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How To Speed Up Google Chrome [October 2019]

Posted by Matthew on October 18, 2019

Is your Google Chrome browser a little sluggish? Does Chrome open slow and run slow? 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. Ironically, extensions may be the cause and possibly the solution to Chrome slowness.

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. Flash, in particular, is thought of as a security risk so it’s a good idea to disable it anyway. Not very many sites still use Flash in 2019.

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. If you don’t really need the functionality of a particular Chrome plug-in, then why keep it?

Switch off Google Chrome’s Extensions

Google Chrome extensions are similar to plug-ins in that they use up working memory (AKA RAM).

When you add an extension to the browser, it will run automatically unless you switch it off, so you may have extensions running all the time that rarely use. It’s . a good idea to disable extensions that aren’t off much use to you on a regular basis.

Input ‘chrome://extensions/’ in the browser’s address bar to open the page in the snapshot below.

That list includes a list of all your extensions. Right next to each extension there’s an Enabled checkbox you can click to switch off and then back On again if you change your mind in the future. 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 chrome3The about above shows your 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 and client-side JavaScript probably increase page loading times more than anything else.

JavaScript, which is code that adds functionality to websites with the code running on your browser rather than the web server, can have a very big impact on page loading speeds.

You could switch those things off to really boost page load times, but the downside is that you won’t get the functionality that the JavaScript provided and the full design effect that the images were part of.

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 download and render images on the websites you visit, which will greatly increase page load times.

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

Many people who have low and medium-end devices that do not have a lot of CPU power and memory and do not have reliable access to high-speed Internet may find it’s worth it to turn off images and JavaScript, I’d start with images and, if that’s not enough, try turning off JavaScript next. A lot of people who are out and about with their mobile devices might benefit from these tips to speed up Chrome and page load speed.

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. Even if page load time isn’t the issue, you may find this tool useful if you mainly read articles on the web and don’t really need the images.

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 include a number of raster threads option. This setting will effectively speed up the image rendering in Google Chrome.

To use raster threads, 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.

Here are some relevant TechJunkie how-to articles that you might find useful:

Do you have any suggestions on ways to speed up Chrome and Chrome page load speeds? If so, please tell us about it in a comment below!

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