When you have too many tabs open in Firefox and Chrome, its possible that overall browser experience doesn’t remain smooth for long, there are a couple of reasons for that of which one is Background tasks. They are also called as Background Tabs, i.e., which consumer CPU and Memory in the background. In this post, we will share how to Suspend Background Tabs in Firefox and Chrome.
To clarify that background tasks are those who takes place at a specific interval of time and not always. So if you are downloading a file, it is not a background process but the email account which polls for new email every few minutes is a background process.
It’s entirely possible that you might have one or few such background process that is taking place on one of the tabs and due to which you might not be able to switch tabs at all, or the other tabs are not closing, or just the whole thing is not working. The browser itself sometimes takes this kind of processes cares by notifying, but when it is not, you need an extension named as Tab Suspendor
Suspend Background Tabs in Firefox & Chrome
These are two popular extensions, one for Firefox and one for Chrome which you can use.
Suspend Background Tabs in Firefox to improve performance
You might prefer to have a background process working for some of the websites. So for such sites, you can pin them by making a right click over the tab and then choose the option of Pin as App Tab. Here is the list of features:
- Automatic tab suspending
- Manual tab suspending (suspend, suspend others, suspend all to the right/left)
- Desaturate favicon on tab suspend
- Native and non-native discarding mode
- Never suspend pinned tabs option
- Never suspend tabs that playing audio option
What is not interrupted:
Tabs which are downloading a file or have videos which you are buffering, remain unaffected by this extension.
- A white list of websites which the extension can skip automatically.
- Allow user to choose if they want to buffer videos or suspend that too.
Download the extension
Suspend Background Tabs in Chrome to improve performance
The Great Suspender extension for Firefox is a compelling extension which can almost block any tab which keeps running in the background. The way it decides to suspend tabs is smart. When a Tab has not been viewed after a configurable length of time will be automatically suspended in the background, freeing up the memory and CPU being consumed by that tab.
- Whitelist specific urls or domains that you do not want to suspend.
- Optionally show a screen capture of tab before it was suspended.
- Vastly improves performance when restarting chrome with a large number of open tabs.
- Detects tabs playing audio and can prevent them from suspending.
- Detects tabs that contain forms with user input and can prevent them from suspending
- Configurable behavior when browsing offline or on battery power.
- Built from open source code for full transparency
Overall my experience using both of these extensions was pretty smooth. I have loads of tabs open all the time, for which, I prefer using all three browsers, but with this, at least one can be skipped. However, I have to be smart enough always to remember that I dont forget to pin websites which I need the background task to work.