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Google Chrome Tab Processes

September 4th, 2008 at 7:20 PM (16 years ago) by Matt Freedman

On my post yesterday on Google Chrome I mentioned that one of my kvetches about it was that there was no way to tell which chrome.exe process is associated with what tab. It turns out that this is incorrect. I’ll overview how to do this in this post.

There are actually two different ways to determine this, one’s more user friendly, and one’s for people who want more control than what the first method offers.

Using Google Chrome Task Manager

Google Chrome actually includes its own mini-Task Manager that shows all your tabs and plugins. This Task Manager is similar to Windows’ in that you can see memory and CPU usage and can end tab or plugin processes, but that’s about it. So, this is useful for those who just want a quick overview of resource usage and be able to terminate a tab or plugin. Here’s a little walk through on how to access Google Chrome’s Task Manager:

Right Click Above Tab Bar

Step 1: Right click on the browser right above where the tabs are located. Then click on Task Manager.

Google Chrome Task Manager

The Google Chrome Task Manager appears. From here you can view which tab or plugin is using how much resources, and terminate them if needed.

Using Windows Task Manager

For users that want a bit more control than what Chrome’s Task Manager allows, there is an alternative manner of going about this. This method involves finding out the tab’s PID (Process Identier) number and then using Windows Task Manager to find that process. Again, here’s a little visual walkthrough:


Step 1: In Chrome, type about:memory into the Address Bar. This will take you to an overview of the processes Chrome is currently running. Here you can see an in-depth overview of the amount of memory and type of memory (physical or virtual) the browser and specific tabs are using. Take particular note of the PID column on the left-side of the screen.

Step 2: Open the Windows Task Manager. You can do this by simultaneously pressing Control-Shift-Escape on your keyboard, or by going to Start > Run (or just Start in Vista) and typing in taskmgr.exe and pressing Enter.

Windows Task Manager; View - Select Columns

Step 3: In the Windows Task Manager, click View and select Select Columns….

Windows Task Manager Select Columns

Step 4: In the Select Columns dialog box, click the checkbox beside PID (Process Identifier) and then click the ok button.

Windows Task Manager with PID Column

You will now see that Windows Task Manager has a PID column. You can reference these numbers to the numbers on about:memory to determine which tab is connected to which process.

Hopefully this guide helped you understand that in just a few simple steps you can manage your Google Chrome tab processes.

One Response to “Google Chrome Tab Processes”

  1. Google Chrome, is it Just Another Web Browser? « Matt's Blog
    Google Chrome, is it Just Another Web Browser? « Matt's Blog says:

    […] Interestingly, Chrome is also very unlikely to crash or become unresponsive. This is because each tab is given its own separate process (so if you have multiple tabs open, you’ll see multiple instances of “chrome.exe” in your Windows Task Manager), meaning that when a site in one tab is unstable, it may cause that tab to become unresponsive and crash, but the rest of your tabs will remain responsive and in perfect working order. This actually does work, I went to a site that used Shockwave, then the Shockwave Player crashed and the tab became unresponsive, however the rest of Chrome was perfectly fine. Chrome will then actually tell you why the tab became unresponsive (or crashed). This has already proved to be much more convienant than the whole browser crashing and then restarting (Mozilla and Microsoft should take note of this). However, there is one problem with this, when you’re in the Task Manager, there is no way to tell which chrome.exe process is associated with what tab. So, if there’s a process that’s using a large amount of resources, there’s no way to know which tab to close down. Hopefully they’ll be able to fix this by adding the tab name to the description of the process, or with some similar solution. UPDATE: There actually is a way to tell which process is which, see my post on it here. […]

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