Microsoft Edge 100 was released a few days ago, and is essentially a security update. The Redmond company has highlighted that the latest version improves the browser’s performance with a more optimized version of Sleeping Tabs.
The feature debuted in September 2020, when Edge Canary 87 was released. It was rolled out to all users in Edge 89, in March 2021. As you browse the internet and hoard a number of tabs, the browser begins to consume more resources, which results in a dip in the system’s performance. Sleeping Tabs monitors tabs that you haven’t used for a while, i.e. idle tabs, and snoozes them automatically. This is also called Tab Unloading, Tab Discarding, or Tab Snoozing. Edge is not the only browser to support it natively, it is also a feature that you can find in Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and Vivaldi. Waterfox G4.1.0 which was released yesterday added Tab Unloading, and allows you to snooze tabs manually. Brave Browser is the only one that doesn’t support Tab Snoozing natively, but that can be easily fixed by using an extension like Auto Tab Discard.
I think we can agree that sleeping Tabs is a handy feature, and Microsoft Edge 100 improves it further. The announcement from the company says that Edge will put 8% more tabs to sleep, to save more resources. How does that work? Pages that are sharing a browsing instance with another page will be put to sleep. This allows Sleeping Tabs save up to 85% of memory, and 99% CPU usage on average. Changing the Efficiency mode in the Performance pop-up panel, to “Always”, will snooze tabs faster.
That is quite impressive, and if you are interested in crunching the numbers, you will probably like this. Edge 100 has added a new performance monitor, to provide a way for users to see how Sleeping Tabs is helping save system resources. To access it, click on the three-dot menu and select Performance. This will open a pop-up window that displays the number of tabs that are sleeping, and a graphical indicator to show you the percentage of memory savings with sleeping tabs, and remaining usage. You can pin the Performance monitor to stay on top, to keep an eye on the resource usage. It is a decent way to monitor the system, though Windows’ Task Manager still beats it since you can get a breakdown of the resource usage on a per-tab basis.
There is no option to put tabs to sleep manually, though users have requested the feature on Microsoft’s feedback hub. You can whitelist websites in the edge://settings/system page’s Optimise Performance section. This will prevent Edge from snoozing tabs from the sites, it can be useful for sites that you use for email, instant messaging, sports websites that automatically refresh to update the scores, etc. You can set tabs to be snoozed after a specific duration, e.g. 5 minutes. Toggling the
Don’t like the feature? You may turn off Sleeping Tabs in Edge from the Settings page.
Edge 100 also brought some new features such as the ability to preview PDF files using File Explorer and Microsoft Outlook powered by Edge’s Web View, and support for viewing PDFs that have been digitally signed.