Google Chrome feeling slow and sluggish? Here's how to speed it up

Has your installation of Google Chrome begun to feel slow and bloated? Here are some tips to help you speed things up again.

Are you a Google Chrome user who feels like your browser doesn't feel as fast and snappy as it once did? You're not alone. Fortunately there's a lot you can do to improve your browsing experience.

After going through these steps, my installation of Google Chrome felt noticeably faster and snappier. Good luck speeding up your browser.

Note: These tips work for both Mac and Windows (and some even work for Linux!).

#1: Update Chrome

If you've not closed Google Chrome in a while then perhaps there's an update waiting for you (you can tell if there's an update on later releases of Chrome because the burger menu will change from green to yellow and then red to signify how out-of-date the browser you are running is).

7 steps to speed up Google Chrome

To force Chrome to check for an update type chrome://help and follow any prompts.

#2: Disable unwanted extensions

Type chrome://extensions into the address bar and disable any unwanted extensions. Either uncheck the box to disable the extension or click on the trash can icon to delete it.

#3: Disable unwanted plugins

Type chrome://plugins into the address bar and disable any unwanted plugins. Just click the link to disable.

#4: Install the Data Saver extension

If your problem is related more to a poor internet connection than it is to a sluggish browser, then one way you can help improve bandwidth is to install the Google Data Saver extension. This extension uses the Google servers to compress and optimize web pages before they are delivered to your browser.

Data Saver extension

#5: Smoother scrolling

Type chrome://flags into the address bar and find Enable fast tab/windows close. This option speeds up Chrome by allowing it to close windows separate to any JavaScript code that might be running. Then click the RELAUNCH NOW button at the bottom of the screen to apply the setting.

Note that this is an experimental feature and be sure to read the warnings at the top of the settings page in Chrome. To undo any changes click the Reset all to default button.

#6: Tab discarding

Type chrome://flags into the address bar and find Enable tab discarding. This option speeds up Chrome by allowing tabs in the background to be discarded from memory if it's getting low. Then click the RELAUNCH NOW button at the bottom of the screen to apply the setting.

Note that this is an experimental feature and be sure to read the warnings at the top of the settings page in Chrome. To undo any changes click the Reset all to default button.

#7: Clear the cache

If you're getting low on disk space then you might find Chrome will speed up if you clear the cache.

Type chrome://settings/clearBrowserData into the address bar and I'd suggest choosing only the Cached images and files option. Alternatively, you can nuke everything and start with a clean slate.

For best results clear items from the beginning of time.

#8: Check for spyware and other junk

Windows users can make use of Google's Software Removal Tool. It might also be a good idea to scan the system using something such as Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware.

Mac users can check out Malwarebyte's Anti-Malware for Mac (don't believe the nonsense that Macs can't have viruses or malware - that may have been true a decade ago, but it's not true today).

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