Microsoft has been testing a Sleeping Tabs feature in Microsoft Edge since September. Starting on the Edge Canary channel, the tool has moved through testing on the Dev channel and is now rolling out to the Beta channel.

This is part of the Microsoft Edge version 88 update that will come to all users out of preview soon. Powerusers using multiple tabs will be aware of the headaches that can cause, especially an impact on performance.

Sleeping Tabs aims to solve this problem. It allows Edge to automatically make background tabs idle and consume less power. Microsoft points out it can reduce memory usage by 32% and uses 37% less CPU, both figures on average:

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“Although individual device performance varies depending on configuration and usage, we’ve heard from users that this decrease in resource and battery usage has improved their browsing experience.”

Custom Options

While Microsoft Edge Sleeping Tabs work automatically, users can also take customizable action. For example, timers can be set on sleeping apps, such as leaving them inactive for a set amount of time before their a put to sleep. Microsoft says there is a maximum limit of 12 hours on this timer.

Users can also sleep background tabs instantly, or create website exceptions that will never sleep or will always sleep.

If you don’t use any custom options, Sleeping Tabs will “sleep” tabs only if they are inactive for 2 hours. Sleeping tabs are faded out but simply clicking on it will wake it up again. Microsoft says it has made some improvements to the feature for the Beta release:

  • “Added an option to put tabs to sleep after 5 minutes of inactivity
  • Group policies to manage sleeping tabs (for IT admins)

Improved visual treatment to clearly show which tabs are sleeping without distracting from the task at hand”

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