You may have noticed that Google Chrome for Windows creates a bunch of different processes when it’s running. You can view the Chrome.exe processes in the Windows Task Manager. You may wonder why multiple processes are needed. What does each of them do?
Understanding Chrome & Processes
Google Chrome is designed to run functionality for every tab, plugin, and extension within different processes. So, for every tab you open, every plug-in, or extension you use, Google Chrome will create another process for it. There is also a process just for the main browser functionality.
Why is it designed this way? Well, it’s to prevent a complete catastrophe when something goes wrong. Let’s say you have websites open in two different tabs and one of them crashes. Instead of suffering a complete meltdown where everything crashes, the crash can be limited to just the single tab or process.
Google Chrome Task Manager
If you want to fully understand what Google Chrome is exactly running within each process, you can bring up Google Chrome’s Task Manager by pressing “Shift” + “Esc“.
Each one of the items listed in the Google Chrome Task Manager is run within a Windows process. If you select a process in the Google Chrome Task Manager, then select the “End process” button, it will also kill the process in Windows.
Using the Google Chrome Task Manager is a good way to manage processes if you feel Chrome is taking up too much memory.
You may notice that even if you close Google Chrome, it might continue to run processes in the background. This might happen when you have installed a certain plug-in or extension that can still work when Chrome isn’t running like Hangouts or Google Now.
You can prevent Google Chrome from running extensions or plugins in the background by toggling a setting. Select “Menu” > “Settings” > “Show advanced settings…” and uncheck the “Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed” option in the “System” section.
Do you have any experience with Google Chrome processes you would like to share? Please do so in the Comments section below.