How to Use Sleep Tabs in Microsoft Edge to Improve Performance

In September last year, Microsoft began testing a “sleep tabs” feature to help users conserve memory and CPU usage while using the Edge browser. While this feature was initially hidden behind a Microsoft Edge feature flag, Edge’s development team has since managed to bring the feature to the stable version of the browser. In this article, we will take a look at how you can use the feature in the Edge browser from your PC.

Use Sleeper Tabs in Edge

What are Sleep Tabs?

Sleep Tabs is based on Chromium’s freeze technology, which pauses a web page’s script timers to minimize resource usage. With this approach, Edge doesn’t completely flush the tab from memory. As a result, you can seamlessly pick up where you left off without having to reload the page.

According to Microsoft, sleep tabs reduce memory usage by 32 percent. In addition, the feature is also 37 percent less CPU usage. Average memory usage from Edge Canary and Dev channels on approximately 40,000 devices:

Image: Microsoft

For those wondering about CPU usage, here’s what the company found when testing this feature on around 40,000 devices:

CPU usage Edge
Image: Microsoft

Tabs disappear when put to sleep. For example, while the first four tabs in the picture below are sleep tabs, the next tabs are active. By default Edge puts inactive tabs to sleep after 2 hours. You can change the sleep trigger time in Settings.

example of sleep tabs

Enable Sleep Tabs

If the sleep tabs feature is not enabled by default on your machine, you can enable it manually from Settings. To open the settings, click the horizontal three-dot menu in the upper right corner and select ‘Settings’. After entering the settings page, Switch to the ‘System’ tab and Flip the ‘Save resources with sleep tabs’ toggle.

enable sleep tabs edge

Customize Sleep Tabs

If you’re not a big fan of the default 2-hour time to trigger sleep tabs, you can customize it. Available times are 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 6 hours, and 12 hours. You can change this using the ‘Put inactive tabs to sleep after specified time’ option.

change sleep tabs activation time

Also, in case the sleep tabs feature messes up any of your workflows, whitelisted websites. Click the ‘Add’ button next to ‘Never put these sites to sleep’. and add the URL of these sites.

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add sleep tabs exceptions

Disable Sleep Tabs

If you want to disable sleep tabs, all you have to do is Disable the ‘Save resources with sleep tabs’ toggle From Settings -> System. This way Edge will no longer put your tabs to sleep.

disable sleep tabs edge

Try Sleeper Tabs in Microsoft Edge

This is how you can use sleep tabs in Microsoft Edge. I think sleep tabs will be especially useful for users with limited hardware resources. If you’re an Edge user, you might also like our coverage on how to use child mode, disable URL copy/paste, get the news and weather widget, and remove Edge tabs from the Alt+Tab switcher.

Moyens Staff
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