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I already know Google Chrome was using a lot of memory for a badly behaving webpage. The issue was I don't know which webpage was doing that.

Sometimes after a day or two, possibly some webpage on Google Chrome might be using a lot of memory.

  • Some webpage might not be intentionally broken or harmful but it could be the analytics or the ad system having a lot of memory leaks in their code
  • Eventually, the Macbook swaps memory to disk and if unchecked, complaints of hard disk space running low arrive.

Using trail-and-error, if I close all tab and wait 2 - 3 minutes or quit entirely, then the hard drive all of a sudden gains back 2GB.

Is there a way to hunt down which webpage is eating up so much memory, other than by trail-and-error?

4

Chrome has a task manager that will be handy in case you have too many tabs to simply close them manually and note when memory reclaims.

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click the vertical "dot dot dot" icon.
  3. Select More Tools and then Task Manager.
  4. Click “Memory” to sort tasks by memory usage. - Tip: Look for any items labeled "Background page."
  5. Select the task you want to close.
  6. Click End Process. - Note: Any unsaved work in your task will be lost.

I would also run vm_stat 1 and watch the OS memory allocations and freeing so you can watch the effects as you close tabs and see tasks free in the app.

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0

I use Safari on my mac and often i'd get a notice at the top of a web page that this certain webpage is using a lot of memory and that it was causing my computer to be sluggish. One thing I tried that seemed to work was to restart my computer in safe mode and see if it continued doing that. Mine didn't so I deleted some of my startup items and it seemed to have worked when I restarted back in regular mode.

You could also try using safari on the web pages that you think maybe the culprit and see if Safari flags those pages with the messages like I got.

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  • The target app of the OP is Google Chrome, not Safari, so providing an answer that is Safari centric, especially when the OP states "The issue was I don't know which webpage was doing that." IMO doesn't help nopole resolve their issue like the accepted answer does! – user3439894 Jan 16 at 14:37
  • I mentioned Safari as a way of finding which websites could be causing his problem. If you read my whole answer i was suggesting loading those sites in Safari because it indicates which pages cause issues. – jmh Jan 16 at 20:15
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Safari webpages, that are not in private mode are shown in Activity Monitor with the URL. It gets less accurate if you have multiple pages of the same website open. This isn't applicable for Chrome, which shows tools it is using to say render the app, GPU intensive tasks, notification handlers etc. If you can pinpoint a website that is using something unique to itself, it can be helpful. For e.g., it shows high GPU-related usage when playing a 4k video in a tab.

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  • The target app of the OP is Google Chrome, not Safari, so providing an answer that is Safari centric and states "This isn't applicable for Chrome" IMO doesn't help nopole resolve their issue like the accepted answer does! – user3439894 Jan 16 at 14:34
  • "If you can pinpoint a website that is using something unique to itself, it can be helpful." – anki Jan 16 at 14:56

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