Tabbed browsing. Let’s admit that, as far as the internet is concerned, it’s the greatest thing that has happened to most people since sliced bread. Unfortunately, it’s both a blessing and a curse. 

For anyone who has ever spent an extended period doing research, being able to have several tabs open simultaneously is a blessing. Who doesn’t remember the old days when hitting “back” and “forward” was the only way to move from one page to another? By contrast, the vast downside to tabbed browsing is the gobs of memory taken up. There are alternatives, however, specifically Evernote. 


The Message is the Usage

Most people don’t realize it, but every tab opened means more memory consumed, leading to significant performance issues. For this reason, it’s a good idea to keep the number of open tabs to a minimum. 

Browsers all tell a different story when it comes to their actual memory usage, but as a rule, there are many variables that makes it difficult to tell with any degree of accuracy. 


Changing Behavior

For anyone who isn’t interested in changing the browser they are using, one of the only alternatives to embrace is to bookmark your most commonly used sites and reopen them as they are needed. For example, if a user keeps a tab with Facebook running all day while working with another tab, it might be a good idea to bookmark Facebook and closing that tab when not in use. Recently closed sites can be easily reopened by pressing Control-Shift-T. 

Another alternative to multiple open tabs, but still comes under the classification of behavior, is using a program called Evernote. Evernote is great for anyone who wants to keep notes at hand, whatever they are doing and wherever they are. Want to save a passage from what you are reading? Just copy the selection and paste it to an Evernote tab. The next time you need it, it will be there, even if you pick up where you left off from a different computer, across the room or the country. 


Memory Hogs. Snort. Snort. 

As a rule of thumb, remember that the more tabs you keep open on a computer, the more memory is consumed. Further, some sites take up more memory than others. For anyone who is really into this kind of stuff or just very curious, different brewers offer various ways to determine how much memory is being taken up. 

On Chrome, Shift-Esc will open the Task Manager, which will list all the open tabs and all the relevant details. If the “memory” heading is clicked, the open tabs will be resorted in order of memory usage. 

With Internet Explorer, this information can be obtained on a pop-up for each page by holding Control-Shift-U. Pressing this combination again will close the pop-up. 

Users of Firefox have an add-on option they can use called Tab Memory Usage, which can display the memory being used in the browser window on the upper-right corner. 


“Tabaholics” Anonymous

For anyone who is especially incorrigible and doesn’t anticipate being able to change their behavior with regards to open browser windows, the only remaining alternative is to increase memory or install add-ons that allow suspension of unused tabs. Chrome users can use The Great Suspender, and for Firefox and Opera users, a similar tool is Tab Suspender. If none of the options above help, the only other option is intensive therapy.