In September last year, Microsoft began testing a “sleep tabs” feature to help users conserve memory and CPU usage while using the Edge browser. While the feature was initially hidden behind a Microsoft Edge feature flag, Edge’s development team has since managed to bring the feature to the stable version of the browser. In this article, we are going to look at how you can use Edge browser functionality from your PC.
Use dormant tabs in Edge
What are Sleep Tabs?
Sleep tabs are based on Chromium’s freezing technology which pauses a webpage’s script timers to minimize resource usage. With this approach, Edge will not entirely remove the tab from memory. As a result, you can easily pick up where you left off without having to reload the page.
According to Microsoft, sleeping tabs reduce memory usage by 32%. In addition, the feature also entails 37% less CPU usage. Here is the average Edge Canary and Dev channel memory usage across nearly 40,000 devices:
For those wondering about CPU usage, here’s what the company found while testing the feature on nearly 40,000 devices:
When tabs are put to sleep, they fade out. For example, the first four tabs in the image below are sleeping tabs, while the following tabs are active. By default, Edge puts inactive tabs to sleep after 2 hours. You can change the sleep trigger duration in the settings.
Activate standby tabs
If the sleep tabs feature is not enabled by default on your computer, you can enable it manually from the settings. To open Settings, click on the horizontal three-dot menu in the upper right corner and choose “Settings”. Once you are on the Settings page, switch to the ‘System’ tab and toggle the “Save resources with tabs in standby” button.
Customize sleep tabs
If you’re not a big fan of the default 2 hour duration to trigger sleep tabs, you can customize it. The available durations are 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 6 hours and 12 hours. You can change this by using the “Put inactive tabs to sleep after specified amount of time” option.
Also, in case the standby tabs feature interrupts any of your workflows, you can whitelists of specific websites. Click the “Add” button next to “Never put these sites to sleep” and add the URL of these sites.
Disable sleep tabs
If you want to disable sleeping tabs, you just need to disable the “Save resources with sleeping tabs” toggle in Settings -> System. This way, Edge will no longer put your tabs to sleep.
Try Sleep Tabs in Microsoft Edge
This is how you can use standby tabs in Microsoft Edge. In my opinion, standby tabs will be especially useful for users with limited hardware resources. If you’re an Edge user, you might also like our coverage on using kids mode, disabling URL copy/paste, getting the news and weather widget, and deleting Edge tabs. of the Alt+Tab switch.