Chrome OS users are reporting an alarming bug in the latest stable version of the operating system. Something in the most recent update is causing the CPU usage to sky rocket to 50-100 percent capacity on certain systems. Amusingly, developers believe it may be related to checking the CPU usage in the task manager itself.
This issue appears to only be affecting users on the Stable v72 or the newer beta and dev updates of Chrome OS. According to a smattering of complaints on the official Chromium blog as well as numerous posts on Reddit, people have found that Chrome OS on some devices such as the Pixelbook and Pixel Slate seems to be using all of its CPU, resulting in reported hits to performance, overheating, and reduced battery life.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Gizmodo but Chromium developers have acknowledged the issue in the bug report. Speculation among commenters traced the root of the problem to the inclusion of Android Pie. But the growing consensus is that the problem goes away when the task manager is closed. One user reported that CPU usage returns to normal when running Chrome in guest mode, which doesn’t support Android—indicating that there could be multiple issues at play. One Chromium developer put out a call for general feedback that they later took back saying they were feeling confident the “Task Manager problem is the main one here.”
While this may be a pain in the ass for some, the idea that this is a bug that only exists when it’s being observed certainly makes it special. It’s safe to say a fix is coming but if you haven’t updated, you should hold off until one is posted.