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4 ways to make Google Chrome use less memory

One common complaint about Google Chrome is that it tends to use up a lot of memory. There's a good reason for that, of course -- it has a lot to do with Chrome's built-in crash proofing features. Your tabs are split into separate process, as are your extensions and active plug-ins -- and it's all designed to keep the ship afloat if one component happens to go belly-up.

Still, there are things you can do which will help minimize the amount of memory Chrome consumes (or re-claim it when it's no longer needed).
Add a purge memory button to the Chrome task manager (above)
I covered this hack a while back and it definitely comes in handy from time to time. Add the --purge-memory-button command line switch, and you'll be able to free up unused memory via a button on the task manager. That's the one you pull up by pressing shift + escape in Chrome, not the Windows task manager.

(We've got a tutorial which shows you how to add command line switches to Google Chrome if you need a little help.)

Avoid extensions part 1: use Userscripts when you can!
While Chrome installs Userscripts the same way it does extensions, they don't get sectioned off into their own memory space. There are loads of good Userscripts which work in Chrome, too, like the 10 we mentioned last year. Use them to enhance your favorite sites like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, block Flash elements, and more!

Avoid extensions part 2: use bookmarklets instead!
Bookmarklets are an excellent extension alternative for a number of reason. First, you're not giving away any additional memory. Second, since they're souped-up versions of regular bookmarks, Chrome's bookmark sync feature will help keep your bookmarklets at the ready everywhere you use Google Chrome!

Here's our rundown of 15+ excellent bookmarklets, many of which do the same thing as some popular Chrome extensions.
Use the new internal Flash Plugin!
If you run Chrome's developer channel build, you now have access to a new (and better, so far...) Adobe Flash Player plug-in. The new plug-in is the result of a combined effort between Google and Adobe, and it's hoped that this new version will help pave the way for a newer, better plug-in architecture standard for other browsers as well.

To enable the internal Flash plug-in, just add the command line switch --enable-internal-flash. I've been testing it out quite a bit, and so far it seems to be lighter on my system's memory and processor resources.

Got another memory-saving tip for Google Chrome users? Share it with us in the comments!

Tags: chrome, google, memory, minimize, ram, resources, save