Q&A: Why are there so many Chrome processes running?

chrome-os-logoQuestion from Tammy O.:  Hello Rick. Thanks for all the great computer tips you post. They are a BIG help!! Now it’s my turn to ask a question…

When I load Task Manager it shows 11 processes running at the same time for chrome.exe even though I only have the program running once. Could that be because my PC has a virus? My Norton 360 isn’t catching it if it is. Thanks.

Rick‘s answer:  Don’t worry Tammy, your PC is most likely virus free.

The reason there are almost always “extra” chrome.exe processes running is because Chrome is designed to have every component of your Chrome installation run in its own separate process. In other words, there will be a process running for Chrome itself as well as a different process for every open tab and every active Chrome extension and plugin.

You didn’t mention how many tabs you usually have open at once, but if for instance you have 4 open tabs and 6 active browser extensions, that could account for the 11 processes that you see in Task Manager. All of those tasks appear to be the same exact thing because they all show up as chrome.exe, but here’s a way to easily see exactly what each of those processes are:

1 – With Chrome open, press the Shift+Esc key combination. Chrome has its very own Task Manager built-in, and this keyboard shortcut opens it.

2 – Take a look at all the processes listed. You’ll see that they are all “labeled” quite nicely.

By the way, you can use the Chrome Task Manager to easily kill one or more of the active Chrome-related processes if it is “hung” or using too much memory or too many CPU cycles without having to terminate then entire program. Simply click on the process you wish to kill, then click the End Process button located in the lower right-hand corner of the window.

I hope this helps Tammy. Good luck!


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