Release and Purge Memory Usage in Google Chrome

March 23, 2010 | Filed under Browser, Google


Memory usage is a common problem for web browsers. On modern web browsers that supports more and more features, it is only normal that the memory usage for every tab that is open takes up more memory. Google Chrome comes with a task manager that lets you view how much memory, cpu and network usage for a page. There is also the about:memory for nerds which gives you more detailed information on the memory usage. It may seemed like the only way to clean up the memory usage in Google Chrome is by closing the tab but there is a hidden feature where you can enable the “Purge Memory” button to release the memory being used.

Reset Chrome Memory Usage

The only thing you need to do to enable the Purge Memory button is by adding this switch --purge-memory-button to the process when starting up Chrome. Take note that it is a double slash at the beginning and not single. To make it easy, right click on Google Chrome shortcut icon and select Properties. At the target window, go right to the end and add the --purge-memory-button.

The full shortcut target will look something like the below. The XXYY is your account user name.
C:\Users\XXYY\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe --purge-memory-button

When you have make the changes, click OK to close Google Chrome Properties window and run Google Chrome. Browse like usual and press Shift+Esc button to bring up the task manager in Chrome. You will notice an extra “Purge memory” button being added. We tested the purge memory function and it didn’t really release or minimize the memory usage for the pages shown in Task Manager. Probably Chrome is already optimized to take as little necessary memory usage as possible.

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