Google Chrome allows extensions and hosted apps on the Chrome web store to use background pages to display timely notifications for e.g. Google Mail Checker extension uses background pages to display number of unread messages in your Gmail inbox. These background pages are invisible as they constantly run in the  background.

Background apps

Some apps keep running even after you close Chrome, these are called background apps for e.g recently covered Google Music Player Sample.  If background apps installed for Chrome, you can view a Chrome icon in the system tray which lists background apps running when you right-click on it.

Chrome icon in the system tray

Managing Background apps and pages

These background pages and apps can also consume system resources, so  Chrome allows users to manage them. If any extension or app using the background pages Wrench menu displays view background pages item, clicking on it opens the task manager highlighting apps and extensions with background pages running.

view background pages

Fix ‘Please close all Google Chrome windows and try again’

The Task Manager displays memory and CPU usage for these apps, you can select any background app and click on the End process button or you can select Exit from the wrench menu to close Chrome completely when background apps are running.

apps with background pages running

You can disable or uninstall extensions also. To disable all background apps from running after closing chrome, you need to open Options > Under the Hood ,uncheck for continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed.

closing background apps