How to Speed Up Google Chrome

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Is your Google Chrome browser a little sluggish? If that’s the case, there are lots of ways to make Chrome faster. Chrome has plenty of options and extensions you can try out to give it a boost.

Disable Google Chrome’s Plug-ins

Google Chrome hogs quite a lot of system resources, and if you have lots of plug-ins they can slow down the browser. Plug-ins such as Adobe Flash Player usually enables the browser to include special content on pages. Even if you haven’t added any plug-ins to Chrome, there are a few bundled with the browser. You can disable them by entering ‘chrome://plugins’ in the address bar. That opens the page shown directly below.

google chrome 12Now switch some of them off by clicking Disable under each plug-in. Click Details on the right for some further plug-in info. That can make it a little clearer what the plug-ins do.

Switch off Google Chrome’s Extensions

Google Chrome extensions are similar to plug-ins in that they clog RAM. When you add an extension to the browser, it will run automatically unless you switch it off. So you should disable extensions that aren’t off much use.

Input ‘chrome://extensions/’ in the browser’s address bar to open the page in the snapshot below. That includes a list of all your extensions. Beside each extension there’s an Enabled check box you can click to switch it off. Alternatively, click the Remove from Chrome bin button to delete an extension.

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A good way to check what extensions and plug-ins are hogging the most RAM is to open the Task manager in Chrome. Click the Customize button at the top right of the browser’s window, More tools and Task manager. That opens the window in the snapshot below.

google chrome3This shows you extension and plug-in RAM allocation. Thus, you should switch off the less essential extensions that have higher RAM figures in the Task manager. You can switch off extensions from there by selecting End process.

Switch Off Images and JavaScript

Images probably increase page loading times more than anything else. However, JavaScript, which is code that adds special effects to websites, can also have an impact on page loading speeds. So switch those things off to really boost page load times. You can do that without any additional extensions by entering ‘chrome://chrome/settings/content’ into the address bar to open Content Settings below.

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There you can select a Do not show any images radio button. Click that and press the Finished button. Then the website pages won’t include any images on them.

Below that there’s also a Do not allow any site to run JavaScript option. Clicking that radio button removes JavaScript from pages. You can still include images and JavaScript on selected websites by pressing the Manage exceptions button.

Add Text Mode to Google Chrome

Text Mode is a good extension to boost page load times with. What this effectively does is strip Web pages down to text only alternatives. Consequently, the pages open in Google Chrome without any images, videos or flash animations. Check out this page to add Text Mode to Chrome.

Then you’ll find a T Set Text Mode on/off button on the browser’s toolbar. Press that button to switch the text only mode on. That effectively removes images, ads, animations and videos from pages.

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You can also remove color from website pages by right-clicking the T button and selecting Options to open the page below. That page includes B&W options for you to select. Click the Desaturate Colors and White background pages check boxes to switch the pages to black and white.

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Enable Experimental Canvas

Google Chrome’s chrome://flags page includes a variety of extra settings you can speed up the browser with. One of those is the experimental canvas option that effectively switches the browser’s transparent canvas to an opaque alternative, which will speed up load times. So check this setting out by entering ‘chrome://flags’ in the address bar.

Next, find the Enable experimental canvas setting on the chrome://flags page. As a shortcut input ‘chrome://flags/#enable-experimental-canvas-features’ into the address bar and press Enter. That will scroll to the option as in the snapshot directly below.

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Now click the Enable button below that setting. Then restart the browser to apply the new settings. You can press the Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the page to restart Chrome.

Enable Fast Tab/Window Close

The chrome://flags page includes a Fast tab/window close option that runs event handlers more independently of the browser’s GUI. So the setting closes tabs and windows a little quicker when enabled.

Return to the chrome://flags page, and input ‘chrome://flags/#enable-fast-unload’ into the URL bar. That should find the Fast tab/window close setting shown in the snapshot directly below. Click Enable under the option to switch it on, and then press the Relaunch Now button at the bottom of the page to restart Google Chrome.

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Enable Raster Threads

Chrome:flags also includes a Number of raster threads option. This setting will effectively speed up the image rendering in Google Chrome. Just enter ‘chrome://flags/#num-raster-threads’ in the address bar to open the setting in chrome://flags as below.

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Below the setting there’s a drop-down menu that includes four values. Click that menu and select 4 from it. Press the Relaunch Now button to restart Google Chrome.

Enable the Simple Cache for HTTP

The Simple Cache for HTTP setting enables the new experimental cache for Google Chrome. So this is something that will speed up Web page caching. To go to the setting, enter ‘chrome://flags/#enable-simple-cache-backend’ into Chrome’s URL bar and press Return.

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Next, click the drop-down menu below Simple Cache for HTTP and select Enabled. Then restart the Chrome browser as before. The new cache will boost page loading in the browser.

Those are a few ways that you can give Google Chrome a speed boost. There are also a quite a few other settings and extensions that can feasibly speed up the browser a little more. For example, you could add some tab management extensions such as The Great Suspender and OneTab to Chrome that suspend and merge tabs. 

Posted by Matthew on June 21, 2016

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