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Tips to Speed up Google Chrome Browser

Updated on October 28, 2013

The Ask Toolbar We Never Asked For!

The Most Common Unasked Add-in Added By 3rd Party Programs
The Most Common Unasked Add-in Added By 3rd Party Programs | Source

What Makes Google Chrome Slow?

As with any browser, the problem is the number of add-ons. Of these, the main problems are the ones that:

1. come default packaged with the browser and are often of no use to us (ex: Chrome Remote Viewer)

2. are installed when installing third party programs (ex: Ask toolbar is the top unwelcome installation done by programs we install).

The number of Add-ons and extensions slow down the browser. Then there are default plug-ins like Adobe reader and Chrome PDF reader, Chrome Flash Player etc. When they (Adobe) know Chrome already has a plug-in that can read PDF files, why do they install Adobe Reader as a plug-in to the browser? Same is the case with Flash. Chrome comes with Flash and keeps it updated. Even then, when you install Flash for other browsers or programs, the installer goes ahead and adds another plugin to Chrome.

Thus, deliberate installations of browser plugins and extensions are the worst problem that slow down Google Chrome or any other browser. In this hub, we will look at how to speed up Google Chrome browser - downloads as well as browsing speed.

We'll divide the hub into three parts:

1. Removal of unwanted extensions

2. Removal of unwanted plugins

3. Video to demonstrate the above

Eliminating Unwanted Extensions To Speed Up Google Chrome

Extensions and add-ons are interchangeable. I mean you can use either of the word/phrase to convey the same meaning. With Chrome, the best things is that you have an extension for virtually anything. You just need to search for the extensions in Chrome Marketplace and add them to your browser.

But the same good also turns out to be bad when you install too many extensions/add-ons. They slow down your machine as a whole and thereby the Internet too. Check out the Task Manager when you are running Chrome with two-three tabs open. You will see more than three chrome processes and you cannot make out which process relates to which tab or what extension.

In short, keep the number of "ACTIVE" extensions in check. That translates to disabling the extensions when you are not using it. For example, I have Hootlet that is required only when I want to schedule messages. For instant sharing to Twitter, I have another extension called Select and Tweet. Since I schedule the messages/tweets twice a week, I keep the extension disabled until I am free to schedule messages/pages or whatever I wish to share. Some other extensions like etc are seldom required as I use Tweetdeck that auto-shortens links to

Note: Even "hiding" the button will save on browser load by a small percent. If you do not need to have the buttons displayed, I recommend right clicking on the button icon and select "Hide the Button". Check out the video section towards the end of this hub for more information.

To turn off extensions, open Settings and select Extensions in the left pane of the window. Click to uncheck the box against the extension you wish to disable. If you do not need any extension anymore, you can click on the delete icon to remove it forever.

After turning off the extensions, you should notice some improvement in the speed of Google Chrome browser.

TIP: Press SHIFT + ESC key to open Chrome Task Manager (different from Windows task manager). You can use this Chrome Task Manager to see how each extension is using your computer resources: memory and CPU etc. You may want to disable extensions that are using up too much of CPU time.

Google Chrome Task Manager

Screenshot by PowercutIN
Screenshot by PowercutIN

Disable Unwanted Plugins

Chrome comes with its own set of plugins such as PDF viewer and Remote Viewer. Other programs such as Adobe add their own plugins in addition to what is already present on Chrome, thereby making it slower.

You can disable unwanted plugins by opening the Settings and then clicking on Show Advanced Settings. Under Content Settings, scroll down to Plugins and click Disable Individual Plugins.

That will bring up a window listing all the plugins installed on your browser. Disable the ones you think you do not need. Close the Window and click OK to close the Content Settings window.

Google Chrome Plugins


Few More Tips To Speed up Internet On Chrome

These are mainly related to overall computer speed. First thing is to cleanup junk at regular intervals. There are many third party apps available to cleanup junk - including the temporary files, cookies and cache of Google Chrome. I prefer using CCleaner. You can also press CTRL+H to bring up the History tab. From there, delete history from beginning of time. That will get rid of unwanted baggage.

Second thing is syncing. Check out what all you need to sync. Obviously, you won't want open tabs, cookies etc to be synced. Change from sync everything in settings to sync selected ones and then click to select what all to sync. That will release some more load from Chrome browser.

Finally, you need to keep your disk defragmented. If your computer is slow, your browser will be slow irrespective of your Internet speed. Check out unwanted programs that take up CPU resources. You can check them from the Task Manager. Remove those programs if you do not use them anymore. Then run the defrag command from the command line. Press WinKey + R to bring up the Run dialog. Enter cmd and press Enter. In the black command window, type defrag c: and press Enter. You can also use the GUI based defragment tool available in system tools under Accessories in Start Menu. I recommend command line command as it is a bit faster compared to its GUI version.

Screenshot by PowercutIN
Screenshot by PowercutIN

Check out the video below that demonstrates how you can go about speeding up Google Chrome browser. It explains how to deal with extensions and plugins plus other settings.

VIDEO: How to Speed up Google Chrome Browser

The above are some tips to speed up Google Chrome browser. If you have any doubts or wish to know more about the topic, please feel free to contact me.


Submit a Comment

  • PowercutIN profile image

    Arun Kumar Acharya 4 years ago from Varanasi, India

    Happy to know this worked. Yes, most of the time, it is the extra addons that slow down browsing. If the browser occupies CPU then even the fastest Internet would appear slow. :)

  • profile image

    Arlene 4 years ago

    Thanks for the tips! Yeah, I use the torch browser a lot, and I wasn't sure why it was getting so slow. I ended up taking off a lot of software and extensions that I never use and now it goes much quicker. I think this is probably the problem most of the time when people complain about their browser going slow.