Windows 10 update can chop RAM hog Chrome

The latest Windows 10 update appears to roll with a feature that allows the user to cut the amount of RAM used by the Google Chrome web browser. Window 10 May 2020 Update, also known as update 20H1, cuts RAM use for Win32 apps aplenty. If you're the sort of person that uses Microsoft's own Edge web browser, you might already be taking advantage of the feature called SegmentHeap – memory usage cuts for the win!

If you take a peek at a Chromium Gerrit update from June 16, 2020, you'll see commentary from developer Bruce Dawson. This comment suggests that intrepid users can opt in to Windows SegmentHeap usage with Windows 20-04 and forward. Users will need to add a SegmentHeap entry into chrome.exe manifest to switch from legacy heap to segment heap.

"Details are in the bug but it appears that the default Windows heap is tuned for server workloads where throughput is what matters most, and Chromium (especially due to its multi-process architecture) also has to care about memory footprint," wrote Dawson. "Experiments with per-machine opting-in to the segment heap for chrome.exe suggests that this could save hundreds of MB in the browser and Network Service utility processes, among others, on some machines."

Users will need to switch to building with the Windows 10.0.19041.0 (20-04) SDK in order to avoid build warnings IF they plan on attempting to use this SegmentHeap action before the rest of the public. For now, you're going to want to be familiar with coding or at LEAST some form of IT troubleshooting before you attempt to make use of this future-looking piece of tech.

As noted by Windows Latest, both Microsoft and Google note that results will certainly vary from machine to machine. It's very, very possible that Google will enable this feature on Windows machines in a future public version of Chrome – sooner rather than later!