Disable Tab Throttling in Google Chrome

Starting with version 57 of Google Chrome, which recently reached the stable branch, the browser throttles the performance of background tabs. This feature is part of the power optimization changes made to the browser. Here is how to disable it.


The background tab throttling feature is intended to prolong battery life. The browser will throttle individual background tabs by limiting the timer fire rate for background tabs using excessive power.

Tab throttling was available in Chrome even before version 57. But Chrome had restricted timers in the background to run only once per second. Thanks to the new throttling policy, Chrome 57 will delay timers to limit average CPU load to 1% of the processor core, if a web app uses too much CPU in the background. Tabs which play audio in the background or WebSockets (WebRTC) are not affected by this change.

If you are not happy with the new tab throttling policy or if it gives you issues with some sites you visit daily, then you have at least two options to opt out of it. Here is what you need to do.

To disable Tab Throttling in Google Chrome, do the following.

Option one. Enable a special flag.

In Google Chrome, type or copy-paste the following text in the address bar:

chrome://flags/#expensive-background-timer-throttling

Press the Enter key to jump to the required flag directly.

Expensive Background Timer Throttling Flag

Select "Disabled" from the dropdown list as shown below.

Disable Tab Throttling In Google Chrome

Restart the browser when prompted.

Relaunch To Disable Tab Throttling In Google Chrome

This will disable the new tab throttling behavior permanently.

Option two. Create a special shortcut

You can create a special shortcut which disables the tab throttling feature. When started from such a shortcut, Google Chrome will use the previous version of the tab throttling policy. Other shortcuts will open the browser with the default (new) tab throttling behavior of Chrome 57. Here's how you create that shortcut.

Make a copy of any existing shortcuts to Google Chrome.

Right-click the duplicate shortcut you made and choose Properties in the context menu.

Chrome Shortcut Context Menu

In the shortcut's target box, add the switch --disable-background-timer-throttling. You will get the following:

chrome.exe --disable-background-timer-throttling

See the following screenshot.

Disable Tab Throttling In Google Chrome With Shortcut

Note that Google can remove this flag at any time which means the option to revert to the older behavior can go away in the future.

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