Google says Chrome 87 has the biggest performance boost in years

The company says the enhancements will improve battery life.

There was a time when Chrome was perhaps the nimblest browser around, but over the years, it has demanded more and more system resources. Google is looking to reverse course a bit. It’s bringing performance enhancements and speed boosts to the browser starting with Chrome 87, which is rolling out now.

Google says Chrome will prioritize your active tabs, which will reduce CPU usage by up to five times. The company found in testing that the under-the-hood upgrades can improve system battery life by up to an hour and a quarter. Chrome will also require less power and memory than in the past. Google claims the browser will start up to 25 percent faster, while pages will load up to seven percent quicker.

These changes mark Chrome’s largest performance gain in years, according to Google. The company will roll out these updates gradually across versions 87 and 88 of Chrome.

The Android version of Chrome is getting a boost too. Google says pages will load “near instantaneously” when you move backward and forward. The company will gradually roll out the back/forward cache as part of Chrome 87.

If you’re anything like me, you have dozens of tabs open at any time, and finding what you need can be a pain. Google’s looking to take the sting out of that a bit by displaying a list of open Chrome tabs and letting you start to type in the name of the one you’re hunting down. That tab search feature will be available on Chromebooks first, and it’ll arrive on the desktop version of Chrome soon.