microsoft edge with sleeping emoji

Starting in version 88, Microsoft Edge automatically enables its Sleeping Tabs feature for all users. Wondering why some of your tabs are faded in the Edge toolbar? Here’s how the Sleeping Tabs feature works (and how to turn it off).

Why Does the Sleeping Tabs Feature Fade Some Tabs?

Sleeping Tabs is Microsoft Edge’s own spin on popular tab suspender extensions. These extensions (starting with the now infamous The Great Suspender extension) would suspend or close tabs after a set period of inactivity.

Sleeping Tabs in Microsoft Edge
Sleeping Tabs (faded) in Microsoft Edge.

Say you haven’t touched a resource-intensive tab (like a Google Sheets spreadsheet) for a couple of hours. Chances are you aren’t going to be needing it instantly anytime soon. The extension would basically close the tab (stop all resources dedicated to it) and create a placeholder so that when you came back, you could reload the webpage.

Suspended Tab in Chrome
Suspended tab in Chrome

This little trick can help you save quite a lot of RAM and boost the performance in Windows and Mac machines with less than 8GB RAM.

Microsoft Edge does this in a different (and arguably better) way. Instead of suspending the tab altogether, Edge merely pauses it at its current state (still taking up some of the resources).

So when you click on a faded tab, the website will be in the exact same state as when you left it. You won’t even notice that the tab was technically in a sleep state and wasn’t taking up too many resources.

According to Microsoft, “Using sleeping tabs on Microsoft Edge typically reduces memory usage by 32% on average. It also increases your battery life as a sleeping tab uses 37% less CPU on average than a non-sleeping tab.”

By default, Edge will put a tab to sleep after two hours of inactivity, but you can customize the time as you please (between 5 minutes and 12 hours).

RELATED: How to Save Memory With "Sleeping Tabs" in Microsoft Edge

Disable Sleeping Tabs Feature in Microsoft Edge

As we mentioned above, the Sleeping Tabs feature in Microsoft Edge is non-destructive. You can continue using Edge like you normally would, and you won’t even notice that it’s enabled. Because Edge doesn’t suspend tabs, you won’t have to wait for the page to reload or worry about data loss.

Still, if you don’t like this feature, you can turn it off in just a couple of clicks. To get started, open the Microsoft Edge browser on your Windows 10 PC or Mac and click the three-dot menu icon found in the top-right corner of the toolbar.

From here, choose the “Settings” option.

Now, from the sidebar, select the “System” tab. Then toggle off “Save Resources with Sleeping Tabs.”

Disable Sleeping Tabs Feature in Settings

The Sleeping Tabs feature is now disabled, and you won’t see faded tabs anymore.

Using a widescreen display? Here’s how you can dock the tabs to the left using Microsoft Edge’s vertical tabs feature.

RELATED: How to Enable and Use Vertical Tabs in Microsoft Edge

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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