How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (UPDATED)

Today’s article is going to be a brief article about a previous article, where I gave you one way to make Google Chrome use less RAM. Consider this an updated article. So, if you’re trying to make Google Chrome use less RAM (and power, I guess) read on!

As tech goes, the situation has changed. As the tech changes, so too must we change our reactions to said changes. The thing with tech is that it never stands still, something that I (for one) appreciate.

The article in question is about making Google Chrome use less RAM. This applies to other browsers, but I concentrated on Chrome. Here is that article:

How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (And Other Browsers)

In that article, I recommended folks use the “Auto Tab Discard“ plugin. That recommendation has not changed. It’s a great add-on that will discard unused tabs, saving you both RAM and some power (which is useful for mobile devices).

Now, Google (along with other browsers) have enabled a new(ish) feature. Basically, to save power, the browser does what Auto Tab Discard does – it puts unused tabs to sleep. So, when you open those tabs that were sleeping you will need to wait a moment for them to reload.

That’s not a problem. The problem is, Google does this indiscriminately by default. Chrome does seem to make an exception for tabs that are playing audio or video, but all other tabs are fair game and will be put to sleep.

I repeat, all other tabs are fair game. They can and will be put to sleep. That’s downright annoying when you distinctly want to keep some tabs from going to sleep.

Fortunately, you have options.

You can disable this feature in your settings and continue using an extension like “Auto Tab Discard”. That’s a fine choice. That was my choice. It’s probably the wrong choice, but it is a choice.

Your other choice is to manually add sites to the whitelist, telling Google to keep those tabs open. So, you won’t need the extension if you choose to do it this way. This is probably the best choice. This is the choice I did not make.

I’ll show you how to make that choice, and kinda format this like a ‘regular article’…

Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM:

For once, you don’t need to open a terminal!

Instead, open Google Chrome. Then, click on the vertical three-dot menu in the upper right, and then you need to click on “Settings”. When that tab opens, click on “Performance” (on the left) and the rest should be fairly obvious.

If you’re like me, you can just disable the feature. That looks like this:

disable the power saving feature for Google Chrome
At this stage you can modify your settings as you see fit. I’ve turned the feature off. Go me!

If you want, you can keep the feature enabled (it was enabled by default at my house) and just add your favorite sites to the list of sites that always remain active. I don’t feel like messing around with it, so I’ve simply disabled the feature and opted to keep the extension.

I suppose that might mean I use a little extra RAM, I haven’t tested but it’d be a very trivial amount and I quite like the GUI offered by the installed extension. When I next do a clean install, I’ll probably just let the browser deal with it instead of using the extension.

Other browsers may use similar tactics to save power (and free up RAM, the two are related). As of the time of this publication, this was not yet a feature that’s in Google’s opensource counterpart Chromium. Right now, this appears to just be a function in the proprietary version, but tech changes and that too may change.


And, well, now you can see why this is an article all of its own. It was more than I could reasonably add as an update to the existing article and was enough information to make a new article. After publication, I’ll update the previous article to link to this article. I hope… Hopefully, I remember to do that.

Hmm… I think I forgot to do a ‘meta’ article in February. February is a pretty short month, plus I’ve been otherwise distracted. But, I’ve not been too distracted to skip a publication date! We’re rapidly approaching the two-year mark. It has been a pretty good ride!

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Fix The Application Menu For Shutter

Today’s article is pretty niche, one where we fix the application menu for Shutter. On one hand, if you don’t use Shutter, this probably isn’t the article for you – but you can still read it and learn something useful. On the other hand, it fixes a ‘problem’ with Shutter and I think this is a fine time to cover it.

So, if you use Shutter, read on! (Hint: Even if you don’t personally use Shutter, you can still benefit from this article.) You’ll just need to understand what was done and how to apply it to other shortcuts.

By the way, Shutter has been mentioned here (and elsewhere):

Take, Edit, And Upload Screenshots With Shutter

I use Shutter all the time. It’s my go-to when I need to share a screenshot. It’s handy and I recommend it to anyone who has to deal with a lot of screenshots. I also use Flameshot, but that’s less often.

Alas, when you install Shutter it wants to put the application menu shortcut under something like ‘Utility’, so it appears as an administration tool or doesn’t show up where you’d expect it to be. This is just silliness.

What Shutter should do is should show up under ‘Graphics’ in the application sub-menu! So, that’s what this article will do. It will show you how to fix the application menu for Shutter so that it shows up under ‘Graphics’.

This article shouldn’t be all that long. It seems to me that it should be pretty brief… We’ll just have to wait and see!

Also, as mentioned above, this article should be easy enough for my readers to extrapolate into resolving other application menu gaffes/choices. It’s a nice and easy article. Or at least I hope it is…

Fix The Application Menu For Shutter:

Now, when I did this, I did it with the GUI. You will not be doing it in the GUI, if you follow this article’s advice. When you do it graphically, it’s still pretty simple. It looks something like this:

You can use a GUI to change where the file is listed in the application menu.
Fixing the application menu to show Shutter under the ‘graphics’ heading.

That’d be a bit convoluted to explain because everyone’s using a different desktop environment and different file managers. So, instead of doing this is a GUI, we’re doing to do this in the terminal. (Of course we are.)

Open your default terminal now. If you don’t actually know how to, you can just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal now open, enter the following command:

That will open the .desktop file with Nano.

From there, scroll down to where you see “Categories” and change the ‘Utilities’ to ‘Graphics’. With that done, you need to save your changes. As we’re using Nano, you save your changes by just pressing CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER

The results should be immediate, though I’ve seen this require logging out and back in again. For the most part, it should just work – and it should work immediately. When you next open the application menu, you should find Shutter where it belongs – under the ‘Graphics’ sub-menu.

Now, you can do this with all sorts of other applications. If you don’t like the existing category, just change it until you do like the category. When you change that, the shortcut should appear in the expected sub-menu.

Feel free to try this will all the applications you want. It should work with any of them. If you do decide to do this in a GUI, you’ll need root and the files need to be edited as though they’re plain text. Enjoy!


And there you have it… You have another article. In this article, you’ll have learned how to fix the application menu for Shutter – and other applications. Best of all, you’ll have done it in the terminal, which means you can do this with pretty much every operating system without needing to change the commands. The terminal is pretty awesome.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (And Other Browsers)

In today’s article, we’re going to explore one way to make Google Chrome use less RAM. This is also useful for other browsers and will reduce CPU usage as well. This will be a shorter article (I was wrong), outside of the norm for the articles I tend to write.

This article has an update:

How To: Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM (UPDATE)

Though, to be fair, the efficacy of this depends a great deal on how you use your browser. If you’re a light browser user, this probably isn’t the article for you. Otherwise, if  you’re anything like me, read on!

See, right this very minute, I have 108 open tabs in this browser. On top of that, I have three browser instances open. I do different things in different browsers, as a way to both organize myself and to keep things compartmentalized. Even with gobs of RAM, the browsers consume a ton of resources.

While I do make use of bookmarks, I also have a lot of open tabs that I return to with some regularity. Eventually, you’ll have to restart Chrome, assuming you also don’t reboot as often as I do. Browsers just consume more and more resources, ’cause the concept of a simple webpage is gone as everyone uses the latest libraries and insists on being interactive.

This increasing resource usage equally true with Firefox, Chromium, Opera, Brave, etc… If you have enough tabs open, it’s gonna consume a bunch of resources, continuing to use more as time passes. This can lead to a system, or just browser instance, that slows down or even becomes unresponsive. It can even cause the system to freeze entirely.

Well, if you try this one simple trick (Ha! I crack me up!) then you can probably resolve this issue. This article will tell you how!

Make Google Chrome Use Less RAM:

For once, you don’t have to open a terminal for this article!

Instead, crack open Google Chrome – or any other major browser. This works for most of the popular browsers. As long as it’s in the Chrome or Firefox family, you should be able to use this extension.

I guess I should call this a review. It kinda is. 

As I was saying in the intro, my browsers were consuming too many resources. They’d chew up RAM, sometimes chew up CPU, and generally take more resources than I felt they needed to.

I knew what I wanted to do, so I went looking for a browser extension that’d let me do what I wanted. I tried a few extensions that did what I wanted, but settled on the add-on/extension called “Auto Tab Discard“. 

Auto Tab Discard is available for both Google Chrome and Firefox. What it does is, after a certain amount of time (which you set) it ‘discards’ tabs. This is handier than you might think!

Auto Tab Discard unloads unused tabs from memory, reducing RAM consumption by an immeasurable (but about 60% in my case) amount – as well as reducing CPU usage, though CPU usage is usually pretty minimal for non-interactive tabs that aren’t currently open.

You can set the time for this, meaning you can make Auto Tab Discard discard tabs after being inactive for 15 minutes, for example. If this was a blanket statement, then the browser extension would be pretty useless – but it’s not. After all, you probably don’t want all tabs to be automatically discarded.

To that end, you can also set certain tabs to never be discarded. You basically whitelist the domain and those tabs will not be discarded automatically with Auto Tab Discard. On top of that, and this is moderately important, you can tell Auto Tab Discard to *not* discard tabs that have audio or video playing.

For example, you can load up a YouTube playlist and let it run in the background and Auto Tab Discard will let it remain resident in memory. This also works for tabs just playing audio. As near as I can tell, this feature works fine – and I’ve been using the extension for well over a month now.

That’s how I use Auto Tab Discard. You can also manually choose to discard a tab. If you need to, you can even tell Auto Tab Discard to discard everything but the current tab. You can note discarded tabs by the ‘zz’ in the changed tab title. There are a ton of options that let you customize Auto Tab Discard for yourself. Click on the extension’s icon to see a bunch of other options for Auto Tab Discard.

Hands down, this is the best extension I could find that would make Google Chrome use less RAM and CPU. As a bonus, it’s also available for Firefox!


While doing all this testing, I decided to solve another problem. Any time I’d open a YouTube tab, even by mistake, it would automatically start playing the video. That was really annoying – especially as I was now discarding those tabs and they’d automatically load when I clicked on a tab by mistake.

For this problem, and I have a lot of YouTube tabs open, I managed to find “Stop Autoplay For YouTube“. I only make use of the version for Google Chrome, but I’m sure something exists for Firefox. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to always work, but it works often enough for me. It’s still annoying, but far less often.

I just haven’t trialed anything in Firefox because Firefox isn’t one of my favorite browsers. Because of this, I’m reluctant to recommend any specific extension. I’m sure there’s a browser add-on for Firefox that will stop YouTube from autoplaying videos. If you do find a good one, feel free to recommend it as a comment.

But, for Google Chrome (and Chromium, of course) I find the Stop Autoplay For YouTube to be a handy extension, doing useful things. If your browsing habits are anything like mine, you too might find it useful. If you don’t have 20 YouTube tabs open (technically actually discarded with Auto Tab Discard) like I do, you’ll find it helpful when you mis-click and a YouTube video starts playing automatically.


Well, that was a different article. Today’s article is going to be useful to a subset of people, some of whom will be using operating systems other than Linux. Hopefully more people will learn how to make Google Chrome use less RAM, even if they’re using Windows or a Mac. You can even use Auto Tab Discard in the Microsoft Bing browser, for that tiny subset of users who do use that browser on Linux.

Automatically discarding tabs makes computing so much nicer and it means I don’t have to change my ways all that much. I just let tabs get discarded and that means my RAM usage is a whole lot less than it used to be. The browsers accounted for well over 60% of my RAM.

So, if you’re anything like me, this will help you reduce the resources used by your browsers. And, if you’re anything like my, at least 90% of your computing time will be spent in your browser.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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Let’s Learn How To Change The Open File Limit In Linux

Today, lacking anything better to do, we’re going to learn how to change the open file limit in Linux. Why would you want to do this? Buggered if I know! But, I’m gonna tell you how! (You’re welcome!)

Actually, you could be working with many files and want to increase the number of files that can be open at one time. You might also want the opposite, as a way of limiting system resources.

Basically, in Linux, anything that can use resources has some sort of limitation. For example, there’s a limit to how many arguments that can be passed in a single command or for a new process. You’re unlikely to bump into that limit as a regular desktop Linux user, but that limit is there.

Heck, if you want to learn more about that, click this. I’m not entirely sure how to change that value, but it might actually be in some notes somewhere. Someone’s gotta know how.

Again, you’re very unlikely to run into problems as regular ol’ desktop Linux user. Realistically, you’re unlikely to have to change the open file limit in Linux. However, today is the day I tell you how! Why? ‘Cause I ain’t scared – and it’s not my computer that you’re mucking about in!

I should also mention, more to remind you gentlefolk, that everything in Linux is a file. Everything… So, you’d be surprised how many files you have open at times. Even then, you still probably don’t have too much of a need to change the open file limit.

Change The Open File Limit:

Like many articles, this one requires an open terminal. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, now is a good time to tell you that there’s a hard limit and a soft limit. The hard limit can only be changed by root and the soft limit can be altered dynamically by the process.

You can learn those limits. To find the hard limit, use this command:

And, to find the soft limit, use this command:

Those commands will output the value of your hard and soft limits, respectively. 

You can obviously change those limits, else this wouldn’t be an article. To change the open file limit, you just add a new value as an additional argument. It’s something like:

And, again for the soft limit:

For example, you might increase the hard limit with a command like so:

If  you want to make them permanent changes, you can do that. It’s a little different for the hard limit and the soft limit. So, to make them permanent we need to use nano to do some file editing:

And add this line:

If you want to change the soft limit, it’s a little different. It’s just:

If it’s not obvious, replace the username with your username (and no brackets, of course). Then, of course, you’ll need to save the file. To do that, just press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER and that’ll save the file properly.

You shouldn’t need to reboot. The changes should be immediate and you can run the above commands to verify this. If the changes somehow didn’t take effect, reboot and  you should be good to go.


I’ve never really needed to change the open file limit as a desktop Linux user, but you might have a reason to do so. If that’s the case, it makes sense to have this information handy, and now you do.

It’s yet another article in a long, long list of articles – a list that’s growing steadily! I have yet to miss a single publication date, though I feel compelled to do so – as it’d take the pressure off knowing that I no longer have a “perfect” record.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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How To: Adjust Swappiness

In today’s article, we’re going to learn how to adjust swappiness. It’s something you might want to do, as many don’t like the initial value set by the developers. It’s relatively easy.

I’ve written about swap before. I think you’ll find the best information in my recent article telling you how to remove a swap file. In that article, I tell you why I still use a swap file – even when I have lots of RAM available.

The reason for that boils down to how a swap file isn’t just some place that the kernel sticks things when you’re out of RAM. It has other uses as well. I figure I’m not smarter than the kernel and evidence tells me that the kernel uses swap even when there’s all sorts of RAM available. So, I use a swap file (not a swap partition these days). You might also want one if you plan on using advanced power management features like hibernation or sleep.

Anyhow, one of the only settings you can change regarding swap is the ‘swappiness’ value. That setting is basically how aggressively the kernel will use swap. The higher the number, the more the kernel will use swap. The lower the number, the less the kernel will use swap. It’s pretty basic in theory.

I don’t actually normally adjust the swappiness value. It works just fine at the default setting, so it doesn’t seem to me like I need to adjust it. Other people adjust it, and that’s fine. Either way, I’m going to tell you how to adjust the swappiness value. You do what you gotta do.

Adjust Swappiness:

This article requires an open terminal, like many other articles on this site. If you don’t know how to open the terminal, you can do so with your keyboard – just press CTRL + ALT + T and your default terminal should open.

With your terminal open, let’s see what value swappiness is set at before we decide to adjust swappiness. Enter the following command:

The default is usually 60, at least in the Ubuntu world, and some folks think that’s too aggressive. That value is easy enough to change. But, what I’d suggest doing is adjusting the value temporarily so that you can see what happens when you adjust swappiness. To set the value temporarily, you can just use this command:

Adjust the ’30’ to any number you want between 0 and 100. Both extremes are likely bad, but I’ve used values as low as 10. You could even set it to 0, which should stop the kernel from swapping anything.

Once you find a swappiness value you like, you can make it a permanent change to your system. That’s pretty easy. You just:

Add the following lines of text:

Use your own value if it’s not 30 and save the file. To save a file in nano, press CTRL + X, then Y, and then ENTER.

You can then reboot, or just wait until your next reboot, and the new swappiness value will be used. If you don’t feel like rebooting immediately, just adjust it temporarily and reboot when it’s convenient for you.


There you have it, another article! This one has you learning how to adjust swappiness to a value that you can work with. I’d encourage folks to read the linked swap file article to see why I use a swap file even when I have gobs of RAM. If nothing else, using one won’t break anything.

Thanks for reading! If you want to help, or if the site has helped you, you can donate, register to help, write an article, or buy inexpensive hosting to start your own site. If you scroll down, you can sign up for the newsletter, vote for the article, and comment.

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