The Great Suspender logo snoozing against a background of browser tabs

Review of The Great Suspender for Chrome

If you work in the browser, you know how easy it is for tabs to pile up and your device to slow down. Sure, you can use fewer tabs. But a lot of us need tabs open as we dig deep into projects. That's where tab suspenders come in.

Historically, the Great Suspender has been a popular Chrome extension for lowering memory usage. Our review will explain recent security concerns around The Great Suspender, as well as overall pros and cons of the extension.

Our verdict: The Great Suspender will help Chrome use less memory. But if you’re concerned about The Great Suspender’s security — or you just want a tab suspender that works on Firefox as well as Chrome — we recommend Workona as an alternative.

What is a tab suspender?

Browser tabs can take up significant memory on your device. For example, 15 tabs in Google Chrome can use 1 – 2 GB of memory, depending on the content. So if webpages are loading at a painfully slow rate, tabs could be the cause. This is especially true if you:

  • Keep 100+ tabs open
  • Open tabs with streaming video/audio
  • Use a device with low memory capacity or existing performance issues
Side-by-side comparison of memory usage with suspended browser tabs vs. ordinary tabs

Tab suspenders pause these memory-hogging tabs. They’re still there, but they won’t take up any memory. To use a suspended tab, simply refresh it.


How The Great Suspender works

The Great Suspender automatically suspends tabs while you browse. You can choose to automatically or manually suspend tabs, and even decide how long a tab must be inactive until it's suspended. Here's what you'll see when you click a suspended tab:

Screenshot of suspended Chrome tab

What options does The Great Suspender give me?

There are some circumstances in which you wouldn't want a tab to be suspended. For example, if you’re in a Zoom meeting, over-aggressive suspension settings could kick you out of the meeting. Same goes for tabs playing audio or video. Luckily, you can adjust settings to avoid this.

The Great Suspender lets you choose whether to suspend active, pinned, or offline tabs. You can also choose:

  • Which URLS to never suspend
  • When a tab auto-suspends
  • To sync settings with your Chrome profile
  • To suspend tabs based on your power settings (ideal if you're suspending tabs to conserve power)
  • To screenshot the tab before it's suspended (note: this is an experimental feature that may increase memory usage)

Review of The Great Suspender

Overall, The Great Suspender works great for tab suspension on Google Chrome. Adjustable settings ensure that your work won’t be disrupted by the extension.

Benefits

  • Reduces memory usage
  • Easy to customize

Drawbacks

  • Limited scope - You might expect The Great Suspender to manage tabs, but it doesn't. In contrast, Workona lets you save, organize, and suspend tabs.
  • For Chrome users only - If you use any other browser, you’ll need to find an alternative.
  • Potential security vulnerabilities - The Great Suspender recently changed ownership, which has raised concerns around the security of the extension. It’s important to note that some of these claims have not been proven and The Great Suspender may indeed be safe. You can read the full discussion on Github, but here are the main issues:
    • Some users were worried that the buyer intended to inject malware into The Great Suspender, which is not uncommon when browser extensions change hands.
    • Changes were made to The Great Suspender that were not disclosed, including the fact that the extension was now connecting to various third-party servers and executing code from them.
    • After purchasing The Great Suspender, the new owner was silent in responding to user concerns.

The Great Suspender alternative: Workona

There are several reasons to use an alternative to The Great Suspender:

  1. You’re concerned about security vulnerabilities with The Great Suspender.
  2. You need a tab suspender extension for Firefox or Edge, which The Great Suspender doesn't support.
  3. You want to organize your tabs, not just suspend them.

Workona is a good choice across the board. Available on Chrome, Firefox, and Edge, it offers full tab suspension capabilities. You choose how many tabs to keep in memory and how you'd like your tabs restored. If you like Workona's organizing features but want to continue using The Great Suspender for tab suspension, that option is supported.

Because Workona offers enterprise-level security, you don’t have to worry about unauthorized access to your data. See Workona's commitment to user privacy.