How to Speed up Chrome on Android

speed-up-chrome-android-featured

If you’re an Android user, chances are you’re also using Chrome for Android. The ubiquitous and controversial browser is most peoples’ go-to on mobile devices, thanks to its irresistible combination of speed, handy features, and customizability. So when Chrome for Android slows, there’s a good chance you can dig yourself out of trouble and speed it up again by making a few tweaks here and there. Here’s how to speed up Chrome on Android.

how-to-speed-up-chrome-android-clear-cache

The cache can be your best friend and your worst enemy. On the one hand it saves various images, usage information, and other tidbits of data on your device, theoretically making apps that much quicker to open. On the other hand, the more cluttered your cache gets, the more likely errors are to occur and performance can take a hit.

So get into the habit of clearing your Chrome for Android cache every now and then.

Go to “Settings -> Apps -> Chrome -> Storage,” then click “Clear Cache” to hopefully unclog and speed up your browser.

how-to-speed-up-chrome-android-data-saver

Data Saver is one of the most under-appreciated features of Chrome on Android devices. It compresses every website you visit into a less data-consuming version, having the knock-on effect of saving on device memory and in turn improving performance. Bear in mind that certain sites don’t respond well to this feature, and you may get small malfunctions like unclear images on certain sites.

With that in mind, to turn on Data Saver, go to the Chrome app, tap the three-dotted “More” icon and go to “Settings.” Under the “Advanced” heading, tap “Data Saver” and tap the slider to switch it on.

how-to-speed-up-chrome-android-prediction-service

This handy function anticipates the kind of websites and pages you’re going to visit based on your past browsing habits. Essentially, it partly pre-loads your more frequently used sites before you even visit them. Naturally, this takes up more data, so be mindful of that.

To enable prefetch in Chrome, tap the three-dotted “More” button and go to “Setings -> Privacy,” then tick the box next to “Use a prediction service to load pages more quickly.”

how-to-speed-up-chrome-android-raster

Images are often the thing that most slows down the speed at which websites load. This is largely down to “raster threads,” which control how fast Chrome loads images. The more raster threads, the faster images render, so you should try increasing the number of them from “Default.”

To do this, go to chrome://flags/#num-raster-threads, click the drop-down menu, and increase the number to 4.

This bag of tricks should get you well on your way to a faster browsing experience. Regular maintenance of Chrome is also important, however, so remember to clear your cache every now and then, and also play around with the above settings if you’re experiencing any problems since activating them. (You could, for example, decrease the number of raster threads from 4 to 3 or turn off Data Saver.) With the variety of Android devices available, there’s no guarantee that all these tricks will work perfectly on all of them, but they certainly helped us here.

This article was first published in May 2014 and was updated in September 2017.

Image credit: HP 14R Chromebook

13 comments

  1. good idea. however, a better article would also talk about more chrome variable mods. for example, enable offline auto-reload mode can be manipulated to stop the annoying wait for page loading as the app gets activated from sleep, which would also give the user more control and user percieved app speed up, coz chrome can take a while to reload pages.

    • Yes well, it is a good addition, but we don’t really go into details of various mods because of the risks that accompany them, plus the complications. We only wrote about this one because of the largely noticeable difference it had on our devices.

  2. 1. Situation I use program photorec to restore HDD and the problem is I
    have output 2 or 3 thousand files or directories
    2. Question is how to strip all files from directories so then I can use
    wildcards, lets say I need only .jpg files . BUT to enter in to each and
    other directories will take eternity.
    3.How to separate only needed files from multi directories .

  3. Works on Google Chrome in Windows as well but not confident of speed increase.

    It does seem to load pages faster.

    • Does it work for Windows too? That’s good :)

      Well, the basic functions of Google Chrome should be faster, as in the end, you can’t really judge how faster pages load. That depends on your internet connection.

  4. I tried this in Windows XP which displayed:

    Sorry, this experiment is not available on your platform.

  5. I received the following message twice, “Can’t load the search results”. My device is Motorola Photon Q.

    Thanks,

  6. It did not work for me. Chrome gave me the error message, “This webpage is not available.” The only information Chrome returned was for “chrome://settings”.

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