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There’s no denying Google Chrome is brutal on notebook battery life. Don’t get me wrong, Chrome is a great browser and used to be my daily driver.

That was before OS X Yosemite came along with Safari Power Saver, a tremendously useful feature that stops power-hungry plug-ins like Adobe Flash from rendering animations and interactive elements on webpages. In case you didn’t know, Chrome has a built-in Flash Player which takes a toll on battery life and sends your notebooks’s fan into overdrive.

But worry not, Google has enabled a power-saver feature of its own in a recent Chrome update. In this post, I’m going to explain how you can enable it in order to instantly improve your MacBook’s battery performance.

The new feature detects Flash content on webpages you visit and intelligently pauses Flash animations and other content “not central” to the webpage, as Google puts it. At the same time, it keeps central content, like a Flash video, playing without interruption.

“If we accidentally pause something you were interested in, you can just click it to resume playback,” notes the search firm adding that the new feature “significantly reduces power consumption” on notebooks.

How to enable smarter plug-ins in Chrome for Mac

Step 1: Fire up Chrome on your Mac.

Step 2: Head to the browser’s content settings (Chrome > Preferences > Settings > Show Advanced Settings > Content Settings under the Privacy section).

Tip: You can also reach the plugins page by clicking Manage individual plugins in the Plugins section of the Content settings dialog.

Step 3: Now select “Detect and run important plugin content.”

Google Chorme beta power saveer

From now on, Chrome will only run the main plugin content on websites. Other options include “Run all plugin content,” which tells Chrome to run all plugins, and “Let me choose when to run plugin content,” which prompts Chrome to stop any plugins from running automatically.

Tip: The Manage Exceptions button lets you manually exclude certain websites and domains.

Tip in a tip: To run specific plugins, right-click on them on a webpage and choose “Run this plugin.”

If you cannot access the new feature available, your copy of Chrome is likely out of date. Just choose About Google Chrome in the Chrome menu to manually check for updates.

Do you like this tip for a better battery life for your MacBook?

  • Newgunnerr

    Been using Safari on my macbook since its much smoother and less power consuming

  • momerathe

    I just have Flash turned off by default.

  • Raid

    I would use Safari except i really like how you can go complete fullscreen with nothing showing on Chrome which you can’t do on Safari.

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    I just installed flash on the Mac, using Chrome makes the MacBook sound like a jet.

    • BTW you don’t really need to install Flash Player.

      Chrome has built-in Flash Player that kicks into action when you need to visit a website that uses Flash. The advantage is that Flash Player likes sandboxed within the Chrome environment, as opposed to installing it system-wide as a standalone web service, which bogs down the entire system.

      • Mr.Coolfreak

        Yea I know, I will give it a try. I didn’t like chrome because it really increased the cup usage and this the fan kicks in

  • Hi

    Nothing to do with topic but can’t wait for jailbreak today!

    • This Guy

      …what? Where did you get this information that a jailbreak will be out today? Post a link, man! 😀

      • There are rumors saying that a jailbreak for iOS 8.3/8.4 might come out today during the event. Who knows.

      • This Guy

        Thanks. I just was reading about this on another site. I’m on 8.1 on my iPhone 6 currently. I’d love an update/jailbreak today. Here’s to hoping!

      • diggitydang

        Post a link, man! 😀 hahaha…

  • Step 1: uninstall Google Chrome
    Step 2: use Safari as the default browser
    Step 3: enjoy the web without a sluggish browser

    • This Guy


    • I use Chrome for flash content only. I don’t want to install Adobe Flash system-wide since it’s inherently insecure so I just use Google Chrome and have plugins set to “click-to-play” so no plugin will work until I click on it.

  • As a hardcore shortcut user, I can’t use Safari nor Chrome. Firefox is the best and most responsive to all of my shortcuts. It is also the most personalizable.
    But thanks for the tip !

    • How is Firefox more responsive than Safari? Safari makes it easier to access shortcuts and has iCloud. Firefox also lacks Yosemite’s design and I think it still doesn’t have multitouch support.

      • I always used Firefox since the beginning, but every time I want to switch to another browser I always go back to Firefox.
        As for the multitouch, I use keyboard shortcuts, I never use my trackpad (except for clicking links). As for iCloud, except the bookmarks, I don’t really see the good part of it, it has Firefox Sync and it works well.