Just over a week ago we reported that Microsoft has finally created a potential solution for the battery drain issue on Chromium-based browsers. According to Microsoft, the real culprit behind the battery drain was the media caching. Following up on their discovery, Microsoft submitted a change which was later approved by the Chromium team and Google implemented a flag in the Canary build of Chrome to limit the Disk activity during media playback.
Following up on Google’s footsteps, Microsoft has implemented a similar flag to the Canary version of Microsoft Edge. If you’re using Canary version of Microsoft Edge then make sure you have v78.0.256.0 or later installed and head to the edge://flags and enable “Turn off caching of streaming media to disk” flag.
This should ideally reduce the disk usage as caching of media will be disabled which, in turn, should improve the battery life of the laptop. One thing to note is that is disabling the feature will limit the amount of media that is cached on the disk which can be a problem for users on slow internet connections. The feature is currently in testing and Microsoft expects it to reduce the disk usage but it might not work as intended at the moment.
Not only that, but Microsoft also is planning to add a feature which would allow browsers to write cache on RAM instead of HDD/SSD. This should further reduce the disk usage but at the cost of RAM. Users with less RAM might face some issues as Chromium-based browsers might require more RAM to cache the content. Microsoft is currently working on the feature for just audio files and has already submitted a commit for the same.