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How To Fix Input Lag And Slow Performance In Google Chrome

Lately, my copy of Chrome has been getting more than a little sluggish. Although pages and the like still load relatively quickly (and without incident), I’ve noticed on several occasions that when I’m typing something, the cursor tends to lag a bit. It’s nothing terribly blatant; just an occasional hiccup in text entry. Generally, it doesn’t even interfere overmuch with my typing (though it has, on occasion, gotten bad enough that I’ve been unable to work). It’s more of an annoyance, really.

It also occurred seemingly at random. It didn’t seem to have any connection whatsoever to the number of tabs I had open, nor did it seem to bear any particular link to what I was doing at the time. It just kind of…happened, sometimes.

Given that neither low memory nor a bad connection was the root of the issue (I’ve 12 GB of RAM and a quad-core processor with high-speed Internet), I was at a bit of a loss. I’d had a few blue-screens in the past, but re-installing Windows seemed to fix that problem. Hardware (and issues in the registry) were obviously out as the cause, then. I regularly scan for viruses, and I practice safe browsing besides, so the cause couldn’t be spyware, adware, or malware.

I was at a loss. I puzzled for some time over how I might go about fixing the problem. After all, speeding up Chrome [1] is the best way to make your browsing experience better, and fixing input lag is a must.

Admittedly, I was becoming a little agitated. My computer should have been more than able to handle anything I threw at it! Why was something so insignificant as Google Chrome causing so many problems? Could the problem, perhaps, be with Chrome itself? Was the browser finally becoming so bloated that it was starting to experience slowdown?

Computer Boredom

Finally, I did what every human being eventually does when confronted with a problem they’re not sure how to solve: I turned to Google. After a quick Google search, it turned out I wasn’t the only one having this issue. Apparently, it was fairly widespread, impacting users of both Chrome and Chromium (an open-source variant of Google Chrome).

Turns out, there are two things that cause this irritating little glitch. One of them is linked to Google Chrome itself, the other is a setting within Windows 7(I’m assuming that’s the OS you’re using). In order to fix the problem, I had to address both of them. I’ll walk you through the process. We’ll start with Chrome, since you’ve already got it open.

Pop open the Settings menu (click the icon in the top right that looks like three horizontal bars, and select ‘settings’ in the dropdown menu. Once you’re there, click on “Show Advanced Settings” towards the bottom of the page. At that point, you’ll be presented with a long list of options. One of those options is titled “predict network actions to improve page load performance.” This is a feature known as DNS Pre-Fetching. While it certainly does improve the load time of pages, it’s also known to cause a bit of intermittent input lag every now and then, in addition to sending Chrome’s memory footprint straight through the roof. You can live without it.

Next, you’re going to want to open up Internet Options in the Control Panel. From there, go to connections and click on LAN settings. One of the options there is “automatically detect settings.”  For some reason, this option tends to cause some crossed wires with Chrome as the default browser.  If the box is checked, un-check it. With any luck, that should be just the ticket to fix things.

Oh, but one thing – if you’ve less than 4 GB of RAM, you’re probably going to have some problems.