Chrome is one nasty resource-eating monster. If you have a high-end PC, you probably won't notice it unless you have a lot of applications opened at the same time, but those with middle and low-end computers will encounter this issue on a daily basis. Since waiting a long time for the operating system to perform the actions that you tell it to can be very aggravating, so I thought I should tell you of a few ways in which you can make the browser consume less of your resources.
Google's browser has a nasty habit of running background apps. What this means is that even after you close it, these apps will still take its toll on your RAM memory and drain battery from your laptop or PC, in order to give you quick access to some of the browser's features when you come back. Even though they're usually hidden behind the tray arrow (on Windows), they're still there and it's frustrating. To close the background apps, simply right-click the Chrome icon in your tray and chose the Exit option.
However, if you don't actually need these background processes and you have no idea why they are even there, you can easily terminate them completely so that they will not be an issue anymore. All you have to do is to once again right-click the Chrome icon in the system tray, but this time instead of choosing exit, uncheck the button marked Let Google Chrome run in the background. Once that's done, whenever you close Chrome, the background processes will be automatically terminated as well.
Background pages are another covert feature which takes up a lot of your resources. This function is automatically enabled by the browser when you allow a certain service to access elements of your PC in offline mode. The background pages will continue to run even if you close their corresponding webpages, and that can put a noticeable strain on a middle or low -end system. To see if you have any running background pages, click on the settings button (the icon with three horizontal lines on top of each other), go to More Tools and launch the Chrome Task Manager. In case you have any and you don't actually use them, you will need to go the settings of their corresponding app and disable offline access. (Most often, the background pages you will encounter are created by cloud storage services, like Google Drive).
Usually, extensions drain your resources the most, so don't go on installing everything that runs into your path unless your computer can handle it. To see what extensions you have running and see how much resources they take up, use the Chrome Task Manager (see the previous section) as it will give all the details that you require. I strongly suggest uninstalling any extension that you can live without as they take up RAM and CPU, as well as needlessly drain your battery. To uninstall unwanted extensions click the settings button, go to More tools and choose Extensions. Once there simply click the trash icon corresponding to the one you no longer want to have in your browser.
While most of the times necessary, Hangouts is one of the most high maintenance extensions that you can use. On low-end PCs, it can single-handedly bog down the entire system and make it unresponsive. Furthermore, this tool will keep on running even after you quit the Chrome browser, so it will continuously take up your resources. (The image to the right doesn't do justice to how much resources it hogs, as it was taken without signing into the service). So, if you don't really need Hangouts and your PC seems a bit slow, it's probably best for you to uninstall it and use the chat embedded in the Gmail webpage.