[SPEED] Improving Google Chrome Performance
Google's Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, and it's where I spend most of my work day. But Chrome is known to consume vast amounts of system resources, sometimes slowing its own performance and that of everything else running on the same computer. Here's how to speed things up...
How to Make Google Chrome Run Faster
Google Chrome is now the king of browsers, according to two research firms that track browser usage. It’s an excellent browser that is made even more appealing by its integration with Google’s vast family of free Web services. But as you use more of those features and services, things can start to slow down.
There are many lists of “X things you can do to speed up Chrome.” Some of them advise tweaking hidden flags buried deep in Chrome’s innards. I do not advise changing those default settings; they are set by Google with performance in mind, as well as other considerations. You could very well wind up making Chrome slower or unstable by twiddling those bits.
However, there are other tricks that can make Chrome and the rest of your PC faster and more stable. Here are some tips and tools to reduce the amount of system resources that Chrome uses.
Much of Chrome’s resource-gobbling is due to tabs, those convenient windows within the window of one running copy of Chrome. Each tab consumes resources, and as the number of open tabs exceeds five or so, many systems begin to show signs of strain. You can see the resources that Chrome is using pretty simply, without even leaving Chrome.
Click the three-bar “hamburger” icon in Chrome’s upper-right corner and highlight “More tools.” On the dropdown menu that opens select “Task Manager.” You’ll see something like the image below.
Let's Free Up Some Memory
The Chrome Task Manager shows you all the Chrome things that are using up your resources. Each task shows the amount of RAM memory it is currently using. Note that in this example, my main Chrome browser task is using about 1.4 gigabytes of memory, and the Gmail tab is consuming another 700+ megabytes. It doesn't concern me that my browser is using over 2 gigs of RAM, since I have 12 gigabytes installed. But on a more memory-constrained system, freeing up memory can improve your overall system performance.
If you see any process, app, or extension you don't need, you can highlight it and click on the “End process” button. Doing so will release the memory used by that task. A better approach, though, would be to simply close any tabs you don't need to have open, and then disable or remove any unwanted extensions. To see what Chrome extensions you have installed, click the “hamburger” then “More tools" then “Extensions".
“Tab managers” that reduce the resources used by tabs are abundant on the Chrome Web Store. That’s because geeks often have dozens of tabs open and they write little extensions that make tabs easier to manage.
Some popular tab managers include OneTab, Session Buddy, Tab Wrangler, and The Great Suspender. Read their Store pages, try some out. Each has its special features, but all of them will free up RAM and other resources, making Chrome and everything else run faster.
I like OneTab’s style. At the click of a button, all of your open tabs are consolidated into one tab. On that OneTab, you’ll see groups of tab labels; each is a “session” that you saved by clicking the OneTab button. The tab labels in each session are fully legible, unlike the partial labels you see on Chrome’s tab bar when many tabs are open. You can restore individual tabs or an entire group. There are many options explained in OneTab’s help file.
The Great Suspender is unique in that it works automatically without your attention. If you haven’t used a tab in a specified period of time, it gets closed to release the resources it is consuming. You can restore closed tabs any time.
Google’s Data Saver is not a tab manager, but it’s worth mentioning as a tool to speed up Chrome. When installed, Data Saver uses Google’s cache servers to compress Web pages for faster delivery to your browser. Those servers also optimize each page for faster rendering, eliminating some of the “processing” delays you may encounter when Chrome is tight on resources.
If you typically use Chrome with more than 3 or 4 tabs open, and your computer seems a bit sluggish, some of these tips may help. Two friends have reported to me that using Data Saver and a tab manager have made Chrome very agile for them.
Please let me know in the comments how these tools work for you. Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 18 Jul 2016
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- [SPEED] Improving Google Chrome Performance (Posted: 18 Jul 2016)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved