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How To Speed Up Chrome in 7 Simple Steps


Are you a regular Chrome Browser user but find it isn’t working as fast as expected? This article is about helping you reduce Chrome memory usage and speed up Chrome Browser. Google Chrome is the primary browser used by most internet users worldwide. Chrome is estimated to have a usage share of 60+% of all browsers as of October 2018, as per StatCounter and NetMarketShare. Chrome has been steadily gaining market share over the last ten years,  mainly at the expense of Internet Explorer. 

StatCounter Browser Marketshare Trend 2005-2020
StatCounter Browser Marketshare Trend 2005-2020

Google Chrome is the browser of choice for most people today. When Google Chrome was first launched, it was a lightweight browser that worked fast and was well-designed. It genuinely felt like the next generation of browsers, which is why it attracted millions of users to it, and displaced Internet Explorer as the most popular browser out there. But with time, Chrome has slowly lost its luster and speed. The Google Chrome browser consumes very high memory, resulting in a slow loading speed and a less-than-ideal user experience.

How to check Chrome Memory Usage

If you want to know how much memory Chrome uses, you can use the Windows Task Manager, but it won’t specify the name of the Chrome tab or process. To get better insight, you want to use the Chrome Task Manager. Click on the Three dots Chrome Menu > More Tools > Task Manager to view the list of all Chrome tasks and their memory, CPU, and network usage.

Chrome Memory Usage

How to Speed up Chrome Browser

The approach to making Chrome faster is fairly simple and intuitive and is recommended by Google. Broadly, the focus is to:

  • Keep Chrome updated and “Unload” Chrome by making it lighter and cleaner
  • Change the way you use Chrome by adopting improved Tab Management practices and tools
  • Protect Chrome from Adware and Malware, which tend to take processing time, and reduce load speeds

1. Update Google Chrome to the Latest Version

You first need to check if Chrome is updated to the latest version. Whenever an update is available, the Chrome Menu button will display the “Update” next to the 3 dot menu. Click on it to update and relaunch Chrome. To manually check the Chrome version, click the 3 dot menu > Help > About Google Chrome or go to chrome://settings/help in the browser address bar. If an update is available, click the Update/Relaunch button to complete the update process.

Goohle Chrome Version Check

2. Remove Unused or Unwanted Chrome Extensions

It is easy to add additional functionality to Google Chrome by using extensions. These extensions come at a cost. They tend to make Chrome more bloated and slow down the browser. A review of all extensions installed is warranted. It is best practice to remove any Chrome extension that is rarely used or provides a functionality that isn’t critical or important. Retain only the most useful extension, and remove or uninstall the remaining extensions. There is a good chance you will see an immediate improvement in Chrome speed.

You can uninstall Chrome Extensions by going to Menu > More Tools > Extensions and clicking on Remove to uninstall the extension.

Remove or Uninstall Google Chrome Extension
Google Chrome Extensions

3. Close any tabs which are not in use or are unnecessary

It is common for users to keep multiple tabs open at any time. But this harms performance since tabs consume memory and system resources. Limiting the number of open tabs at any given time or alternatively using tab management tools is advisable.

Tab Management tools are extensions that work with Chrome to reduce the number of open tabs and reduce memory usage by Chrome. These tools temporarily close idle tabs or save tabs for easy re-opening or suspend/ unload the tabs you select till you need them. Popular tab management tools are Tab WranglerOneTab, and The Great Suspender.

Speed Up Chrome
OneTab Sample Page

4. Use the Chrome Preloader

Google Chrome has a prediction algorithm that attempts to predict the link(s) you might open next and starts preloading the page before you even click on the link, loading the page faster.

To activate it, follow these steps:

  1. Go to the 3 Dot Menu > Settings
  2. Open Privacy and Security Menu
  3. Select Cookies and other site data
  4. Turn on the switch for the option “Preload pages for faster browsing and searching”
Chrome Preload Option
Chrome Preload Pages option

5. Scan for Malware

Malware on your computer can consume resources and slow down your computer and browser. Scan for Malware, and check and remove any malware found. You can use a tool like Malwarebytes Anti-Malware or any other anti-malware tool you choose to get the job done.  Malwarebytes is available for Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iOS, and Android

6. Use the Chrome Clean-Up Computer

Google Chrome provides an inbuilt feature that allows it to scan the computer and help you find suspicious or unwanted programs on your computer. If Chrome finds any unwanted software, you will have the option to remove it.

7. Reset the Chrome Browser to Default Settings

If nothing else works, this is the last resort (the so-called nuclear option), and you cannot speed up Chrome. Reset the Chrome browser to its default settings, eliminating all the flab and reverting to its original basic settings, which should speed up Chrome.

  1. Go to the 3 Dot Menu > Settings
  2. Open Reset and Clean up
  3. Select Restore settings to their original defaults
  4. Click the Reset Settings button to initiate the reset process

Just keep Chrome tidy and avoid building it up again with extensions and the like.

Additional Options to Speed Up Chrome

The alternatives below are more to do with how you use a browser, so here are a few tips that you can try to optimize and speed up Chrome:

1. Use Text only Tools

A text-only tool might not be for everyone, especially those who browse and enjoy the visual aspect of browsing. You must install an extension like Text Mode, which loads any website without images, videos, or animation. What this means is your pages are lighter and load faster. And lesser distractions to the eye and more focus on the content. This extension is worth considering if you have a slow connection.

Text Mode Extension
CNN.com using the Text Mode Extension

2. Use a Clipping Tool

Quite often, the reason why you may have so many tabs is very simple. You saw an article, a story, a time-saving hack, or a recipe you liked, and you left the tab open to read later. You end up with loads of open tabs and high memory consumption in no time. You could bookmark it for later reading and close the tab or use a clipping tool like OneNote Clipper or Evernote Web Clipper, which allows you to clip articles or entire web pages if needed.

You can organize them as needed, and the best part is you can access the clips from any device and share them with your friends. Install the extension to your Chrome Browser and sign up for an account with Evernote or OneNote to enable the saving of clips and multi-device access.

If you are a chrome user on a Mac, then you might find this article on How to Set F5 to refresh on Chrome useful.

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Shashi Venkatesh
Shashi Venkatesh
Shashi Venkatesh is a 22-year veteran of the technology industry, with experience developing and managing large-scale web applications for clients. He is a WordPress expert and has consulted extensively in the development of WordPress websites, blogs and ecommerce platforms.


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