My wife thinks I have a problem. She thinks that my approach to computing with respect to web browsers should be accompanied by a disclaimer like this:

Me: Hi I'm Scott and I have a problem.
Support Group: Hi Scott!!!

Me: I'm a **muted voice** *tabaholic*
Support Group: Oh no!

Now from a rationalization perspective, I view urls on the Internet as pieces of paper. And so if I have a browser window open with 30 tabs, well, that’s just 30 sheets of paper, right? And my computer can certainly handle 30 pieces of paper, right?

But if I have 10 browser windows open, each with 30 tabs, that’s 300 pieces of paper. And that’s just Chrome. What about Safari, Chromium, FireFox, etc. Perhaps I do have a problem…

The issue, as with a big fraction of most computer issues, is memory. From a technical perspective although the HTML that makes up a web page is generally tiny, web pages are frighteningly complex data representations and they are actually pretty damn big. I regularly see Chrome hitting 11 plus gigs of memory usage (on a 16 gig box).

And this brings us to, wait for it, The Great Suspender. The Great Suspender is a Chrome extension that automatically suspends tabs that haven’t been active recently (yes this period is configurable). This essentially kills the memory footprint for tabs you have open but aren’t using. It took my Chrome memory usage from 11 gigs down to a fraction of that. I can’t recommend The Great Suspender strongly enough.

View The Great Suspender on the Chrome Extension Store

Kudos and thanks to my good buddy Sean Kennedy who clued me into this.