Discussion - Allow users to put individual tabs to sleep


Hi Insiders, thanks so much for your feedback on the sleeping tabs experience in the new Microsoft Edge. From reading your comments, it is clear that many of you would like an easy way to put individual tabs to sleep. A couple examples we've heard include requests to right-click on a tab to put it to sleep or set a shorter timer than 5 minutes in Settings.


Top Feedback Item: Allow users to put individual tabs to sleep


As we investigate this feedback further, we'd like to ask for your help to make sure we are solving the right problem and get the experience just right. Can you provide us some examples of situations or sites where this would be helpful to you, and why? What are some struggles that you've had without this capability? Note that not all sites can go to sleep (some are prevented by our heuristics to help you stay on task and limit potential compatibility issues) - does this influence your perspective at all?


Thanks for your help, we look forward to working with you to improve the new Microsoft Edge in this area.


-The Microsoft Edge Team

26 Replies
I don't usually put individual tabs to sleep. Whenever I want to manually put tabs to sleep, it is usually to put all background tabs to sleep (either in the current window, or all windows). Whenever I am focused on a particular task, I don't want background tabs using memory. Having a quick command (button, menu item, or shortcut key) to accomplish this would be fantastic.

Some common commands from extensions include: suspend this tab, suspend background tabs in this window, suspend all background tabs, suspend tabs to the right/left
If we're sure we won't be opening another tab for a long time, it might be really nice to put that tab to sleep instantly. For one tab, this doesn't make much difference in terms of savings, but for 15-20 tabs (which I usually have that many tabs open), it can save much more battery (compared to 5 minutes timer). 5 minutes * 15 tabs makes really more saving(I mean I guess...) I encounter this situation frequently. So personally I would definitely be very happy to have this feature.



When managing tabs, I'm thinking of them more in terms of allocating scarce computer resources than a juggling web content (even though it's the content that's weighting my willingness to expend resources--i.e., make the sleep/wake decision). Fundamentally, I want to be able to get the energy (battery, heat/fan), CPU/GPU, and RAM resources (or at least as much as possible) back from Edge on-demand, without fully closing the application, windows, or tabs.


Your FAQ/Heuristics capture much of the use case for sleeping tabs. As another user mentioned, a more accurate request may be just putting a single tab to sleep, but for more granular control of a tab's (or window's) sleeping behavior without having to exclude a URL in Settings.


There may be a relatively resource-intensive tab that I want to sleep immediately; or another that I want to prevent from sleeping in a given use case but not universally to the extent that I exempt it in Settings. As web pages get more dynamic, they seem to be doing a lot more in the "background"--even if I've minimized Edge... at least according to their resource usage. I believe I've set my sleep threshold to 20 - 30 minutes, depending on the device's resources; but that may be too long if I'm switching to a resource-intensive application but still need to use just a specific web resource from Edge. (This gets more fun if using M365 apps through Edge.)


It doesn't help that I'm a tab and window "hoarder." I keep tabs for specific projects in their own windows and keep those windows open across sessions (another reason I'm not entirely thrilled with the friction of using History for cross-device open windows). There may be a "better" way to do it--collections, bookmark groups, etc.--but I believe software should "meet the user where they are" and not force us to adapt our workflows to a developer's way of working. 


My bottom line is less about individual tabs and more about all of the tabs in a particular window. There may be individual tabs in my "main" window that I'll want to sleep immediately while otherwise keeping that window awake; but mostly I need the ability to put pages to sleep immediately (most often when minimized).


Thanks for soliciting our feedback and I hope this helps.




Yes: there was a flag to force immediate tab suspension in DEV, but it was removed in a recent version, limiting the minimum delay setting to 5 minutes. With a large number of tabs in multiple windows, I would prefer to have them suspended ASAP - especially when opening the browser. With lots of tabs open (e.g. 1000 or more), the interactions between Edge and Windows Explorer often cause Explorer to crash when the browser is opened - I need to disable tab previews and individual tab listings in the taskbar and ALT-TAB open app displays, but I still see issues when the processors are pinned at 100% for too long when Edge is opened. The less tab processing on browser startup, the better.



Ok, I know broken record here, but;
Sleeping Tabs;
Ok, so this new "Optimize Performance mode" is all well and good, but I would still love the have "Immediately" as a choice. I open lots of tabs all at once every day, and having to wait even 5 minutes can be a drag. Especially when I load several Facebook pages at the same time  Facebook is a hug resource hog and sometimes crashes the browser because of it.  Please, I don't know what it will hurt, or why this seems to be a problem but can you add "immediately" as a choice in your selections list of times?  


I believe putting tabs into sleep is important when we want to save some resources. So let say I open multiple tabs and I need more resources to use but I don't want to wait for tabs to go to sleep and I just right click and place them into sleep (the tab I might not want).
In case it is in the vertical tabs, may be there would be an sleep tab icon at the top and click on it would should checkbox in all tabs and I select them and place want I want to sleep (it would be faster).
Another approach would like to see which tabs consume more resources and set Microsoft Edge to put tabs with high resource usage into sleep.
Normally, in my work, I need a lot of tabs. So normally I have to open a lot of tabs, even though lots of those are for later use. The tabs all use a lot of memory... I know that I can just set a short timer, but that doesn't necassarily work all the time: there can be some tabs that I'm currently using, just haven't clicked on for a while; it can be really annoying when tabs I'm still using go to sleep and I have to re-activate them again. Which is why I believe a option to put a tab to sleep in the right-click menu should be an option. It would make a lot of things easier for me!

I'm trying really hard to think of more than 5 use cases where it's useful to have web pages do anything that consumes ANY CPU when they're not in focus. Mostly my browser converts electricity into ads in windows I'm not looking at. For all the hours I leave my PC unattended, 80% of the electricity just goes right to edge which converts it into ads!

It feels like it's very silly that at the core, web pages can eat up cpu and gpu when they're NOT being used. I feel like, unless a web page is focused, the default should be a complete shut down of that tab, clip the available CPU to ZERO, and then we work backwards from there. We find rules that allow tabs to be "ON" instead of figuring out rules for turning the tabs OFF.

Here's my view from the ground floor, (and this is using the Dev channel so I know results may vary): I have 6 tabs open and visible right now and cpu usage of 20%, GPU usage of 30%, and 2.8GB ram used. Now, I do have 100 or so hidden (non-active) tabs (most of them are shown as "unloaded" in edge:\\discards) but I have to assume signals from those tabs are still eating resources. (last patch it was 8GB of RAM, so I appreciate the improvements!). It would be unimaginable if only 6 visible windows were doing that.  

But why do we default to giving inactive pages the ability to do all of, lets face it, play ads while we're not focused on the page?

Thanks everyone for taking the time to walk through this with us!


I've shared all this chatter with the Performance team, and they are working to address this when we can. If you submitted feedback to us via the browser about this and included your email, you should expect to see a similar update from us there. Please let us know of any other thoughts you have to share on the feature, and thank you again!


Missy Quarry (she/they)
Community Manager - Microsoft Edge
Join us on Twitter, or over on Reddit in r/MicrosoftEdge or r/edge

Thank you for the update
I misunderstood some of what was going on and I want to clear up my statement. I felt an amplified impact on my system resources. It turns out that i was using the experimental "workspaces" command line switch, and I hadn't figured out yet that this switch at the time was causing massive CPU usage.

I don't want that mistake to undercut my core concept, which is to default to 0% CPU availability to unfocused or un-seen tabs as the baseline, and then work backwards to only give pages resources when the USER needs it. :)
+1 for this. I do have the "Put inactive tabs to sleep" feature enabled, but I've noticed that it works somewhat intermittently. Maybe it's because of the site itself not allowing sleeping because of possible background processes, but I find that it's not always the case. I have 2 tabs from the same domain, literally next to each other that I haven't touched for hours, and 1 of them is asleep and the other isn't. So I'm hoping being able to manually put the tabs to sleep will do the trick.

The reason I need this feature is because I tend to need to regularly go back to certain tabs, or I just want them around so I remember that I NEED to come back to them eventually. Hoping to hear good news for this soon. :)

Hey Insiders! The team has added an option to the inactive tabs timer to put inactive tabs to sleep almost immediately. You can find it in settings in the latest Canary build!


Note that as Missy's post explains, some tabs won't be put to sleep based on heuristics. 


Let us know what you think after you spend some time with this one!


This is just as good as Immediately. Though I have to wonder why you cannot just add immediately to the list. But, Thanks for this addition.

That's actually a really good question, and I'm not just saying that because I have a really good answer! This is the shortest timer we're comfortable with offering to avoid site compatibility issues. The team understands that folks really want an immediate timer and got as close to that as they could without creating other issues that would make the setting less desirable or require a lot of exceptions!



I am curious though, when this was first offered for canary, I used "immediately all the time and I found no trouble at all as I had reported on the article page that was started for it Sleeping tabs blog .   So I am curious as to what issues happened with the immediately being set?



I believe the previous 'immediate' timer was also actually 'almost immediate', and this update is more explicit about the timer vs calling it immediate.

lol, Is that like calling a mule a horse, because it is almost a horse.. lol Thanks for the explanation.. lol.. :lol:


Would the feature to manually choose which tabs we'd want to put to sleep not be feasible at the moment? I fear what the automatic "immediately" feature will do to tabs where (for example) I have long, still-playing videos.