Fortunately, most browsers allow us to modify the way they handle tabs, reduce the amount of resources what the team needs. In less powerful computers, it is important to take this functionality into account and deactivate it in order to lighten the load on the processor, and to be able to carry out other tasks that are not exclusively browsing.
Prevent browser from automatically reloading tabs
Before resorting to other methods, just as valid, we must test if, by changing the browser settings, we can reduce the resource consumption of our computer and we can use it for something other than browsing, especially if it is a computer that He is very tight on resources.
In 2015, Google introduced an experimental feature that allowed you to disable background tab refresh, an experimental feature that didn’t make it to the final version of the browser. A few years ago, with the release of Chrome 79, it introduced a new feature within Chrome settings that allowed freeze tabs working in the background, a function that was finally implemented in the browser, so currently, according to Google, the background tabs stop updating after a certain time, time that we do not know.
However, despite what Google says, the tabs are continually updated, whether we click on them or not. The only method we have to disable background tab refresh is by accessing the web chrome://discards/. In this section, all the tabs that we have open in the browser are shown. If we want them to stop updating, we go to the Auto Discardable column and click on Toggle to stop updating.
This solution is nothing more than a fix that does not help much, since, once we close the browser, the changes will be lost.
If we want to disable background tab refresh in Edge, we run into the same problem as Chrome as both are based on Chromium. Chromium on the basis of Chrome, Edge, Vivaldi, Opera and other browsers, for which they all share the base, this includes the main operating options, as well as the Android manufacturers, who share the base, but later add the elements of customization they want. Being based on Chromium, just like Chrome, in theory, tabs should not update in the background nor when we click on them, however, it is not like that.
The only way to disable background refresh is through edge://discard, where in the Auto Discardable column, click Toggle to display an X, which means the tab will stop refreshing in the background flat as long as it is open in the browser and it will still not update, even if we access the tab.
This solution, as in Chrome, is nothing more than a fix.
For prevent firefox from refreshing open tabs in the background without being necessary, we must access the configuration options by typing “about:config” in the address bar without the quotes. Next, we look for the accessibility.blockautorefresh option. By default, this option is false, so the refresh of open web pages is not blocked. We change the value to true by clicking twice on that value and that’s it. From this moment on, it is not necessary to restart the browser, the tabs that we have open will not be updated in the background or when we click on them.
Firefox is the only browser that, as it is not based on Chromium, does allow you to disable background tab refresh permanently, unlike Chrome or Edge.
If the management of the tabs that our browser does does not fully satisfy our needs and the computer continues to suffer due to its low resources, the solution is to use one of the different extensions that we show you below, extensions that we can install both in Chrome , as in Edge, Vivaldi, Opera and generally in any Chromium-based browser, even if the extension is only available in the Chrome Web Store.
The Great Suspend
As we can deduce from the name, if we have knowledge of English, The Great Suspender extension allows us to manually suspend the operation of all those tabs that we have open on the computer and that we do not want them to be updated as long as we do not have the need to consult them. This is one of the functionalities that all browsers should implement natively, but, for unknown reasons, they do not. We can download this extension through the following link.
Another interesting extension that we should consider using is Tab Suspender, an extension that is responsible for suspending the tabs that we have not used for a while and with which we can obtain up to saving 80% of computer resources, freeing memory and reducing the battery consumption of our equipment. When we click on the extension, it will be updated correctly and will show the most updated information up to that moment. The download of Tab Suspender is available through the Chrome Web Store by clicking on the following link.
Auto Tab Discard
With this extension we can manually discard the tabs that we don’t want to be updated, but we want to keep them open in the background on our computer, which allows us to reduce the number of resources needed by the computer, as well as free up memory and reduce battery consumption . Unlike other extensions, Auto Tab Discard shows an icon in the favicon of the website that tells us that the website is at rest, that is, without being updated, which allows us to quickly identify and order them on the left or right side of the browser to be accessible.