How to Use the Google Chrome Task Manager

Manage memory usage and kill crashed websites with Task Manager

One of the best under-the-hood aspects of Google Chrome is its multiprocess architecture, which allows tabs to run as separate processes. These processes are independent of the main thread, so a crashed or hung webpage doesn't result in the entire browser shutting down. Occasionally, Chrome lags or acts strangely but you don't know which tab is the culprit, or a webpage may freeze. This is where the ChromeTask Manager comes in handy.

Person using Chrome Task Manager on a laptop in an office

Chrome Task Manager not only displays the CPU, memory, and network usage of each open tab and plug-in, it also allows you to kill individual processes with a click of the mouse similar to the Windows OS Task Manager.

How to Launch the Chrome Task Manager

Launch the Chrome Task Manager in the same way on Windows, Mac, and Chrome OS computers.

  1. Open your Chrome browser.

  2. Select the Chrome menu button in the upper right corner of the browser window. The icon is three vertically aligned dots.

  3. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse over the More tools option.

    Task Manager menu item in More Tools menu via the Chrome 3-vertical dot menu
  4. When the submenu appears, select the option labeled Task manager to open the task manager on the screen.

Alternate Methods of Opening Task Manager

In addition to the method listed above for all platforms, on Mac computers, click Window in the Chrome menu bar located at the top of the screen. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Task Manager to open the Chrome Task Manager on a Mac.

Keyboard shortcuts are also available for opening the Task Manager:

  • Shift + Esc for Windows computers.
  • Search + Esc for Chrome OS.

How to Use the Task Manager

With Chrome's Task Manager open on the screen and overlaying your browser window, you can see a list of every open tab, extension, and process along with key statistics concerning how much of your computer's memory it is using, its CPU usage, and network activity. When your browsing activity slows down significantly, check the Task Manager to identify whether a website has crashed. To end any open process, select its name and then select the End Process button.

The screen also displays the memory footprint for each process. If you've added a lot of extensions to Chrome, you might have 10 or more running at once. Assess the extensions and—if you aren't using them—remove them to free memory.

Expanding the Task Manager

To get more information about how Chrome is affecting your system performance in Windows, right-click an item in the Task Manager screen and select a category in the popup menu. In addition to the stats mentioned already, you can choose to view information regarding shared memory, private memory, image cache, script cache, CSS cache, SQLite memory and JavaScript memory.

Image cache item in right-click menu in Chrome task manager

Also in Windows, you can select the Stats for Nerds link at the bottom of the Task Manager to check all the stats in-depth.