How to check memory usage of Chrome extensions

If your Chrome Web browser is dragging, it's probably due to an extension hogging all of your memory. Read on to learn how to see which extensions are memory-hogging culprits and how to find alternatives.

Nicole Cozma
Nicole Cozma has an affinity for Android apps and devices, but loves technology in general. Based out of the Tampa Bay Area, she enjoys being a spectator to both sunsets and lightning storms.
Nicole Cozma
2 min read

Photo by Nicole Cozma/CNET

The Chrome Web Store is both awesome and horrible. While you can find many new extensions to enhance your Web browsing experience, you can also slow things down by adding too many. If you're having trouble picking which ones to keep, taking a look at how much memory each one is using might make the decision a little easier.

Fortunately, Chrome has a built-in tool that will show you the memory usage of each extension. Here's how to open and use it:

When you have a Chrome window open, just click on the menu icon on the toolbar and then go to Tools > Task Manager. If you'd prefer the keyboard shortcut, hit Shift + Esc, which should work from any tab.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

If this is the first time you're opening the Chrome Task Manager, the window is probably going to be so tiny that you can't read any of the data within it. Thankfully, it can be resized to show the full names of the extensions and their memory usage.

Sort the window by clicking on the Task heading along the top. This will group up your extensions, because they all have an "Extension" prefix.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Once you see what a memory hog some of the extensions are, you'll probably want to get rid of a few. However, for some extensions, memory hogs or not, you may not want to lose the functionality they add. In this case, you can check out alternatives, which are pretty easy to find. Head to the Google Chrome Web Store and search for the current extension you're using. Once you find it, click the Related tab along the top to find a similar extension to try out.

Did you find an extension that was using way too much memory? Share it in the comments.