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Chrome OS will help reduce battery drain — eventually

Google’s Chrome OS will eventually help Chromebook batteries last longer, but not yet. Chrome OS 105, which includes the new feature, is still two versions away.

The feature works by throttling inactive tab CPU load after 10 seconds of inactivity. Current versions of Chrome only idle a tab after five minutes of inactivity. By reducing that time to 10 seconds, open tabs will put less demand on the CPU, which equals less battery drain.

A red Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2 sits open on a table.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

This is especially useful for people who operate their Chromebooks with dozens of tabs open across multiple windows. Students and professionals who use Chromebooks will begin to see longer battery life between charges.

But they’ll need to wait.

About Chromebooks noticed a new flag in a test version of Chrome OS 105. The flag dealt with JavaScript processes.

“The change has to do with throttling down and waking up JavaScript on web pages.” About Chromebooks wrote on its site. “These are tabs you might have open, for example, but aren’t actively looking at or interacting with.”

However, version 105 won’t be available for the average user for some time.

Chrome OS 103 is the current version of the operating system and the one most people are using. It can be a year or more before Google releases Chrome OS 105.

Until then, Chromebook users can take some steps to save battery on their own. They can lower the display brightness and the turn down the keyboard backlight. They can unplug USB accessories when they’re not using them, and make sure there are no unused apps running in the background.

Finally, it could simply be time for a new Chromebook, and if that’s the case, check out our list of the best Chromebooks of 2022.

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Nathan Drescher
Nathan Drescher is a freelance journalist and writer from Ottawa, Canada. He's been writing about technology from around the…
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