Google Chrome can be widely used my billions around the world, but it is posthumously notorious for monopolizing resources. People who run it on older hardware often report that it slows down and sometimes generates an error code. Many Chrome users report the “insufficient memory” error when recently loading a website.
There are actually two error codes that users are greeted with while browsing. One says, ‘Aw, snap! An error occurred while viewing this web page. Error code: insufficient memory. ‘And the other error message you might see says,’ Oh, slap! Google Chrome ran out of memory while trying to view this web page. “
Both error codes mean the same thing. This Chrome browser is running low on memory or sufficient resources to retrieve and open the web page in question. There could be a number of reasons for this, as we’ll explore below with solutions.
Let’s get started.
1. Close some tabs
Opening too many tabs in Chrome can result in a slow browsing experience. Check if you can close some tabs that you no longer need. This should free up memory for the other tabs as well as for the new tabs.
It’s also a good idea to use multiple Chrome windows to open tabs. For example, instead of opening 10 tabs in one window, you can open 4-5 tabs in one and the rest in the other Chrome window. In short, manage open tabs when possible to save memory.
2. Try incognito mode
We recommend using Incognito mode (press Ctrl + Shift + N to open) as it disables all extensions running in the background. Sometimes an extension can cause a conflict.
Open the webpage that generates the “ insufficient memory ” error and check if it loads in incognito mode. If so, then one of the extensions could be at fault. Disable all extensions and enable them one by one to find out which one is causing the problem.
Step 1: Open a new Chrome tab and navigate to the address below.
2nd step: Click the button to enable / disable the extension and select the Remove button to uninstall the Chrome extension.
3. Restart Chrome
Before restarting Chrome, don’t forget to back up all your work to avoid losing it. When done, close all open Chrome windows and tabs, wait a few moments, then relaunch Chrome.
4. Manage extensions
We have explained how an old incompatible extension can cause a memory leak. But installing too many extensions can also lead to memory issues on Chrome, as they tend to consume a lot of resources. We saw above how you can uninstall or remove a Chrome extension, but instead you can also manage extensions and quickly disable / enable them if needed without changing browser settings.
Ironically, this involves installing another extension, but it will make your life easier.
5. Clear browser cache and cookies
Clearing browser cache and cookies can help improve browser performance and resolve several issues like the “ out of memory ” error that users face. There is a hidden trick to clearing cache and cookies for just one site, the one that won’t load on your browser, or you can clear data for all sites from browser settings. Remember to save all open tabs and work before clearing cache and cookies if you are not sure what happens next.
6. Clear temporary files
Website cache and cookies help to load the respective sites quickly. And Chrome saves some temporary files on your Windows computer, which can build up to several GB over time. You delete these temporary and old files to allow Chrome to get a new batch of data and avoid conflicting errors.
Windows 10 comes with a built-in option to erase temporary files from every drive on your computer. You need to clear it for the drive you installed Chrome on. This is probably the default drive which is usually drive C. You can use a third-party app if you prefer one.
7. Run the Chrome Cleanup Tool
Google has released a dedicated tool to fix many common Chrome browser issues. The download is free and you will find the shared link below. Google recommends that users run the utility once to resolve memory and page blocking issues.
8. Disable hardware acceleration
Step 1: Go to Settings> Advanced> System or enter the path below in the address bar.
2nd step: Disable the “Use hardware acceleration if available” option.
Check again if you can open the webpage or still get the “out of memory” error code.
9. New user profile
The Chrome user profile may be corrupted. Creating a new profile may resolve the memory problem. The steps are simple and won’t take more than a few minutes to complete.
10. Reinstall Chrome
Cache and temporary files that accumulate over time can cause errors. When users uninstall an application on Windows, it leaves registry entries and other files behind which can also cause conflicts. That is why we recommend a clean reinstallation.
You can use reliable apps like Revo Uninstaller to uninstall apps on Windows and also remove leftover files.
You can check the current version of Chrome installed on your computer at the address below.
When done, you are ready to download and install the latest stable version of Chrome.
11. Increase memory limit
This is intended for advanced users, and most of you won’t have to resort to it. Google has set a memory limit of 512 MB for 32-bit systems and 1.4 GB for 64-bit systems. By using ‘–max_old_space_size’ you can increase this memory limit later to 1 GB for 32-bit systems and 4 GB for 64-bit systems. Note that these memory limits are for individual tabs, not windows.
Based on the ongoing discussions to remove this 4 GB limit, you can expect a solution in the future. The reason is that increasing the limit would only affect a small number of users. A few years ago most web apps weren’t using that much memory either, but now things are different. Some developers have also noted that capping memory at 4GB prevents certain exploits, thus protecting users.
However, things are different now and users have more powerful machines running Chrome and web apps have come a long way. Hopefully the Google Chrome development team increases the memory limit in later versions.
One way to increase the memory limit is to change the Chrome link address from:
C:Program Files (x86)GoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe
C:Program Files (x86)GoogleChromeApplicationchrome.exe" --max_old_space_size=4096
Again, there are many variables involved as different users have different versions, RAM, OS, etc. which makes it difficult to offer a single solution.
Also on Guiding Tech
Down the memory lane
You may see the “Insufficient Memory” error on Chrome if you have too many tabs open at the same time or too many extensions running in the background. The solutions mentioned above should help you solve the problem and you should be back to browsing your favorite sites in no time.
Firefox is making its way into the dominant Chrome browser market with Quantum. Is it worth switching from Chrome to Firefox? Check it out.
Last updated on April 14, 2021
The above article may contain affiliate links that help support Guiding Tech. However, this does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains impartial and authentic.