Google’s Chrome Browser to Block battery-draining ads

Google’s Chrome Browser to Block battery-draining ads

Google is working to make the Chrome browser shut down ads that reduce your device’s battery life or needlessly drain your internet’s bandwidth.

The scale of the difficulty is moderately minor, affecting 0.3 per cent of all the ads on the internet, according to Chrome product manager Marshall Vale. Nevertheless, these interfering ads can hog your system sources without your knowledge.

“These ads (such as those that mine cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or are unoptimized for network usage) can drain battery life, saturate already strained networks, and cost money,” Vale wrote in a blog post on Thursday.

In reply, Google will restrict the system resources an online ad can use before you click on it. “When an ad approaches its limit, the ad’s frame will navigate to an error page, notifying the user that the ad has used too many resources,” Vale added. As the example below shows, the intrusive ad will come up as a blank grey space, giving it useless.

According to Vale, Google intends on targeting the most outrageous ads that use more CPU or network bandwidth than 99.9 per cent of ads that tap the corresponding system resources. Specifically, the company will block ads that match any of the following criteria.

“While only 0.3 per cent of ads exceed this threshold today, they account for 27 per cent of network data used by ads and 28 per cent of all ad CPU usage,” Vale added.

The plan is to try with the ad-blocking technique over the next few months before going out of the feature in a stable Chrome release near the end of August. However, you can activate the feature now. Simply type in “chrome://flags/ #enable-heavy-ad-intervention” into the browser’s web address bar. You’ll then be brought to a screen where you can turn it on.

Google tells Chrome will block ads at the following thresholds: 4MB of network data, 15 seconds of CPU mode in any 30 seconds, or 60 seconds of total CPU usage. Only 0.3 per cent of ads transcend those thresholds, but the ads that do “account for 27% of network data used by ads and 28% of all ad CPU usage,” according to Google.

You can already block some resource-heavy ads yourself right in Chrome thanks to a “Heavy Ad Intervention” toggle Google rolled out in Chrome 80, which released earlier this year.


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