Google Chrome slowing down computer or laptop
It’s no secret that Google Chrome is often responsible when your computer runs slowly – even if it’s relatively new.
If you open too many tabs at once, it quickly uses up your RAM. This doesn’t leave much room for other things you want to do with your PC. Browser extensions, called add-ons, can also put a lot of load on your computer’s processor.
However, there is a way to find out if Google Chrome is responsible for the slowed down speed of your PC: Just look at the processes running on your PC. On Macs, you can use the Activity Monitor, on Windows computers, the Task Manager.
If you see that Chrome is consuming important resources such as RAM or CPU, you can go a step further and see which tabs, web pages and extensions are causing the biggest slowdowns on your computer. If you do not need these extensions you can uninstall them or delete them.
Understanding how RAM usage impacts performance
Nothing works on a PC without a sufficiently large RAM (Random Access Memory). The operating system and the programs used store various data here. This allows the processor to access it quickly and working with the computer is fast and error-free. However, when using different programs, like chrome and another application for example, at the same time, the working memory is quickly occupied. In the following, you will learn how to manage your working memory optimally and thus avoid error messages and a slow system.
Useful background knowledge about working memory
The fact that the working memory is approaching its load limit can be seen from the fact that programs open slowly, empty windows appear or a lot of time passes between mouse click and action. When Windows displays an error message, there’s almost no memory available. You can find out exactly how much memory is available by using Windows onboard tools. If you don’t have enough RAM, you can use additional RAM bars to help. Increasing your PC’s RAM is one of the best ways to solve the problem of Chrome slowing down your PC.
RAM is used to store data from programs. If the space available here is too small, the information is moved to the paging files on the hard disk instead. This memory, known as virtual memory, is used to ensure that files can be executed correctly even when RAM is heavily used. Windows displays an error message only when this virtual memory also runs out of space.
Memory problems occur, for example, when a large number of programs are running in parallel on your computer. Playing, downloading, and listening to music at the same time can cause serious problems for some RAM. It’s also possible that memory is blocked by certain applications.
How to detect programs that are using up RAM
The Windows Task Manager clearly shows how much RAM is used by which programs. It can be easily accessed via the key combination Ctrl-Shift-Esc. This is where the “Processes” tab is now waiting, showing the various active programs on the computer. These can be sorted by memory usage. This allows you to see at a glance which programs are using the most memory.
In a self-experiment we let a computer with 32 GB RAM perform various tasks. Among other things, the Google browser Chrome is active several times and takes up the most memory of all active programs. Furthermore, the gaming client Origin, Skype, Spotify and the antivirus protection Avast Free Antivirus runs two processes. All in all, this means that our main memory is used up to 25% of its capacity. So if the PC reacts slowly or Windows displays error messages due to insufficient memory, you should first close the programs that are using a lot of RAM in the Task Manager.
Finding the right RAM for your PC
Anyone who has storage space problems is grateful that the prices for RAM have continued to fall in recent years. This makes upgrading inexpensive. In principle, it is correct that a larger main memory allows the outsourcing of a larger number of files. However, before buying, the personal need for storage space should be checked carefully. Furthermore, the operating system used must be compatible with the selected main memory. For example, a 32-bit Windows is not able to work with memory larger than 4 GB. However, the 64-bit variant has no problem with this. The key combination Windows Pause/Break can be used to quickly find out which version is being used. The bit version is specified here under “System type”.
In addition to the operating system, the processor can also prevent the use of certain working memories. Especially in discount computers, processors are often built in that do not support RAM beyond 4 GB. For this reason, a close examination is also very advisable here. Information about the memory types with which the individual processors are compatible can be found in the respective manual or on the manufacturer’s website. Intel has created its own database, which contains information about the CPU of different models and the maximum RAM. Such an offer for AMD chips is currently not available, so you have to search a little longer for the corresponding information. Often these can be found in various online shops where the respective products can be purchased.
The right amount of RAM for different applications
Which RAM is the best depends largely on the application in which it is to be used. For example, a different type of RAM is more suitable for the office than for games or downloading and using multimedia. The individual models differ on the one hand in the manufacturer and on the other hand in a multitude of technical details. 4GB of RAM is usually sufficient for the working world, whereas editing photos and creating videos would suggest an 8GB or even 16GB model.
Those who use the computer primarily as a gaming PC, create professional multimedia content or perform scientific calculations will occasionally do fine with 8 GB, but are on the safe side with 16 GB.
Last but not least, as much RAM as possible is essential for those people who work with virtual machines or create a RAM disk. Especially useful are models of the same design, because with these models the so-called dual channel mode can be almost doubled. For this purpose, the memory bars must be plugged into sockets of the same colour when they are installed. A combination of different modules is conceivable, but in this case the system is always oriented towards the slower module.
Chrome too slow – How to fix?
With no other program do users spend as much time as with the web browser. Whatever a user does on his computer: probably the browser is running at least in the background, so that he can quickly look up something online if necessary. So a slow web browser is a constant annoyance.
Fortunately, Chrome is not known as a slow program. However, it is possible that Google’s web browser becomes slower and slower with time. With these tricks it is possible to restore the original speed. More than that even! Experimental features make your browser as fast as never before.
These five ways are there to make Chrome faster:
- Remove Extensions
- Activate preloading of websites
- Disable background services
- Speed up the startup time of Chrome with SpeedyFox
- Activate experimental functions
1 Remove extensions
Chrome extensions give the browser new capabilities. But not all extensions are as helpful as expected. They are quickly installed, but just as quickly forgotten, because they are not necessary or too complicated.
All installed extensions are loaded when Chrome is started, slowing down the start. They run in the background and analyze websites before they are displayed on the screen, some of them also load their own data packages from the Internet. Individual extensions rarely cause noticeable delays, but together they can slow down the browser noticeably. Therefore, only those that are really needed should be installed.
This is how you proceed to remove unnecessary extensions from Chrome:
- Open the submenu “More Tools” in the Chrome menu. Select the “Extensions” entry there. Alternatively, you can also enter “chrome://extensions” (without quotation marks) in the address field.
- Now you will see a list of all installed extensions. Remove the check mark in front of “Enable” if you want to disable an extension. If you even want to uninstall an extension to free up disk space, click the trashcan icon.
2 Activate preloading of websites
When you click on a link, it usually takes a few moments before you can see the new page. The browser must first connect to the server and download the page. You can speed this up considerably with Chrome’s preload function. If it is enabled, Chrome already loads websites in the background. When you click on the link, the entire website is available and will be displayed immediately.
However, this preloading will consume more data volume. Finally, websites that you do not open at all are also loaded. So only activate this function if you are surfing with Flatrate! The preload function is also not optimal from a data protection point of view, because users inevitably leave a wider data trail.
If you decide to enable the prediction feature of Chrome, please follow these steps:
- In the Chrome menu, open the menu item “Settings”. Alternatively, you can type “about://settings” (without quotation marks) in the address bar.
- Scroll down to the “Security and Privacy” section.
- The fourth option in this section is described as “Preload function for faster page loading”. Enable this option.
3 Disable background services
Under “Privacy and Security” in the settings you will also find some background services that slow down the browser because they use up processing power and bandwidth:
Troubleshoot navigation errors using a web service: You can safely deactivate this comfort feature. It causes Google to automatically suggest similar pages if the browser cannot connect to a website.
Use search completion and URLs when typing in the address bar: This is the auto-complete in the address bar. Your entries in the address bar are sent to Google permanently, not when you press Enter. Also from a privacy point of view, there are good reasons to disable this setting, and it will also make the browser a little bit faster.
Use prediction service for faster page loading: If you want to optimize the speed, you should activate this option. However, to save bandwidth (and also for privacy reasons), it may be useful to disable it.
I’d like to automatically send some system information and page content to Google to help detect malicious apps and websites: This will help Google to make Chrome more secure in the long run, but it does not contribute to speed, so you should disable this option.
Protect me and my device from malicious websites: If this option is enabled, Chrome will warn you about phishing and malware. The potential performance gains from disabling this feature do not outweigh the security loss.
Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google: You can safely deactivate this option.
Send a “Do not Track” request with browser access: If this setting is enabled, you tell websites that you do not want to be tracked. Not all websites take this setting into account. Nevertheless, it is useful to leave it activated.
Correct spelling errors using a web service: This simply means that data is sent to Google for all text input fields on websites. This is not only a somewhat eerie idea, but can also slow down the browser, so you should definitely disable this function. There is still a spell checker for text input in the browser, but it has fewer suggested corrections and a smaller dictionary, and therefore does not have a negative effect on performance.
4 Speed up the startup time of Chrome with SpeedyFox
If you have been using Chrome for a long time, there is a good chance that the browser will not start as fast as it did at the beginning. Perhaps uninstalling all unnecessary extensions will not bring the hoped-for success. There is a reason for the creeping slowdown of the program: The database where Chrome stores the user profiles becomes less and less effective over time, similar to hard disks fragmenting.
There is a simple solution to make the user profile database as fast as on the first day again, and that is the freeware SpeedyFox. This small program finds the database automatically and optimizes it at the push of a button. Even if the name makes you think of Firefox, the tool works without problems with Chrome, but also with more than a dozen other browsers and programs, for example with Opera, Vivaldi and Thunderbird.
5 Activate experimental functions
In Chrome there is a hidden configuration page for experimental functions. Some of them make the browser faster. Accessing the configuration page is not difficult. Just type “chrome://flags/” (without quotes) in the address bar. These experimental features can make Chrome faster:
- Fast tab/window close: Sometimes Chrome takes a little longer to terminate processes when the user closes a tab. If this feature is enabled, the tab closes immediately. Chrome takes care of everything else in the background.
- Number of raster threads: Raster threads are responsible for the display of images in Chrome. If their number is increased, images can be displayed faster, which has an effect on the loading speed of a web page. Therefore, it makes sense to set this value to “4”, the maximum possible number.
- Automatic tab discarding: Similar to the extension The Great Suspender, this feature automatically discards websites in inactive tabs from memory. But only when memory is running low. The tabs remain open. The website reloads when the user clicks on a tab.
- Parallel downloading: If this feature is enabled, Chrome opens multiple processes to download a file under certain conditions. While this will only result in small speed gains when surfing the web, where large amounts of relatively small files are transferred, noticeable improvements can be expected when downloading large files. This option will probably be enabled by default for all users in the near future.
- Experimental canvas features: This will speed up page loading.
- Simple Cache for HTTP: A new cache system for web pages that works faster than the previous one.
This guide should help you to troubleshoot and fix the problem of Chrome slowing down your computer or laptop. If you cannot fix the problem don’t hesitate to contact us via our contact form. We would love to help you out and find the cause of your problems.