Although I’m a huge fan of Windows, and Microsoft in general, you can basically pry Chrome from my cold dead hands. Every so often I’ll have to use Internet Explorer to do certain tasks (like when I have a client and I need to sign into their Google account, but I don’t want to close out of all of my tabs with my Gmail, Calendar, etc). When I open up Internet Explorer a part of me dies inside. It’s just so clunky and slow! Chrome has always been snappy and wonderful, and I LOVE using it.
Lately though, my Chrome has been running pretty slow. I know I work it to death with various extensions and plugins, but that’s part of what I love about Chrome! If I didn’t want to be able to enter a new task to my to do list right from the browser, I could just as well be using Internet Explorer. As I glance over the list of extensions I’ve installed, there is really not that many I’m willing to part with. So, how else can I get Chrome to speed up again?
1. Scan for Malware
The first thing I do when I hear about ANY computer being slow, whether it’s the browser, or just slow in general is scan for malware. You can download Malwarebytes for free from Malwarebytes.org. This program typically finds the most malware/viruses on a system. I usually just quarantine anything it finds. I’ve never had a problem with it finding stuff that I actually needed.
2. Disable and Uninstall Extensions
First up, we have the aforementioned extensions. To see what extensions you have installed in your chrome type chrome://extensions in the “omnibox” where you would perform a Google search or type in a web address. Up will pop a list of your currently installed extensions.
Unchecking the Enabled box will disable the extension so you can see if that particular one is causing an issue. If you find some you definitely aren’t using, or find one that is causing a problem, click the trash can button to uninstall it completely.
3. Disable Plugins
After you’ve gone through your extensions, it’s time to check through your Plugins. Type chrome://plugins into the omnibox this time, and it will take you to a list of all the plugins you have installed. A plugin is different from an extension. The extensions bring added functionality to Chrome. Such as the button in my toolbar in Chrome that allows me to see exactly how many to do items I have overdue in TickTick, or how I can click my Pocket button and save a web article to my Pocket account. A plugin is what makes things work inside various web pages. Such as the Flash player plugin is needed to watch most online videos. You can disable everything in here, and then when you come across a website that isn’t loading correctly or won’t play something, you can just go back and start re-enabling things until you find the one that is causing it not to load. As a general rule though, I’d leave Flash player, Google update and Adobe reader in tact. You can play around with most of the others though.
Next we are going back to the omnibox, and this time we are going to type in chrome://flags. The items here are somewhat experimental, so if you notice Chrome getting WORSE after you do this part, then just change the settings back. I haven’t had any issues with it though. Once you’ve opened the flags area, type ctrl-F on your keyboard and search in the small window that comes up for “maximum tiles”. Change the number here in the dropdown to 512
Next change your search to “number of raster” and change that number to 4. Then do a search for SPDY and click the blue “enable” button. I could tell you all the technical details of what each of these things does, but you may fall asleep, so just trust me that they will help. Click “relaunch” at the bottom of the browser and Chrome will restart.
5. Google’s Software Removal Tool
Google has released an AWESOME tool that will help scan for any software (like viruses or malware) that could be interfering with Chrome’s normal operations. You can download the tool here. At the end it will ask you if you want to reset your browser. It will tell you everything that entails, including resetting your homepage and browsing data. It will also automatically disable all of your extensions, but you can just go back and re-enable the ones you want.
Now you can enjoy your lightning fast browsing once again!
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Sarah Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 16 years of her career as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on KSL News, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website SarahKimmel.com