High CPU usage for the Zendesk Support tab in Chrome, causes Zendesk to get VERY slow

22 Comments

  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    Hi Maximillian R. Carper

    This might just be a particularly egregious example of Chrome memory problems in Windows, which yes, I do see, with or without Zendesk. I don't experience this on Mac.

    On Windows, this issue might get some improvement before long, see https://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-chrome-and-edge-slash-ram-use-thanks-to-this-microsoft-backend-change/

    Meanwhile, apologies if this is too obvious and/or too clumsy, but before closing or resetting the ZD Support tab in a browser, I click on each open ticket in turn, so that after I reopen Support, the last 5 will be listed on the "Recently Viewed Tickets" list (under the "+ Add" link). If that's not enough, I use a clipboard utility which remembers an arbitrary number of recent clipboard entries, so I can quickly copy the URLs of all my tickets of current interest and then re-paste them after reloading ZD Support.

     

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for the information!  While I definitely agree that Chrome requires a lot more memory to display the same pages than, say, Firefox, notice that the Zendesk Support tab is still taking up way more memory than any of the other tabs, so I feel like this is not just a Chromium problem.  The memory hogging is definitely a problem that needs fixed as well, but luckily, I have 32GB of RAM, and plenty of breathing room, so that's not as much of a problem for me.  The CPU pegging, however, makes Zendesk almost impossible to use at times, and forces me to restart Zendesk (and re-open all of my ticket tabs) to get some (generally only short-term) relief to the issue, so it's the issue that's driving me nuts.  Have you experienced the CPU hogging issue?

    Thank you for your tips to reduce the nuisance of re-opening the tabs.  I generally just take a screen snip of the tabs I have open, then re-enter them all after "restarting" Zendesk by entering their #'s into the search bar.  But sometimes, I have so many tickets open that their ticket #'s aren't visible at all... it only seems to take like 7 tickets to get to that point sometimes.  Not sure copying and pasting the URLs would be any faster than just noting the ticket #'s and re-entering them into the search bar, but I might give it a try!

    I hope some other people are having this CPU issue too, so we can get Zendesk to address it.  It's incredibly troublesome to my productivity when I am on the phone with a client, taking notes in the ticket, and all of a sudden it starts freezing up constantly. :(

    Thanks!

     

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    I am sorry, Maximilian -- I don't have any more substantive suggestions. I mostly use ZD on a Mac where this doesn't seem to be a problem, so not sure that I would be logging enough time on Windows to experience or contrast what you report. 

    I do have one more remote idea -- I use this Chrome extension to keep all the open tickets on *our* support desk consolidated on one Chrome tab (multiple ticket tabs):  support  https://support.tymeshift.com/hc/en-us/articles/360003993613-Install-Zendesk-Quicktab-Chrome-Extension . I don't know whether this has any impact on memory or CPU, however. And more seriously, it's currently not available on the Chrome extension download site, apparently because of contractual discussions.

    BTW, re entering multiple ticket numbers: you might want to enter a comment on this ZD community feedback page: https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360043147114-Search-multiple-tickets-by-IDs

     

     

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Thanks, Jonathan.  I just really need to get this solved, because it's making Zendesk such a pain to use that I'm about to move off of it, and it's been a problem for months.  I tried moving Zendesk to Firefox, but the CPU pegging still happens there, and it's far worse, because Firefox is missing the tab isolation that Chrome has.  And that, of course, is part of the reason Chrome takes more resources than Firefox, but it's a great thing in cases like this, because, when a rogue web app (Zendesk in this case) starts hogging CPU, it causes all the tabs in Firefox to freeze (requiring a restart of the entire browser), whereas, in Chrome, it just caused the Zendesk tab to freeze.  I can't imagine my setup is so unique that I'm the only one having this issue, and I wasn't having it like this up until a few months ago.  I'd say maybe it's an add-on/extension conflicting with Zendesk, but in the Chrome task manager, extensions have their own entries, so their memory and CPU usage is easily-identifiable...and I'm not seeing any resource hogging with my extensions.  (shrug)

    It's sad that I'm about to move our company to another ticketing platform after all of these years, due to this one issue, though I understand why, at the super-low-priced plan I'm grandfathered into (grin), Zendesk can't provide an actual support tech to help me figure this out.  Thanks again for trying. :)

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  • Nicole S. - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Maximillian -

    I'm asking around about this issue, but if you want, you should now be able to open a chat and speak to one of our agents. They've made some changes to how they offer support and I believe you should have access to that option.

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  • John Heuring

    I use Chrome exclusively - most of my team does as well - and have not experienced any issues. 

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Nicole,

    Thank you.  I am in a chat now with an agent, thanks to you informing me of how to do that.

    Also, I want to post a Chrome Task Manager window screenshot, that includes "JavaScript memory".  It seems clear that that's what's causing Zendesk to hog all of that memory.  The question is just, why??

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  • Nicole S. - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Maximillian,

    That makes me think it might have something to do with some custom code you've implemented. Have you done any customizations using JavaScript?

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Nicole,

    No, I admittedly wasn't even aware you could do custom JavaScript in Zendesk. :)  The only customizations I've done to our Zendesk account are adding custom fields, macros, triggers, etc... the non-code customizations.

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    Could you try temporarily disabling your Chrome extensions? -- even though they are not explicitly using up the resources, perhaps there's an interaction?

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    That definitely sounds worth a try.  I have disabled all of my Chrome extensions, and restarted any Zendesk tabs that had high memory usage after disabling them.  I will let you know the result.  Thanks!

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    I realize that it's a pain (reopening those ZD tabs), but I would suggest restarting Chrome too.

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    I did restart Chrome completely yesterday, per your advice.  One of my three Zendesk Support Chrome tabs is already back up to 681,980K private memory, and 1,288,080K JavaScript memory.  That particular tab does not even have any tickets open; since last night, it has just been on the "Your unsolved tickets" view, with no tickets open.  I'll continue to keep an eye on it today as I start working in the tickets again.

    I think the next step (if the RAM and CPU usage creep up badly again with the extensions all disabled) is to try ZD in an incognito window/tab, where it won't have access to any prior cache or cookies.  That should eliminate those as potential issues, as well.

    Thank you both for your help!

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    A few more observations:

    • I wonder whether there might be some specialized content (like large graphics or complex HTML) in some of your tickets which is causing this? Perhaps it would help to investigate whether certain tickets cause your memory to mushroom, and others not. 
    • Or perhaps you use side conversations, which we do not?
    • I had not checked my JS memory use before, but indeed, it's quite modest (83MB with 3 ZD tickets open, just now).
    • Note that because I'm using the indispensable Quicktab extension (unfortunately currently still unavailable, see https://support.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360001108948), I have only one ZD support tab in Chrome, so my multi-ticket memory use is shared / consolidated there.
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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Jonathan,

    Per my last post, I was seeing that excessive memory usage even on a Zendesk browser tab that had never even had a single ticket opened, and was just sitting on at the "Your unsolved tickets" view overnight.  So it seems to be a problem even when you don't open tickets.

    As far as "side conversations" go, I don't know what that is, so that probably means we don't use them, eh? :)  Our Zendesk implementation is somewhat simple, other than the fact we use the ZD API to sync ticket data back to our time tracking and invoicing systems.  But that shouldn't affect the ZD UI.

    I am jealous that you got the Quicktab extension before it got inexplicably pulled!  The problem that solves has been bothersome for the several years we've been using ZD!  I generally avoid clicking ZD links as a result, and just enter the ticket #'s in the existing ZD tab's search box.  But I suppose that problem is a little more complex to solve for me, since Firefox is my default browser, but I use Chrome for ZD.  So ticket links are going to try to open in FF, anyway... There don't seem to be an FF add-ons that work like the "Open in IE" add-ons used to, where you could specify URL patterns to always open in IE.  (shrug)

    BTW, since, as I mentioned, I typically don't open multiple ZD browser tabs anyway, I don't think you using Quicktab would affect the comparison.  I actually just started using multiple ZD browser tabs, because I started using Windows 10's multiple desktops feature... so now I have a different ZD tab/window for each client/desktop.  But this was a problem long before I started doing that a couple weeks ago.

    Thanks again for your ongoing troubleshooting efforts on this!

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    Thanks for the update and your kind words, Maximillian.

    I get that the memory stats seem bad right from the start; how does performance change over time (especially with extensions disabled, and perhaps considering ticket characteristics)?

    Re "Open in Chrome" in FF: maybe one of these? (not quite as nice as the one you describe for IE, but...)

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/open-in-chrome-1/ 

    https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/open-with-google-chrome/ 

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  • Maximillian R. Carper

    Jonathan,

    Thanks for those add-ons.  I already tried all of the Firefox "open in Chrome" add-ons I could find, including those two, and none of them seemed to have a URL list you could configure (like in the similar IETab add-ons I used to use), where certain URLs are automatically opened in Chrome.  So I would have to manually send each page to Chrome after clicking the link that opens it in Firefox.  Maybe I need to throw together my own Windows app to be the default handler for links, that then passes the link to whichever browser is configured for a given link/pattern. :)  Oh, wow!  There's actually already at least one app that does this already... looks like I'm grabbin' it! :)  https://browserchooser2.com/#about

    I have hardly been working the past few days, and so I've had a Zendesk tab open in Chrome since 8/7/20, but I've barely done anything in it in those 5 days... and it's now at 2,094,992K of JavaScript memory, and 2,237,912K of private memory.  And a CPU spike (the same one I mentioned above, which happens in tandem with the excessive memory usage) was causing my Zendesk tab to freeze when I went to use it just now after not touching it a while, which was what reminded me to look at its memory usage, and reply here.  I think this conclusively proves that it's not an add-on causing the problem, so I'm going to re-enable my add-ons in Chrome again now--at least LastPass, which it's driving me nuts not to have working the past few days for this experiment. :)

    Let me know if you have any other ideas.  I really feel like the only way this is going to get resolved is to have a Zendesk web dev take a look at some diagnostic info from Chrome (like some memory dumps I took) to see what on Earth is causing all of this memory bloat when I'm not even actively using Zendesk.  I find it REALLY hard to believe I'm the only one having this problem.

     

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  • Brett - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hey Maximillian,

    I saw you had a ticket open with our Customer Care team related to this issue. Did you get a chance to capture the information they requested and follow up with them?

    Otherwise I'm happy to create another ticket on your behalf so they can look into this further with you.

    Let me know!

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  • Ludovic Lubit

    Hi Maximillian and the Zendesk team,

    I have the exact same issue but with Firefox and I have to follow the same steps to get it back to normal. In the past, it was also hard for me to use Zendesk on Chrome.

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  • Ivan Torok

    Just stumbled upon this thread.

    When I want to look at several ZenDesk tickets because I am searching for a detail in an older ticket I try to open 10-20 tickets at once in different tabs. When I do that, my machine slows down.

    What is the proper ZenDesk way to quickly skim through a bunch of older tickets?

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  • Nicole S. - Community Manager
    Zendesk Community Team

    Hi Ivan -

    It depends on how much you wish to read when "skimming" through, but the preview feature that pops up when you hover over a ticket is meant for this purpose.

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  • Jonathan March
    Community Moderator

    Ivan Torok - Unfortunately there's no great answer. Depending on the particulars, here are some things that I typically try:

    • preview as Nicole suggests.
    • progressively narrow the scope of the search
    • add an ad-hoc (temporary) tag to the candidate tickets, create a view for that tag, and then "Play" through the view.
    • if you use google apps -- search gmail for the relevant email notifications, and quickly browse through the search results.

    Some other potential solutions which have often been requested are:

    • provide a "Play" capability for search results
    • quickly convert search results to a view, where they could be played. (This is related to the requested ability to make ad-hoc temporary modifications to a view).
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