How to Stop Google Chrome Zapping Your Battery on an Old Mac

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how to stop google chrome zapping your battery on an old mac

Google Chrome is marketed as fast and efficient and your older Mac users agree that it is very fast and efficient at draining your battery. A few minutes browsing with chrome and your older Mac is begging to be plugged in.

It is no secret that Chrome isn’t kind to an older Mac. There are numerous reasons for this but a significant one is that Chrome utilises a bucket load of RAM and CPU power to work.

As such, Chrome can and does get slow and your battery has an uphill battle to keep the lights on. Other reasons Chrome is unkind are:

  • Significant data exchange is happening in the background.
  • Active tabs. The more tabs you have open the more resources are needed.
  • Pressure from other apps that need RAM too.
  • Some of these are resource hungry.
  • For more information see this post.

So how do you fix your Chrome issues on an older device?

Refresh Chrome

The longer Chrome runs without a break the more it drains your resources. If you imagine how you feel when you’ve done a long day and how many resources you consume, well Chrome is no different.

If it gets slow, restart it.

Paste: chrome://restart in the address line.

Your tabs won’t vanish, and Chrome will have a new lease of life.

Disable Hardware Acceleration

It may seem odd to make things run faster by disabling acceleration, but it has been shown that Chrome loads faster when hardware acceleration is switched off.

  • Go to the 3-dotsin the corner.
  • Settings, Advanced, System.
  • Toggle left.

Clean Cache, Temporary Files, and System Junk

A significant factor in Chrome’s performance loss could be there is too much junk clogging up the system. As such clear:

  • System, app, and browser cache.
  • Temporary files.
  • Broken items.
  • While you’re about it, take a look at your extensions, and any that are worthless send them to

Update Chrome

If your Chrome is out of date it could well be sapping resources. So:

  • Open Chrome and click the3 dots.
  • Check to see if there is a pending update. You’ll see a green, orange, or red alert if your Chrome is out of date.
  • If it is out of date Update Google Chrome.

Close Down Unneeded Tabs

If you’ve got multiple tabs open you are putting more pressure on your system. For Chrome, the more tabs you have open the more resources it claims. As such, get into the habit of closing down tabs you’re not using. You’ll be surprised how much better Chrome and your Mac will run.

Stop Unwanted Chrome Process

Chrome’s extensions are often resourcing hungry even when not being used. So use Chrome’s Task Manager to find the pesky extensions and close them down.

  • Open Chrome, 3 dots.
  • Click More Tools, Task Manager.
  • Click Memory footprintto sort your tasks by resource usage. The highest first will be displayed.
  • Select tasks which are not being used and click End Process.

Older Macs are still great machines, and if you follow these tips they’ll be even better.

For more information, see Apple Support.

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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