Saving System Resources with Sleeping Tabs

by Eric Wyatt
(last updated July 12, 2021)


Sleeping tabs in Microsoft Edge Chromium (Edge) browser is a simple feature that you never thought you'd need. When tabbed browsing first appeared in our web browsers, it was a fantastic feature that allowed us to declutter our virtual desktop from the barrage of countless windows filling up our screens. As helpful as tabbed browsing is, it is easy to get carried away. Rather than 20 separate windows, we now might have five browser windows with ten tabs each. Many users fail to realize that each window and each tab open on their computer takes up and increases memory usage. If you're on a laptop, having lots of windows or tabs decreases battery life, as it increases CPU load.

To combat this, Microsoft added a feature known as sleeping tabs. The way sleeping tabs work is that after you specify an amount of time inactivity, Edge will put a tab to "sleep." When a tab is asleep, it will be visibly less bright or dimmed. When Edge pauses the web page or site, it suspends page scripts or minimizes CPU allotment for those tabs that have gone to sleep.

To enable sleeping tabs, simply do the following:

  1. Launch Edge.
  2. Within the address bar, type edge://settings/system and press Enter. Edge displays the System section of the Settings page.
  3. Under the Optimize Performance section, make sure the "Save resources with sleeping tabs" toggle is turned on.
  4. Close the Settings section of Edge; your change should take effect immediately.

That is it. With the toggle turned on, tabs will go to sleep, freeing up system resources as you're surfing the web. If you want to turn sleeping tabs off, repeat the steps above and turn the toggle mentioned in step 3 to off.

 This tip (13882) applies to Windows 10.

Author Bio

Eric Wyatt

Eric Wyatt is a swell guy (or so his friends tell him). He is a formally trained designer and branding expert, bringing a wide range of skills to his Tips.Net articles. ...


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What is five minus 4?

2021-07-12 13:10:08

C L Boyd

My work place's default browser on our computers is Google Chrome. Does that browser have the ability for sleeping tabs, and if so, how are they enabled or disabled in Google Chrome?

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