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Multiple chrome.exe in Task Manager

In Windows Task Manager it seems that I have multiple Chrome processes running, even though I only have one Chrome window open.

How is this possible? I always thought each open program represented one process.

  • Is it one tab (as per the title) or one window (as per the body)? – ChrisF Aug 14 '12 at 14:53
  • It was one window like the body. – piperchester Aug 14 '12 at 17:52
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    So why does it say "one tab" in the title? – ChrisF Aug 14 '12 at 18:05
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    Background Extension services!! – mr_eclair Aug 14 '12 at 18:07
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    Because if one of something is good, then lots of it must be better! ;) – user541686 Aug 14 '12 at 20:47

You can read the details here: http://blog.chromium.org/2008/09/multi-process-architecture.html

Google Chrome takes advantage of these properties and puts web apps and plug-ins in separate processes from the browser itself. This means that a rendering engine crash in one web app won't affect the browser or other web apps. It means the OS can run web apps in parallel to increase their responsiveness, and it means the browser itself won't lock up if a particular web app or plug-in stops responding. It also means we can run the rendering engine processes in a restrictive sandbox that helps limit the damage if an exploit does occur.

Basically, each tab has one process unless the tabs are from the same domain. The renderer has a process for itself. Each plug-in will have one and so will each extension that is active.

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    In addition, many of the background extensions also have their own processes. You can see all the chrome processes by going to the chrome tools (Wrench menu)->Tools->Task Manager. – Liron Aug 15 '12 at 9:26

These separate processes are called SANDBOXING. This allows A process to crash, but keeps other processes from crashing a system (or Chrome)


You can see which process does what on:

Wrench Menu->View Background Pages

Which looks like this:

enter image description here

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    Alternatively, right-click on some empty space in the tab bar then select 'task manager' or for a static snapshot, browse to chrome://memory – Colonel Panic Aug 15 '12 at 12:42
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    Another alternative seems to be shift+escape key combination. – Etherealone Aug 15 '12 at 12:45

Don't forget to read the Chrome introduction comic that covers this among other design decisions: Page 4 from comic


Google Chrome use separate process for each tab. Using interprocess communication you can manage multiple processes as one application.

Using multiple process can help an applications to be more robust and better use system resources.


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    "More robust", definitely. "Better use system resources" -- not so sure about that. Doesn't the multiprocess model use a fair bit more memory? – LarsH Aug 14 '12 at 20:23
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    if by "Better use system resources" you mean "way more resources" you are correct. – user22908 Aug 14 '12 at 20:42

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