- Microsoft’s new Windows 10 May 2020 Update includes a change that could result in Google Chrome’s RAM usage problem finally being resolved.
- Windows 10 version 2004 introduces segment heap memory improvements that should help to reduce memory usage of all Win32 apps, of which Chrome is one.
- Microsoft says these improvements have made the Edge browser use 27% less memory.
In a crowded field of internet browsers, Google’s Chrome has become the standard-bearer. According to the latest figures from StatCounter, Chrome has an eye-popping 64% market share as of May. Safari takes second place with just 18% of the market, while Firefox can’t even top 5% in third place. It’s difficult to imagine any browser swiping the crown from Chrome in the next few years, but that’s not to say that Chrome is perfect.
For years, Windows and Mac users alike have been complaining about Chrome’s RAM usage. Chrome is one of the most egregious memory hogs you can install on your computer, and it can lead to a sluggish experience, especially if your computer is underpowered. This has been an issue for as long as Chrome has existed, especially for Windows, but thanks to Microsoft’s latest software update, a solution is finally in sight.
As spotted by Windows Latest, the Windows 10 May 2020 Update (version 2004) introduces segment heap memory improvements that should reduce the memory usage of Win32 apps, including Chrome. According to Microsoft’s Kim Denny, the change has already had a significant impact on the Edge browser:
With the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, Microsoft Edge has leveraged the Windows segment heap memory improvements now available for Win32 applications to manage memory more efficiently. Early internal testing results of devices on the May 2020 Update are showing a memory usage reduction of up to 27% when browsing with Microsoft Edge. Individual device performance will vary based upon configuration and usage, but the lower memory usage is expected to create a better experience.
Based on a recent commit from a Chrome engineer, it sounds like Google will take advantage of these improvements for its own browser as well on Windows 10 at some point in the future.
“Experiments with per-machine opting-in to the segment heap for chrome.exe suggests that this could save hundreds of MB in the browser and Network Service utility processes, among others, on some machines. Actual results will vary widely, with the greatest savings coming on many-core machines,” said Google’s Bruce Dawson.
Windows 10 version 2004 has plenty of issues that still need to be resolved, including one that has actually broken Chrome for some people, but once Microsoft irons out all the bugs, the May 2020 Update might end up being one of the best yet, especially when Google gets around to implementing whatever changes Microsoft made so that Chrome stops hogging all of our RAM. Unfortunately, there’s no timeframe for that quite yet.