All PC users know the fame that all Internet browsers have for consuming a lot of RAM memory on the computer. They are software tools that we all use frequently and that, in addition, we tend to leave open for a long time, so memory consumption increases more and more. There is a belief that clearing your browsing history will free up RAM, but to what extent is this true? Let’s see it.
The most widely used Internet browsers today are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft EDGE (Internet Explorer) and Safari in the case of Apple users, and all of them tend to have a fairly high RAM memory consumption that ultimately leads to that the PC runs slower and slower . Will clearing the browsing history of these browsers free up RAM and improve PC performance? Let’s see it.
How much RAM is freed by clearing history
Deleting the browsing history is a frequent practice and that, to a greater or lesser extent, we have all done at some point. It is used to eliminate cookies, browsing history and temporary browser files, making browsing more agile in many cases and in many others helping us to solve problems and errors, but does it also free up RAM ?
We are going to talk more about what causes the browser to consume more RAM memory, but we will first deal with the premise of what happens when you delete the browsing history (with cookies and others). At the time of writing these lines, we have Google Chrome open with only 4 tabs: GMail, Slack, a tab with a Google Docs document, and another with the WordPress editor in which we are writing this article. With this, the consumption of Chrome according to the Windows task manager is just over 1 GB of RAM.
As you can see, the task manager tells us that Chrome has 13 threads open, but this has nothing to do with the tabs, but rather with the extensions that we have installed. Next, we are going to proceed to delete the browser history (to do this, click on the icon of the three vertical points located in the upper right corner of the browser, then select Settings and in the tab that opens go to Privacy and Security , where you will find the option “Clear browsing data”.
We have selected all the options except Passwords and other login data, and then we close Chrome and reopen it, opening again the exact same tabs that we had open before deleting the data. This is the consumption of the browser that the Windows task manager shows us.
As you can see, the consumption of RAM memory after deleting the browser history is practically the same, and in fact it fluctuates slightly as time goes by. Therefore, we can determine that clearing history does not free up RAM.
What affects the browser’s RAM consumption?
If clearing the browsing history doesn’t free up any RAM, then what affects the memory consumption of the browser? As we have explained before, the more tabs you have open and the more extensions you have installed and active in the browser, the greater its RAM consumption will be. In addition, the longer you have the browser open, the more memory your PC will consume… to put you in perspective, if right now (first thing in the morning) Chrome is consuming around 1 GB of memory, it can easily consume more than 4 GB in the late afternoon as we have been using it during the day.
So, if you think that your Internet browser (be it Chrome, FireFox, EDGE, etc.) is consuming too much RAM and you want to free it up, the easiest and quickest thing you can do is close it completely and reopen it: that’s all. you will notice that it consumes much less, and you will notice it very especially if you had had it open for a long time.
You can also review the extensions you have installed and eliminate the ones you think you don’t need, since they are responsible for consuming a lot of RAM and processor work.