Note: This article is for the new Microsoft Edge . Get help for the legacy version of Microsoft Edge. 

With everything being online these days, it’s essential that your browser is fast, reliable, and keeps up with you. When it doesn’t, it can be deeply frustrating. We get that. In fact, it’s our mission to create a browser that never slows you down. We believe in having both productivity and performance.  

Browser performance is essential to your success and is core to ours. We continue to deliver on our commitment to make Microsoft Edge faster, leaner, and more efficient than ever before. The following are our latest performance features.  

Sleeping tabs 

What are sleeping tabs? 

To improve memory and CPU utilization of the browser, we've developed a feature called sleeping tabs. 

The sleeping tabs feature in Microsoft Edge makes background tabs sleep after two hours of inactivity in order to free up resources for active tabs, new tabs, and other applications on your device. You can adjust the time interval by going to edge://settings/system. Sleeping tabs will fade to indicate they’ve released resources. To resume a sleeping tab, click on it like a normal tab. The tab will un-fade and your content will be immediately available. 

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings  > System and performance.

  2. Make sure Save resources with sleeping tabs is set to On.

  3. Select the amount of time that's best for you.

To help you stay on task and limit potential compatibility issues, the following activities prevent sites from going to sleep: 

  • The page is currently visible (active tab)

  • The page is currently holding a Web Lock or an IndexedDB transaction

  • The page is sharing its BrowsingInstance with another page

  • The page is your company’s internal (intranet) site

  • The page is currently being inspected by DevTools

  • The page is currently playing audio

  • The page is currently capturing a window or screen

  • The page is currently capturing user media (webcam, microphone, etc)

  • The page is currently being mirrored (casting, etc)

  • The page is on the user’s block list in Settings

  • The page is currently using WebUSB

We'll continue to evolve this list as needed. 

You can also add sites you never want to sleep to a block list in Settings:   

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings  > System and performance.

  2. Make sure Save resources with sleeping tabs is set to On.

  3. Select  Add, type in the full URL, and then click Add.

    Add site to exclude

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more  > Settings  System and performance.

  2. Make sure Save resources with sleeping tabs is set to On.

  3. Turn off Fade sleeping tabs.

    Turn of fade tabs

Sleeping tabs builds on the core of Chromium’s freezing technology. Freezing pauses a tab’s script timers, which minimizes CPU usage and frees up the operating system to reuse the memory for other open tabs, new tabs, or system applications. 

A sleeping tab simply pauses the page, allowing Microsoft Edge to release system resources. Specifically, sleeping reduces CPU usage to the bare minimum, which helps reduce battery consumption as well as release some of the memory.  The advantage of sleeping a tab is that going back to it again is fast and seamless.

A discarded tab completely discards the page content from memory, allowing all of the resources (CPU, memory) to be released. The downside here is that when you go back to that tab, the page content needs to be fully reloaded. 

We offer group policies to: 

  • Enable and disable the feature all-up

  • Manage the time before an inactive tab goes to sleep

  • Manage which sites should be blocked from going to sleep

These can be both mandatory or recommended group policies. If it’s a recommended group policy, IT admins will have the ability to set the default behavior that their users can change later, if they wish. 

Efficiency mode  

Efficiency mode is designed to help extend battery life. It minimizes power usage by reducing resource usage (CPU usage) through modifying certain tab activity on tabs you’re not interacting with and putting inactive background tabs to sleep after 5 minutes or less. Benefits may vary depending on your device, applications, and individual browser habits. 

You can change when the mode becomes active in the Performance menu or in Settings, if the filled heart pulse icon is not in your toolbar: 

  • In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more( ... ) >Performance or  Settings and more ( ... )  Settings System and performance.

  • Select when you want the mode to become active.

    Efficiency mode settings

We do our best to minimize efficiency mode’s impact to your browsing experience, but in some cases, it may cause videos to be less smooth and animations in webpages to slow down when you're not interacting with the browser.  

You can exclude sites from efficiency mode by adding it to a block list in Settings:  

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more ( ... ) > Settings > System and performance.

  2. Under Never put these tabs to sleep, select Add, type in the full URL of the site you want excluded, and then select Add.

When your laptop enters battery saver mode, efficiency mode becomes active and is indicated by a filled heart pulse icon in your browser’s toolbar. Select the icon to see the current status of the mode in the Performance menu. You can also use this menu to change when efficiency mode becomes active.  

Performance menu

Note: If the heart pulse icon isn't in your toolbar, you can access the Performance settings by going to edge://settings/system.

When efficiency mode is on, it puts background tabs to sleep after five minutes of inactivity (if sleeping tabs is turned on) to maximize performance savings. To set the amount of time using the sleeping tabs settings, turn off efficiency mode. 

Although efficiency mode has advantages for battery-powered devices, it can also benefit desktop computers. Efficiency mode minimizes browser resource usage so the operating system can focus its resources on other running apps. You can turn this on for desktops from Settings and more ( ... )  > Performance or from Settings: 

  1. In Microsoft Edge, select Settings and more ( ... )  > Settings  > System and performance.

  2. Make sure efficiency mode is set to On.

Efficiency mode works on Windows, macOS, and Linux. The default for when the mode becomes active differs on each platform.

  • For Windows, it follows Windows Battery Saver mode.

  • For macOS, it turns on at 20%.

  • For Linux, it’s off by default.

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