Chrome has been around for a long time now, and is by far the most popular web browser around. There’s good reason for this: it’s fast, compatible and links you into the Google universe by the simple act of signing in with your Google account.
Chrome isn’t always fast though and since you’re after ways to make Chrome speedier, there are clearly issues that need fixing. Try the tips below and you’re sure to restore that speedy web browsing you’ve come to expect from Chrome.
Aside from add-ons which are relevant only to PCs and laptops, these tips should work on any device, including your tablet or phone.
If you’ve been using Chrome for a long while it could be bogged down with add-ons. Removing and disabling these could fix your problem, and you’ll probably find you don’t use many of them anyway.
To do this, type chrome://extensions into Chrome’s address bar / search bar. It should auto-complete so you won’t have to type it all.
Now go through the list and untick as many as you can. All of them if possible. If you know you don’t need them, click the bin / trash can icon to remove them completely.
Few websites still use Flash, but it can cause problems. Here’s how to stop Flash crashing in Chrome.
Install the latest updates
Chrome should automatically update, but if you never close the browser or restart your computer, there’s a good chance you’re still running an older version.
A simple restart should fix this, but to check you definitely have the latest version installed, click the three dots at the top right, then click Help > About Google Chrome.
This will cause it to download and install the latest version.
If you use chrome on a phone or tablet, go to the relevant app store and check in the Updates section that Chrome is indeed up to date.
Close those 30 tabs!
Google regularly updates Chrome and has improved performance and reduced memory use, but even so, there’s a limit to your device’s RAM. Keeping loads of tabs open at the same time is a great way to bring your computer to its knees as all the memory is used up.
Simply closing down those tabs and only having a few open is perhaps the easiest fix when Chrome is sluggish.
Clear browsing history
It may be clutching at straws, but clearing your browsing history just might do the trick. Chrome downloads and stores a fair amount of data including images, cookies and more. To clear this, go to Settings and either search for ‘Clear Browsing History’ or scroll down to where it says Advanced, click the arrow and scroll down until you see it in the list.
For those who like keyboard shortcuts, you can open this directly by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Delete while Chrome is the active window.
As you’ll see, there’s a warning that some sites may load more slowly the first time you next open them because nothing is cached. Deleting all cookies also means you’ll have to login to sites manually, so this option is really a last resort.
On a phone or tablet, go to Chrome’s Settings, then Privacy > Advanced > Clear browsing data.
Sometimes, the only way to restore performance is to uninstall Chrome entirely to get rid of the detritus that’s built up, or to fix a problem that none of the tips above have cured.
To do this on Windows, open the Control Panel (or Settings in Windows 10) and search for Add/remove programs. Scroll through the list and uninstall Chrome.
To reinstall it, you’ll need to use another browser to go to chrome.google.com to download the latest version. Alternatively, you can be savvy and download the necessary file from that website using Chrome itself before you uninstall it.
On a phone or tablet, find Chrome’s icon, long-press it and on iOS tap the ‘x’ when the icons wiggle. On Android drag the icon to to the bin or ‘uninstall’ section which appears when you long-press it.
Reinstalling it is simple: just search in the app store and tap ‘Get’ or similar.
Try another browser
Ok, so this is a bit of a cheat as it doesn’t speed up Chrome at all. However, on occasion there’s a certain website that just doesn’t work well in Chrome.
So one of the quickest ways to get around this is to use a different browser to see if it cures the problem. If your using a Windows 10 computer, try Microsoft Edge as it’s built in.
If not, try whichever browser is the default or install another, such as Firefox or Opera. For more alternatives, check our guide to the best web browsers.
Also, here are 5 of the best PC optimiser utilities.