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Google Chrome Slow? Beginner’s Guide to Speed Up Chrome

This article is part of the series – Speeding Up Google Chrome. The next part of this series is our Advanced Guide to Speed Up Google Chrome.

Even if you have the so-called “fastest web browser” installed on your PC, you’re still experiencing those slow loading times, right?

Most of our work now depends on Internet surfing which is obviously to be done through a browser.

And if this is the case forever, we would just have to continue waiting for the browser to load pages.

The result?

You’ll have a lot of time wasted behind page loads.

So, even if you have a good Internet speed enough to carry out all your browsing tasks at a fast pace, and you’re still experiencing high page load times, then, your browser is at your fault.

Why am I experiencing slow page loads even if Internet Speed is good enough?

Yeah, page loads definitely depends on your Internet speed, but on the minor side, it also depends on how fast your browser processes the requests.

Not just your Internet speed matters, but also your PC configuration matters as well.

If your browser is unable to render and processes web page requests quickly, you’ll have those upset moments staring at Chrome loading pages too slow.

Not Chrome, but your PC configuration is at fault sometimes…

Before accusing your lovely browser as the root of all the problems, you shall first take a look at your PC configuration which is the reason why Chrome isn’t able to extract the real power and offer your the real performance which is actually expected.

So, this basic guide is all about tweaking Chrome (and not your PC) to match your PC configuration to finally give Chrome the access it needs to give you optimal performance.

Let’s move on to the simple tweaks to help Chrome harness your PC power!

You might see here some of the most commonly mentioned tactics below. Don’t get angry by thinking that this is the same stuff like else everywhere, because everything has to start at a point, and in Chrome this is the point where optimization starts. If you’re a power user and directly want to jump off to advanced performance tweaks, you can just navigate to our Advanced Guide to Speed Up Google Chrome.

#1 – Cleaning your Browser Cache

The first and foremost basic step is to completely clear off your browser cache and just empty out everything. Just as a heavy box needs more energy to be lifted off, the huge piles of cache in your browser often makes Chrome tired (pun intended).

So, start your optimization tasks with cleaning all the huge piles of browser caching.

A care to be taken here:

“Browser cache” has many sub items which includes your browsing history, cached web pages, auto-fill form data, important passwords, etc. So, be sure to tick mark only those things that you need to clean.

Cleaning your browser history would be default for everyone, because that’s the main element of caching. Regarding other options, make sure you don’t need them before flush them, because once deleted, won’t be recovered again.

To clear your browser cache, simply follow the below steps:

  1. Open Chrome Menu (Hamburger Icon besides the address bar), navigate to History (Alternatively, press Ctrl+H).
  2. You’ll be then presented with the list of your daily browsing history, above which there’s an option named Clear Browsing Data. Click on it.
  3. A dialog box pops up. The first sentence says “Obliterate the following items from:” from where you can select the period of time from when you want the cache to be deleted. I would recommend you to go for “the beginning of time“.
  4. From the checkboxes below, check the ones that you want to be deleted, and click Clear Browsing Data button below.

Watch this quick video to have a visual idea of what to do:

#2 – Disabling Extensions

This maybe one of the most common thing you might have heard when you ask anyone about your slow browser, and, it holds true.

As many extensions your browser tends to run simultaneously, lesser will be the power left for Chrome to harness and give you performance.

Let’s make this simple:

If Chrome has 1 extension running (all the enabled extensions run as long as you have your browser opened), it runs as a special task which consumes resources from your PC (the memory and power) from Chrome, i.e. it shares it’s part from the resources allocated to Chrome. Hence, Chrome will have to share the resources which will then result in degradation of performance.

Just relate this with the numerous extensions running silently in background without even you knowing what’s happening…

Each extension counts as a different process which consumes as much memory (sometimes more) as of a new tab opened in Chrome (which is approximately 40-50 MB’s, depending on the type of extension).

To disable extensions, follow these steps:

  1. Chrome Menu -> More Tools -> Extensions.
  2. Disable the ones that you don’t require currently, and delete the ones that you can live without! (Yes, you’ll have to make the hard choice)

Making it simpler, watch the video below:

#3 – Disabling Plugins

Another important (yet common) advice to speed up Chrome is to disable plugins.

On the first place, what are plugins?

You might be thinking that they’re just same as extensions, right?

Pretty similar.

Plug-ins (or Plugins, as famously known) are additional functionalities to a framework (in general). In Chrome, this definition holds true, also defining some important pre-shipped products that are almost necessary for web pages to work fine.

Let’s simplify it with an example:

The most famous Adobe Flash Player is a plugin and not an extension just because you need flash to run some web pages or pieces of content or videos (it’s becoming redundant now, but still…).

So, in layman’s terms, they’re pre-shipped important functions needed for certain parts of web pages to work. When saying pre-shipped, it literally means that they already come along with the browser (or you already have it installed on your PC which then integrates with the browser).

They affect the browser’s resources the same way as the extensions do.

When this is the case, you can sure that you don’t need some part of it for everyday use, like Flash Player.

To disable them, follow the steps:

  1. Type “chrome://plugins” in the address bar of your browser.
  2. You’ll then see a list of plugins enabled or disabled in Chrome. Simply, just disable the ones that you don’t want.

Again, a video tutorial to do it with more ease:

#4 – Removing Web Apps

Chrome isn’t an ordinary browser, but a full-fledged framework that not only runs your ordinary web pages, but can also run locally-installed apps.

Like, if you constantly check your GMail everyday and many times a day, then you can add GMail as an app in Chrome which would then show up on the New Tab page (although, GMail is already pre-installed…)

But, as you go on stacking up apps in your list, the downside is, they start taking bit-by-bit resources from your browser to be ready to get instantly launched whenever needed (as they don’t know when will you click them). This is a kind of performance addition to you when you launch these apps (as they instantly get launched), but, when not needed will continue taking bytes from your browser’s precious resources.

To disable or remove apps, follow the below steps:

  1. Type “chrome://plugins” in the address bar of your browser.
  2. Right click on the app you wish to remove, click on “Remove from Chrome“.

A video again? Obviously, to ease your task:

#5 – Enabling Prefetching

In the first place, what’s Prefetching?

As the word suggests, prefetching is fetching before loading.

In simple terms, whenever you browse any thing via Google, the first three results will already get fetched before you open it. This will result in fast web page loading of them as they’re already fetched beforehand. This increases the browsing experience dramatically.

To enable prefetching in Chrome, follow the below steps:

  1. Click on Chrome Menu -> Settings.
  2. Click on the last blue coloured link that says “Show Advanced Options“. This will extend your settings window with additional options.
  3. Under Privacy section, select the 3rd option that says “Prefetch resources to load pages more quickly“.
In newer versions of Chrome, this option is enabled by default. So, at any time, if you’ve disabled it, just let it enabled and you’ll have a nice faster page load experience.

#6 – Compressing Data Use by Browser

Chrome is made by Google, so obviously there’s more to that browser.

Google collects all your search details, web page actions and everything you do on your browser (Chrome). That’s a little sneaky, but that’s how everything’s done.

So, in the verge of collecting data, Chrome constantly uses your Internet connection and resources to retrieve that data.

And when this continuous going on for a few hours (yes, I said “hours”) it starts lagging badly. Also, in the shorter period of time as well, there’s still a minor effect of it on performance.

This can’t be tackled without using extension as there’s no kind of easy option to prevent or stop this. (Yes, extensions do slow down your browser, but when used to speed up your browser, you’re left with a positive result).

OK, so the extension is:

Data Compression Proxy.

This extension smartly dozes off bytes from the data in-queue to Google. Hence it’s called as Data Compression Proxy.

Another advantage of using this extension will be, it’s an Ad Blocker, i.e. you won’t see those unnecessary ads in your browser. With it, you’ll surely experience a boost in performance (if not experience, then feel…)

To Be Continued…

These were some of the easiest method to start out with Chrome’s performance optimization. There’s a lot to it later on, but as this guide is aimed to be “basic” for newbies to start with, this is all to be done to start seeing overall effect.

The “advanced” part of this guide is continued over from here where-in we’ll be playing with some advanced options to improve Chrome’s performance by a higher margin. Waiting for you to be there…

Till the time, if you face any difficulties or know any other method to Speed Up Chrome, open up your thoughts in the comments section below.


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