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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.”

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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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