Google plans to dramatically improve battery life with new Chrome throttling move

Google investigating new ways to reduce Chrome CPU hogging

The "Throttle Javascript timers in background" experiment can be enabled by Google Chrome Canary 86 users by opening a new chrome://flags/#intensive-wake-up-throttling tab, choosing Enabled in the drop-down menu, and restarting the web browser. The company is considering reducing the javascript wake-up timer of the tab now in the background to 1 minute. It resulted in an extended battery life of nearly 28%, or nearly 2 hours. This action will restrict javascript in background tags from doing unnecessary tasks.

JavaScript can be used by websites to perform a number of tasks, including checking if the user's scrolling position has changed, reporting logs, and analysing interactions with ads.

For its testing, Google opened 36 random tabs in the background of Chrome, with the foreground tab on the "about:blank" address.


Google's experiments found that throttling Javascript timers aggressively leads to nearly 2 hours (28%) more battery life for a user with 36 tabs and about:blank in the foreground and roughly 36 minutes (13%) more with a YouTube video playing in full-screen. Apple has also got a significant advantage with the Safari web browser on Mac computing devices, and the next update rolling out with iOS 14, iPadOS 14 and macOS Big Sur will add further improvements too. Thus, Google is considering activating the new limit only after 5 minutes of inactivity. It also reveals that an enterprise policy will allow system administrators to disable this feature in Google Chrome as that would not create any trouble for Chrome enterprise browser once this Feature is rolled out.

According to a report from The Windows Club, Google is experimenting with limiting JavaScript timer wake-ups to 1 wake per minute starting with version 86 of Chrome.

The move is now in testing in Chrome 86 behind a flag, but it is not certain if it will be rolled out to mainstream users yet.

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