Blame Your Browser For Bad Battery Life

Windows users running Chrome may have seen a dip in battery performance

Lenovo laptop keyboard

Chrome's incredibly high clock rate makes your laptop look for work up to 1,000 times per second. (Image: Andrew Skudder)

If you’re a Windows user, you may find your laptop’s battery life dwindling every day. And according to Forbes, you have the world’s most popular web browser, Google Chrome, to thank for it.

The computer’s clock tick rate basically tells the processor how many times to wake up and check for work. The more it checks, the more power it uses.

The default clock rate on a Windows laptop is 15.625 milliseconds, which means it checks for work about 64 times per second. When doing something processor-intensive like watching a video on YouTube, its rate will increase to check 1,000 times per second, equivalent to checking every 1.00 millisecond. That requires more power, and more power equals shorter battery life.

The issue with Google Chrome is that the browser is forcing your Windows laptop to wake up and do work 1,000 times per second no matter what. You could be watching a high-definition YouTube video or staring at a blank page; as long as Chrome is open, your computer is using a lot more power than it needs to.

According to Microsoft, a tick rate of 1.00 milliseconds can decrease battery life up to 25%.

Is there anything you can do? Well, besides buying a desktop or a Mac, there’s not much you can do until Google decides to take a look at the issue. Luckily, the company is having its Chrome team work on a fix, so it shouldn’t be an issue for long. But you can keep the issue a hot topic by starring the bug in Google’s bug tracker system.

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