Disabling Chrome’s Automatic Tab Discarding

Google Chrome has a feature called “Automatic Tab Discarding.” It is meant to conserve memory when it is running low on your computer, but in my experience it has been more of a hindrance than anything else. Basically, Chrome discards tabs from memory that it doesn’t think you’re using. When you get back to a tab it has discarded, it must reload the page it deleted. This can lead to several problems:

  • If you had text in a form that wasn’t submitted, it will delete all the input.
  • If you’ve lost your internet connection, it won’t be able to reload the page.
  • Reloading the page is much slower than simply recalling the cached page from memory. Even if you don’t lose anything, you still have to wait longer.

If you’re interested, Chrome discards tabs in this order:

I recently got fed up with this feature, so I googled around and found out that you can turn off this feature. This isn’t recommended if you don’t have a lot of memory (say, at least 8 GB), or if you like to keep a TON of tabs open. However, if you have the resources, you can easily disable Automatic Tab Discarding.

How to disable automatic tab discarding:
  1. Go to chrome://flags/#automatic-tab-discarding in Google Chrome.
  2. In the section titled “Automatic tab discarding,” change Default to Disabled.
  3. Click “Relaunch Now” to relaunch Chrome and apply the change.
  4. That’s it! Chrome will no longer discard your unused tabs.

To learn more about this feature and find out where I learned this tweak, click here. Happy web surfing!