If you’re a chronic tab-opener, you’ll want to see how Microsoft is adapting to your habits.


The Edge logo on a laptop and phone

As Microsoft moves to drop support for its older browsers, the company has been working hard to make Chromium Edge a major competition versus Chrome and Firefox. To make its browser even better, the company announced its “sleeping tabs” experiment, making web browsing less resource-intensive.

How Will Sleeping Tabs Help Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft recently published an announcement dedicated to this new feature. On the Microsoft Tech Community website, Microsoft discusses what sleeping tabs are, how they work, and what they do for your computer.

When Edge detects that you’re not using a tab, it freezes that tab. This technology uses Chrome’s built-in freezing feature, which pauses scripts on a page when you’re looking at it.

However, when Edge detects that you haven’t looked at a tab for an extended period of time, it puts that tab “to sleep.” When this happens, Edge releases the system resources used for that tab, thus giving you more processing power for the tabs you are using.

By default, a tab goes to sleep if you haven’t looked at it for two hours. However, if you don’t agree with Microsoft’s default setting, you can tweak how long a tab waits for before it goes to sleep.

So, how much does a sleeping tab save on your computer’s resources? Microsoft has done the tests, and they seem very promising:

Early internal testing of devices with sleeping tabs has shown a median memory usage reduction of 26% for Microsoft Edge. Our internal testing has also shown that a normal background tab uses 29% more CPU for Microsoft Edge than a sleeping tab. These resource savings should result in excellent battery savings.

If you want to give sleeping tabs a try, be sure to keep your eyes on both Microsoft Edge Canary and the Dev channel. Microsoft will roll out this new feature to beta testers using either browser, so give it a try and see what you think.

Letting Sleeping Tabs Lie

Microsoft is taking the fight to Chrome and Firefox, and it aims to do this by one-upping what its competitors do. Given that this sleeping tabs feature is an enhancement of Edge’s new Chromium base, who knows what Microsoft has planned for the browser?

If you want to know what else is coming to Edge, be sure to check out its new Web Clipper tool. Web Clipper aims to bring a native screenshotting tool to the browser, so you can capture and edit images without using third-party tools.

Image Credit: DANIEL CONSTANTE / Shutterstock.com


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