New Chrome update is great news for laptop battery life

An experimental feature shipping in the next version of Google’s Chrome browser could significantly reduce battery consumption on laptops and mobile devices.

This is according to a report from The Windows Club, which said that Google has tested a function which limits JavaScript timer wake-ups in background webpages.

JavaScript can be used by websites to perform a number of tasks, including checking if the user’s scrolling position has changed, reporting logs, and analysing interactions with ads.

Many of these tasks don’t need to be performed when the tabs run in the background, however.

A technical document seen by The Windows Club showed that Google recently experimented with a prototype of Chrome that limits JavaScript timer wake-ups to one per minute.

For its testing, Google opened 36 random tabs in the background of Chrome, with the foreground tab on the “about:blank” address.

The test found that throttling Javascript timers extended the battery life by 28% – or almost two hours – for a user running up to 36 background tabs.

Below are the graph and tables showing the results of the test.

JavaScript Throttling Test Google Chrome

YouTube test

A second test substituted the blank foreground tab with a YouTube video in fullscreen mode in order to determine if there was still a benefit when the foreground tab was actively used.

The gains were less significant in this instance, but battery life was still increased by 13% – or around 36 minutes.

The graph and table below show the results of the YouTube test.

JavaScript Throttling YouTube Google Chrome


Google is considering several ways to implement the feature to decrease Chrome’s battery usage.

One is that if a webpage is in the background for five minutes, Chrome will align JavaScript timer wake-ups with a timeout that is less than or equal to five minutes to one-minute intervals.

The feature will be available in an experimental form on Chrome 86 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and Chrome OS, which is set to release in October 2020.

System administrators will initially have the ability to disable the feature in the enterprise version of Chrome.

Now read: Google to shut down old G Suite apps

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New Chrome update is great news for laptop battery life