An upcoming Windows 10 update will make the taskbar a lot more useful, by adding news and weather content. It almost looks like how the Start Menu used to surface the day's events and stories. And while this seems like a neat way to get information, it does come with a drawback: it will peck at your memory.
According to a report from Windows Latest (opens in new tab), up to 150MB of RAM can be used at once by this feature. That doesn't sound like a lot, but we're guessing that systems that are resource-constrained could be impacted on a moment-to-moment basis.
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Fortunately, that's only when the task bar is actively pulling information, and it's not in a constant state of downloading. It's just lying dormant throughout the day, updating as news happens. You can see this feature for yourself if you're on the Dev Channel of the Windows Insider program. We don't know when exactly it will make it out to all users, though.
That's because when something's being tested in the Insider program, it's not a total 100% lock to be arriving in the future — or at least in the current condition it's in. We bet Microsoft is trying to ensure it creates the smallest system impact possible.
Microsoft's said the feature will be customizable, so you can set it to only download the stuff you want, and not the content you don't care about (just like how I delete the Stocks app off my iPhone). This may cut down on resource usage, but (again) it's only likely the lowest-powered systems that could get any visible slowdown. When you think about how much RAM is in most laptops, this is just like having another few tabs open in Chrome.
We first reported on this feature back in January when Microsoft made it official. Microsoft pulls all the data for this feature from its MSN network. Also, it requires you to have downloaded the new Chromium-based Microsoft onto your PC. You can use our how to update Windows 10 guide to make sure your PC is up to date.
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