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I have over 20 tabs opened in Chrome and need to restart browser from time to time. This browser does not have option similar to Firefox's "Do not load tabs until selected" loading tabs only after selecting them. I have tried a few Chrome extensions but none do what I am looking for.

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    One workaround that I could think of is using Session Buddy. Obviously it doesn't give you specifically what you want, but it I think this gives you nearly the functionality you're after (saving and managing sessions, etc.). – happy_soil Sep 15 '14 at 13:20
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    I am not after saving and managing because I already have Session Buddy. I am after function that won't let Chrome load all restored tabs at once but only active individual tab I click on. – Boris_yo Sep 15 '14 at 18:28
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    If you are open to those Chromium-derived browsers, you can try Slimjet which offers an option to not load background tabs at startup. This link will give you more information: slimjet.com/blog/… . It does automatically pick up your chrome profile data if you sync it via your google account. – Stephen Cheng Jan 27 '16 at 19:43
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    goto chrome://flags --> then enable the flag "Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs " – Lokesh Agrawal Jul 6 '17 at 9:42
  • @LokeshAgrawal It's only when browser is offline. – Boris_yo Jul 24 '17 at 15:38

10 Answers 10

27

At the time of this writing, Chrome does not support this functionality natively. I've been using The Great Suspender, an extension that adds similar functionality to Chrome.

You can verify the memory and CPU savings you gain while using this extension by opening the Chrome Task Manager: Menu enter image description here > More tools > Task manager

  • I like that it does not just close tab and puts it on 1 list with other closed tabs but actually keeps the tab with favicon so you don't have to look much for one you want to unsuspend. – Boris_yo Jan 17 '15 at 8:46
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    FYI: Chrome appears to do this now. I'm here searching for how to disable it. – jp2code Dec 7 '15 at 17:07
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    @jp2code I just tested the latest version of Chrome 47.0.2526.73 (64-bit) on OS X El Capitan and Windows 10, and I see no change in functionality and no new setting that would affect this. Unfortunately, tabs still load when Chrome starts up, before selecting them. I performed a clean install, and disabled all extensions prior to testing. – 2Toad Dec 7 '15 at 18:08
  • Interesting. Hopefully, my browser will fix itself. I'm a big fan of middle clicking 2 or 3 links in a search result and reading the first one while the others continue to load. – jp2code Dec 7 '15 at 21:36
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    @jp2code to disable it see superuser.com/q/1048029/39364 (oddly, for me, on a low resource box, it currently does not load tabs at start time by default, FWIW). – rogerdpack Mar 24 '16 at 3:46
17

Since Chrome 54 (Oct 2016) this feature is supported in Chrome natively, so previous bloated extensions are not that needed. A GNU GPLv3 licensed extension Native Lazy Tabs extension works and it is very small: 33 KiB.

Citing extension description:

Automatically discards all tabs at startup, before they load, reducing memory footprint and unnecessary bandwidth usage.

Native Lazy Tabs is a light extension for users that don't want to load all tabs when Chrome is started. It's native because it uses the native tab discarding method from the Google API (introduced in version 54). Also, because of that, it doesn't have the shortcomings of older implementations that could cause bugs like the pages reloading itself even after suspended.

Moreover, this extension doesn't use any memory because there's no need for a background page: it loads and unloads itself after Chrome is started.

  • I can't say that's the case with 61.0.3163.100 (Official Build) (64-bit). It loads every tab when I start it up. – inspirednz Oct 7 '17 at 1:51
  • inspirednz, information about native Chrome support was added to answer in edit by @soshial – d9k Oct 8 '17 at 3:35
  • Not working for me in Iron 62. – CodeLurker Dec 8 '17 at 8:08
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    Today the extension's name is "Lazy Tabs" and it works well in Chrome Version 63.0.3239.108 (64-bit) – Marecky Dec 17 '17 at 15:36
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    A fork of Native Lazy Tabs (which is not in the store any more) is Sloth which is available here and on the Chrome Store. – hanjo Jan 29 '18 at 9:12
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Without any extensions it's possible to prevent loading tabs by disconnecting the internet when you start Chrome. Chrome will eventually give up trying to load the pages, and one-by-one tabs will gray out. Reduces CPU and Memory.

After reconnecting to the internet, a page will load when you select the grayed-out tab.


StefanQ points out you may also need to change these chrome://flags

  • Disable Offline Auto-Reload Mode
  • Enable Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs

Chrome flags - Auto-Reload

9

As of version 44 (currently dev branch), after a restart Chrome only loads tabs when they are first selected. It doesn't even start a process for the tabs until they are loaded, so that means less memory/CPU usage for us.

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    Unfortunately, this does not seem to work anymore (currently on 44.0.2383.0 dev-m). Is there a configurable flag or bug/issue/thread associated with this feature? I'd like to follow along but can't seem to find the right incantation of search engine keywords. – Tomalak Apr 29 '15 at 19:25
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    I couldn't find a configurable flag, but there are some related issues... code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=476521#c19 , code.google.com/p/chromium/issues/detail?id=476619 – cristis Apr 30 '15 at 19:36
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    Nope. Still loads all tabs for me. – Tomalak May 21 '15 at 4:57
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    Is there a way to disable this behavior? I seem to be the only person who dislikes this. – Martin Hansen Oct 24 '15 at 22:30
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    I am running v 55.0.2883.95 (latest chrome for the time being) and that functionality is totally absent. Loads all tabs. – Innokenty Dec 15 '16 at 9:27
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Below are the flags (chrome://flags) I have changed in Chrome 69 64-bit (September 2018) to [indicated values] to speed up the startup experience with many open tabs and windows.

The memory consumption is still high (1.2 GB in my case) but Chrome starts instantly and doesn't seem to be busy reloading all of the tabs.

  1. Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs [Enabled]

Pages that fail to load while the browser is offline will only be auto-reloaded if their tab is visible. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android

#enable-offline-auto-reload-visible-only

  1. Automatic tab discarding [Enabled]

If enabled, tabs get automatically discarded from memory when the system memory is low. Discarded tabs are still visible on the tab strip and get reloaded when clicked on. Info about discarded tabs can be found at chrome://discards. – Mac, Windows

#automatic-tab-discarding

  1. Infinite Session Restore [Enabled]

Reduces the number of tabs being loaded simultaneously during session restore, to improve responsiveness of the foreground tab. This requires #enable-page-almost-idle. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

#infinite-session-restore

  1. Page Almost Idle [Enabled]

Make session restore use a definition of loading that waits for CPU and network quiescence. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

#page-almost-idle

  1. Proactive Tab Freeze and Discard [Enabled Freeze and Discard]

Enables proactive tab freezing and discarding. This requires #enable-page-almost-idle. – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

#proactive-tab-freeze-and-discard

  1. Site Characteristics database [Enabled] (this one is probably not necessary)

Records usage of some features in a database while a tab is in background (title/favicon update, audio playback or usage of non-persistent notifications). – Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS

#site-characteristics-database

2

There is also Tab Suspender that has been updated lastly as of 03. January 2015.

  • Yes I see this comment in reviews: "Very good extension. Just so new users know, the Suspension DOES NOT make the Memory of the suspended tab becomes Zero. But the saving is great still." – Boris_yo Apr 19 '15 at 11:10
2

The extension FooTab gives this functionality: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/footab/anbodogikfbehidmmjdokehphginagbb

1

This answer mentions two options "Offline Auto-Reload Mode" and "Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs" (browse chrome://flags) which in conjunction with going offline before browser start will effectively inhibit page loading on browser startup.

  • Unfortunately as soon as you go online it will immediately try to load every single tab at once, often freezing all of Chrome for minutes - at least in Chrome 69. – peterflynn Oct 10 '18 at 22:43
  • Indeed, this seems to me to be new behavior in a recent Chrome release. This may be fixed by disabling #offline-auto-reload-mode in chrome://flags/ (s.a. #enable-offline-auto-reload-visible-only). – StefanQ Oct 12 '18 at 12:23
0

FooTab for Google Chrome

After about a week of use, this extension has saved me some precious cellular data, by suspending multiple tab load on start-up. Except for the favicons, it blocks the page until the tab/s are selected.

Download links and description here

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    Welcome to superuser. This is written a lot in the style of an advertisement and might be seen as such. It might help a little to phrase this differently, and maybe touch on what it does better than the alternatives. It was previously blocked from Chrome extension manager, is a little concerning as well – Journeyman Geek Feb 1 '16 at 23:21
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Had this same problem with Chrome mobile, where all of the tabs would cycle whenever I opened Chrome. After setting tab throttling to forced Enable in chrome://flags ...it seems to have solved the issue.

http://www.askvg.com/how-to-enable-disable-background-tabs-throttling-feature-in-google-chrome-and-opera-web-browsers/

protected by Community Feb 22 '16 at 19:51

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