Google Chrome is a great browser, but it’s also a performance hog, even on good machines. If you’re tired of encountering issues with Google Chrome on your machine, we’ll be discussing how to improve your performance in this article. Note that the performance tips here reduce both CPU and RAM (memory) usage.
Also, before going through this article, remember that on a very low-end machine, Chrome probably wasn’t going to run well anyway. If you’ve never experienced good performance in Chrome, you may want to consider switching to a lighter browser.
The immediate way to start earnestly diagnosing your performance is to open up Chrome’s Task Manager. That can be done with a quick “Shift + Esc” keyboard shortcut.
Now that you’ve opened the task manager, you can determine what tabs, extensions and plugins are using the most memory and CPU. You can click the tops of each column to sort them, ascending or descending, by usage. In my case, the Hangouts tab is the most memory-consuming tab active in my browser at the time of taking the screenshot, though nothing in Chrome is using my CPU.
Chrome itself, however, still has CPU usage in my normal Task Manager.
That usage is related to Chrome, the application and its windows, however. This doesn’t tell me much except that Chrome overall uses about 7% of my CPU power.
Managing Extensions and Plugins
Using the Chrome Task Manager, you should find which extensions and plugins are being problematic to your Chrome installation’s performance. In this case, the best option is to remove the offending extensions. To do this, head to
chrome://plugins to remove the components of Chrome that are causing performance issues.
You’re also welcome to uninstall and re-install the extension in question if you feel like it was a corrupted installation and not the extension itself. The best way to get full performance out of Chrome is to remove all extensions and start anew, but if you don’t want to do that, you shouldn’t have to.
Recommended Extensions and Practices
Finally, let’s get into the nitty gritty of things. Heading to Chrome’s Settings can help remedy some issues in Chrome’s operation that are the fault of the browser, not your computer or its extensions. In Chrome’s settings, you can disable Hardware acceleration. For some computers, this may give you a speed boost. If you don’t notice a change after doing so, however, you should probably re-enable it. The nuclear option here would be to reset Chrome entirely, as previously mentioned, but if you want to avoid that, read on.
You can also install extensions to increase performance. I’ll give a list of a few below.
- The Great Suspender, pictured above. Used to Suspend tabs that aren’t in use, reducing memory usage. Highly recommended.
- uBlock Origin, a lighter, faster adblocker than AdBlock Plus, that is, if you are already using AdBlock Plus.
- Disconnect, to prevent cross-site tracking and result in a faster, more secure browsing experience.
The above three are the primary extensions that come to mind when I think of extensions to increase Chrome’s performance. There may be more out there, but these are the ones I know of and am the most familiar with.
What about you? Do you have any recommendations for performance-centered extensions? Feel free to sound off below!