How to Use the Google Chrome Task Manager

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CPU, Memory and Network Details

chrome task manager
Scott Orgera

This tutorial is only intended for users running the Google Chrome Web browser on Chrome OS, Mac OS X or Windows operating systems.

One of the great aspects of Google Chrome lies in its multi-process architecture, which allows tabs to run as separate processes. These processes are independent of the main thread, which means that a crashed or hung Web page does not have to result in your entire browser shutting down. Sometimes Chrome may lag or act strange and you aren't sure which tab or tabs are the culprit. This is where the browser's integrated Task Manager comes in handy.

Chrome Task Manager not only gives you the ability to view the CPU, memory, and network usage of each open tab and plug-in; it also allows you to kill individual processes with a simple click of the mouse, similar to the Windows OS Task Manager. This tutorial shows you how to use Chrome Task Manager to your advantage. First, open your Chrome browser.

Chrome OS and Windows: Click on the Chrome menu button, located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window and represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, hover your mouse over the More tools option. When the sub-menu appears, click on the option labeled Task manager.

Mac OS X: Click on Window in the Chrome menu, located at the top of your screen. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Task Manager.

Please note that you can utilize the following keyboard shortcuts in lieu of the above menu item: Shift + Esc (Windows); Search + Esc (Chrome OS)

Chrome's Task Manager should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. As you can see in the example above, key statistics (Memory, CPU, Network) are displayed for each open tab as well as plug-ins that are currently running within the browser such as Flash and Silverlight. To end any open process, first click on its name. Next, click on the End Process button. Task Manager also provides a link to even more in-depth statistics about your browser and its processes. To access these stats, click on the Stats for nerds link.

Chrome's About Memory interface should now be displayed in a new browser tab. This screen contains detailed statistics about your browser's open processes, including Process ID (PID) numbers as well as actual and virtual memory. This interface can also be accessed by entering chrome:memory in Chrome's address bar.