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Microsoft Edge’s new RAM slider looks brilliant, and I need it on my Mac right now

Published Apr 4th, 2024 4:00PM EDT
Creating a web app in macOS Sonoma with Safari.
Image: Apple Inc.

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I might be a longtime iPhone and Mac user, but my browser of choice on macOS is Microsoft’s Edge. It’s been my go-to browser for a few years now. It has replaced Chrome, which was a resource hog back when I first made the switch. As for Apple’s Safari browser, it has never been good enough for my needs.

But Edge on Mac has also become a massive resource hog for the better part of the past year. It’s using a lot of RAM on my Intel MacBook Pro, and I find myself closing and reopening tabs constantly to fix the issue. Yes, I have several dozen tabs open at any given time, which is something I didn’t dare do with Chrome.

Fast-forward to early April, and it looks like Microsoft is trying to fix this problem, at least on Windows. It’s testing a memory slider for Edge that will let the user easily limit the RAM that Edge can use.

The feature seems to primarily target PC gamers, which makes sense. You’ll want your browser to use as little RAM as possible while you’re playing video games. But the RAM slider found in a beta version of Edge for Windows also indicates that you can limit memory use all the time, not just during gaming sessions.

Found by X user Leopeva64, the RAM slider lets you pick a number between 1GB and the maximum amount of memory on your machine. As seen in the images in the following tweet, the RAM slider will be available in the System and Performance section of Edge’s Settings.

You also have to enable the Resoruce Controls feature to use the RAM slider. Microsoft warns that using the tool can “impact your browser’s performance.” I don’t know about you, but I’d love to impact my browser’s performance when it’s hogging my RAM.

Don’t get me wrong, I still haven’t reached the point where I’d consider switching back to Chrome. As a reminder, Google has done a lot of work to improve the performance of Chrome on Macs. But I still prefer Edge over Chrome for the time being.

That said, there’s no guarantee that the Resource Controls feature will roll out anytime soon to Windows users, or even at all. But if Microsoft does add the RAM slider to Edge for Windows, I hope macOS is next.

The other obvious fix is an upgrade to Apple silicon on my end, which has been a long time coming. But whether or not I get a newer Mac, having the ability to control Edge’s resource access will come in handy.

The only way to test the feature right now is to use a Canary version of Microsoft Edge on Windows, of course.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.