Google Chrome is a resource intensive browser. You might be used to closing tabs to free up RAM, but extensions are constantly running in the background and consuming a lot of resources. Here’s how to find and disable resource-hungry Chrome extensions.

Where to find resource-hungry Chrome extensions

Just like your Windows or Mac computer, Chrome has its own built-in task manager. From there, you can see how many resources a tab, app, or extension is using.

Soon: Windows Task Manager: The Complete Guide

To access it, click on the “Menu” button located in the upper right corner of the Chrome toolbar and navigate to More tools> Task manager.

Open Task Manager in Chrome

Here you will find all active extensions at the bottom of the list. You can also click on the “Memory Footprint” tab to sort all processes based on RAM usage.

Now go through this list and identify the memory hungry extensions. There could be extensions that take up well over 500MB of RAM. It is not uncommon for small extensions to use between 50 and 100MB of RAM.

You cannot deactivate or remove extensions from here (more on that later), but you can temporarily deactivate extensions. If an extension has become unreliable and is using much more memory than it should, you can select it and then click the “End process” button to stop it working.

End the process in the Chrome task manager

The extension will now crash and you won’t find it in the Chrome toolbar. When you restart the Chrome browser, the extension will work again. To reload a crashed extension, go to Menu> More Tools> Extensions and click on the “Reload” button.

Click Reload to activate a failed extension

How to Disable or Remove Resource-intensive Chrome Extensions

During the process of finding resource-hungry Chrome extensions, you may come across extensions that you don’t need. You may also come across extensions that you will need to remove because they are using too much RAM.

To disable or remove an extension, click the three-dot Menu button in the Chrome toolbar, then navigate to More tools> Extensions.

Open the extension manager in Chrome

Here you will see all of your installed extensions in a grid. From the top, you can search for a particular extension.

To deactivate a Chrome extension, click on the corresponding toggle button. The extension will disappear from the Chrome toolbar and you will not be able to access it.

Click Toggle to deactivate a Chrome extension

Although disabled, the extension is still installed. If you want to permanently remove it from Chrome, click the “Remove” button.

Click Remove to remove a Chrome extension

Then, from the pop-up window, confirm your decision by clicking on the “Remove” button.

Click Remove to confirm

The Chrome extension will now be removed and it will no longer take up your computer’s RAM.

Want to learn more about Chrome extensions? Here’s how to install and manage Chrome extensions.