Microsoft’s latest brainwave for Edge is one we hope Chrome copies – a RAM limiter to stop the browser eating up your memory

Microsoft’s latest brainwave for Edge is one we hope Chrome copies – a RAM limiter to stop the browser eating up your memory
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Everyone’s familiar with the paranoia around having a web browser active, and how much RAM it might eat – particularly with lots of tabs running – but Microsoft has had a bright idea to help ease those fears with its Edge browser.

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As regular leaker on X (formerly Twitter) Leopeva64 discovered, in the earliest test version of Edge (Canary), Microsoft has introduced a feature that allows users to specify how much RAM the web browser can use.

Known as ‘Resource controls’ this means that if you have, say, 8GB of RAM on your laptop, and you don’t ever want Edge using more than half of that, you could set a limit of 4GB.

There’s a toggle to turn this feature on or off, and a slider that allows you to easily select the amount of RAM that is available to Edge (from 1GB through to all your RAM).

Microsoft has implemented a couple of further options here, too, so you can specify whether this limit is active all the time, or if you only want the RAM restriction enforced when you’re playing a game (and need the memory resources more urgently).

RAM risk balancing

This is a nifty idea, but as is usually the case with this kind of performance tweak, there’s a flipside to the equation. Meaning that if you place a strict RAM limit on Edge, you might find the browser slows down a lot, or even starts to run like it’s in molasses if you have lots of Edge windows and tabs open.

Active tabs still need memory (as do sleeping ones, albeit far less) whichever way you dice it, so bear that in mind – if you make it so Edge’s workload exceeds the RAM limit, expect your browsing experience to start becoming very sluggish.

Still, the ability is definitely a welcome one, and particularly the gaming option – you won’t really be bothering with your browser if you’re playing a game anyway, not most of the time. (Save for the odd brief trip out of the game and back to the desktop to look at walkthroughs or other help sources, perhaps).

As ever with changes in testing, the functionality may not make the cut for the final version of Edge. Indeed, in this case it’s just on a limited (phased) rollout in the earliest test channel, so there’s quite a long road ahead, potentially.

We’re hoping this RAM limiter does make it through to Edge’s stable version, though, and more to the point, that Google might see the wisdom here and be inspired (ahem) to bring a similar take on resource management in with Chrome.

Via The Verge

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