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How to Purge Memory in Google Chrome

The latest development builds of Google Chrome include a way to make the browser clean up its act and stop hogging RAM. It’s easy to enable, and even easier to use. Just keep in mind that you must be running a dev channel build.

Open up the shortcut for Chrome (if Pinned on Windows 7, Shift+Right-Click for the context menu), and then add the following—note that there should be two dashes there.

--purge-memory-button

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Now you can right-click on the title bar, or use the Shift+Esc shortcut key to bring up Chrome’s Task Manager.

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Hit the Purge Memory button, and it should clean up some of the memory (though not all of it).

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 12/8/09

Comments (6)

  1. Roi

    Do you have to uninstall the Beta build to install the Dev build?

  2. SquareWheel

    Apparently the channel changer tool has been depreciated (*shrug* I used it the other day), you can follow instructions on this page now: http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel

    It looks like you can run the installer of the channel you want and restart Chrome, so it just installs over your current build.

  3. buurgerking

    My quest for a memory purge button has driven me to insanity.
    I downloaded the latest dev build, 4.0.266.0
    followed the instructions to the letter, with –purge-memory-button
    I’ve tried different spacing, different dashes, STILL I get a …specified in Target box is not valid error
    “C:\Documents and Settings\Winston\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe –purge-memory-button”
    WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!?!?!?!

  4. The Geek

    You need to put the parameter outside of the quotes.

  5. Bree

    Ok so the button for purge memory isnt showing what do i do?

  6. john burnum

    The purge memory button has disappeared since Chromium,Chrome Canary & Chrome dev updated,only still works in chrome plus,is there a way to get it back on my other Chrome Browsers,thank you

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