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Technology

Use Chrome? Time to download the biggest upgrade in years

There is a running joke in internet and meme cultures that tease Google Chrome’s ability to gobble up any available system memory. Joking that it needs 8GB of RAM to open one browser tab, Chrome is known to be somewhat heavy on resources.

That might be a thing of the past now, as one of the world’s most used browsers just received a massive update. And one of the issues it addressed is being less hungry for CPU and RAM, making browsing much faster. Tap or click here to find out which browsers are best for privacy.

We’ve got all the details on Chrome’s latest update along with how you can get it.

Here’s the backstory

Google announced over the weekend that Chrome, used by almost 3 billion people, is getting its biggest update yet. Touted as being 23% faster, Chrome version 91 includes software code called Turbofan, moving things along rather smoothly.

Google made two changes to how Chrome operates by updating some of the JavaScript compilers. “Turbofan is the optimizing compiler that generates high-performance machine code based on information gathered during JavaScript execution,” Google explained in a blog post.

The nature of its internal workings is rather complex. Google explained that “Short builtins” in the new Chrome will make browsing on new Apple M1 chips faster. It all has to do with how the CPU access memory to recall functions and variables.

How to update Chrome

The upgrades are mostly on the backend, but you can see it in action when you have multiple tabs open. Previously, Chrome divided all the available resources to all tabs all the time. The update stops that from happening.

When browsing and having several tabs available, Chrome will divert resources from the closed tabs to the open ones. This essentially cuts CPU and RAM from being used on tabs that are not being used.

But it doesn’t come without a caveat. For the system resources to be diverted to where need, you must use Chrome’s tab grid view.

Here’s how to update:

Tap the menu in the upper right corner (three dots), hover your cursor over Help and select About Google Chrome. You will see which build you currently have, and you’ll have the option to update by clicking Update Google Chrome. If the option isn’t there, then you’re using the latest version.

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