can simply free up memory with a click.

  • Firefox: There are some intriguing options for adjusting Firefox, including reducing session history, reducing memory usage when minimized, establishing a fixed cache capacity or disabling cache completely, extension and theme reduction, and memory checking. Much of this is done by typing about:config in the address bar and adjusting the values. Keep in mind you should not toy around with the configuration but confirm that the changes you make actually accomplish your desired results of reducing processor and memory hogging. You might also consider some downloadable tools that promise to help, such as FireTune.

  • Internet Explorer 8: You might try running the No Add-ons mode of IE8 to see if that helps eliminate the problem of RAM-sucking that IE is famous for. It could be an add-on that is eating up the RAM and processor usage.

I've found plenty of other advice for increasing the performance of your browser and eliminating the bleeding of processor and RAM resources. Some read like voodoo séance instructions with very little technical validity to them. Others invite you to download and install booster software or memory-freeing software -- maybe those work.

But ultimately the browser developers need to address this issue and muzzle their product from eating all the resources a modern computer has to offer, especially if you are holding on to your hardware as long as possible in this still-struggling economy but download the latest browsers for your (most likely) XP machines. The last thing you need is a multitab memory hog of a browser costing your people productivity due to browser stalls or crashes.

This story, "How to Keep Your Browser from Hogging Resources" was originally published by InfoWorld.

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