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Google will soon block charging battery-charged ads in Chrome

Google’s Chrome browser will block resource-intensive ads from late August, the company announced today (via VentureBeat). If you don’t see these resource-intensive ads, Chrome can drain your phone’s battery or your home network’s capacity.

“We recently found that a fraction of a percent of ads use a disproportionate amount of device resources such as battery and network data without the user knowing about it,” said Marshall Vale, product manager on the Chrome team in a blog. “These ads (e.g., ads that break down cryptocurrency, are poorly programmed, or are not optimized for network usage) can shorten battery life, overload congested networks, and cost money.”


If an ad uses too many resources, Chrome displays an error page in the frame in which the ad would have served. Here’s an example from Google of how it might look:

Image: Google

According to Google, Chrome blocks ads at the following thresholds: 4MB of network data, 15 seconds of CPU usage in a 30-second period, or 60 seconds of total CPU usage. Only 0.3 percent of the ads exceed these thresholds, but the ads, which according to Google “account for 27% of the network data used by ads and 28% of the total CPU usage of the ads”.

You can already block some resource-intensive ads right in Chrome because Google enabled “Heavy Ad Intervention” in Chrome 80, which was released earlier this year. If you want to activate that now, read our guide.

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