Monday, 9 February 2015

Speeding up Chrome can KILL IT!

Speeding up Chrome can kill it!

By Strictly-Software

Lately I have been really disappointed with the performance of my preferred browser Chrome.

I moved from FireFox to Chrome when the amount of plugins on FireFox made it too slow to work with however this was when Chrome was a clean, fast browser. Now it has just as many plugins available to install as FireFox and the performance has deteriorated constantly over the past few versions.

I am a developer so having 20+ tabs open in my browser is not unusual however when they are all hanging for no reason with "resolving host" messages in the status bar something is wrong.

I have even removed all my plugins that I had installed and decided to leave that to FireFox if I need to test different agents, hacking and so on. However even with a simple install the performance has been crap lately!

Therefore looked up on the web for tips on speeding up Chrome and found this article:

It basically tells you some tricks to speed up Chrome by modifying some settings by going to chrome://flags/ in your address bar.

There is a warning at the top of the page that says:

WARNING These experimental features may change, break or disappear at any time. We make absolutely no guarantees about what may happen if you turn one of these experiments on, and your browser may even spontaneously combust. Jokes aside, your browser may delete all your data or your security and privacy could be compromised in unexpected ways. Any experiments that you enable will be enabled for all users of this browser. Please proceed with caution. Interested in cool new Chrome features? Try our beta channel at

So these are all "experimental" features and from the sounds of it they could even make it's security and performance worse not better. Even a few of the tweaks suggested by the article had already disappeared from the settings page.

I did what was still available and a few more tweaks after careful consideration and what happened?

Well at first some pages seemed to load quicker but then I found that:

  • Some sites without a www. sub domain wouldn't load.
  • Some pages wouldn't load at all.
  • When I came into work today even though a Chrome process was running with 0 CPU usage nothing was displayed.
I had to re-boot, and try 3 times to open Chrome before getting back to the chrome://flags/  page and restoring all the defaults. Since then everything has been okay.

So if your going to tweak be careful - it could take down your whole browser!

The best way to speed it up is to remove all the plugins and add-ons and leave that to FireFox. Turn off 3rd party cookies and any 3rd party services that involve constant lookups and try to keep it clean and simple.

It seems that with the over usage of AJAX and sites like Facebook/LinkedIn/Google+ where as you type it constantly looks up the word to see if it matches a name or contact that this "API JIZZ" as I call it has really slowed down the web.

Just by having Google+, Facebook and LinkedIn open at the same time can eat up your memory and I'm on a quad core 64 bit machine.

In my opinion there should be settings to enable you to turn off the API JIZZ and flashy features that rely on lots of JavaScript and AJAX.

It slows down your computer and is not needed most of the time. Having big database lookups on each keystroke is obviously going to use up lots of memory so it should be an option you can disable.

Anyway that's down to the developers of all these social sites who seem to love AJAX for everything. A simple submit button would do in a lot of cases!

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