Aw snap! If you’re a regular Chrome user, you might have come across this crashing error at least once.
The result? Your browsing is interrupted, websites refuse to load, apps don’t work, and you may lose important work. All of these lead to a far from 5-star browsing experience.
Further, the aw snap! error is just one of the many annoying consequences of Chrome operating like a true-blue sloth—slowly, lazily, and with a snooze time of about 15 hours a day 🦥 🤷🏽♀️
Why does Chrome slow down and how can you prevent it from happening? We wrote this blog in an attempt to shed some light. Let’s dive in!
Why does your browser slow down?
There can be just about as many reasons for Chrome (or any other browser) slowing down as there are people using browsers.
There’s the excessive hoarding of extensions, apps, and add-ons which consume scarce computing resources all the time in the background. There are the usual cases of "too many tabs, too little RAM”. There might be a cookie monster slowing down certain websites due to cookie overload. And of course, forgetting to update the browser regularly also gets us on the fastrack to a slowdown.
Clogged cache, overburdened CPU, faulty extensions, low internet speed, malware…you name it. Excellent browser speed clearly has a number of enemies. But that doesn’t always have to be a BIG problem.
Because there are just about as many ways to speed up your browser, too (if not more)!
How to make Google Chrome faster?—5 hacks to speed up browsing on Chrome
Here are our top 5 tips to overcome most hurdles, speed up Chrome, and optimize your surfing experience.
1. Update Chrome
Keep Google Chrome up to date to make sure you have all the latest performance improvements and bug fixes.
It's super simple, just click on the three dots in the top right corner of your browser, then click "Help" and "About Google Chrome." Chrome will check for updates and install them if they're available.
2. Detox Chrome
Give your browser a detox by cleaning up any unnecessary apps and extensions, clearing your cache and history, and removing any other data that you no longer need. Think of it like a spring cleaning for your browser. It can help free up memory and storage space, making your browser run more smoothly.
To do this, go to your Chrome settings, and under More tools, select Clear browsing data.
3. Close ‘em unwanted tabs
Close tabs you're not using. Each open tab uses some of your computer's memory, so the more tabs you have open, the more memory Chrome will use. Try to keep your open tabs to a minimum, or use a tab management tool to take the hassle off your plate.
Psst…Call us biased, but we trust OSlash to keep our important links a quick shortcut away. So that we never have to worry about losing our life’s work while closing a tab.
Another bonus of closing tabs? Your productivity will skyrocket. Science agrees. Don’t believe us? Check out our recommended blog and see for yourself!
Recommended reading: How too many browser tabs are hurting your productivity
4. Block excessive, intrusive scripts
The image carousel you can’t stop swiping, the form that feels smooth as butter, the video that plays without buffering—they all run on scripts. Scripts are pieces of code that make websites more interactive.
Running multiple scripts at a time can slow down your browser by taking up more CPU or memory resources as can scripts that make too many server requests or are poorly written.
You can prevent slow and resource-intensive scripts from overloading your Chrome by choosing to block them. Browser extensions such as uBlock Origin allow you to do that.
5. Keep favorite apps and pages at your fingertips
Want to access your favorite websites and apps faster? Try preloading them or using custom keyboard shortcuts to launch them faster every time you are browsing on Chrome.
You can set up these keyboard shortcuts by going to chrome://extensions/shortcuts. Or you can use a custom shortcuts app.
You can also use the preloading feature to have your favorite pages load faster. Here’s a quick how-to for preloading websites on Chrome:
- Open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More More and then Settings.
- Click Privacy and security and then Cookies and other site data.
- Turn on Preload pages for faster browsing and searching
With these tips and tricks, you'll soon be well on your way to a speedier Chrome experience.
If these don’t get the job done, we’ve got a handy list of extensions that can speed up Chrome for you, almost instantly.
Top 10 tools and extensions to speed up browsing in Google Chrome
No matter if you’re struggling with a slow internet connection, downloads that get interrupted, scattered links that you can’t organize, or other browsing troubles, these 10 tools will help you speed up Chrome in no time.
An open source web browser based on Chromium, which accelerates web browsing by automatically loading AMP & MIP web pages.
Tired of waiting forever for web pages to load on your phone? Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Browser can help.
AMP is a framework that can load web-pages four times faster on your mobile device, even on a slow internet connection.
Some features that make AMP Browser our top pick to speed up Chrome and surf faster include:
- loading AMP & MIP web pages whenever possible
- switching between AMP and full-blown HTML pages on demand
- using Google AMP Cache for faster loading
- using Google Data Saver for less data usage
- blocking ads and tracking scripts based on URL patterns
It’s available for Windows and Linux as of now. Get it here!
A powerful text expander that transforms your individual as well as team links & snippets into quick, easy-to-recall, and time-saving shortcuts.
If you find yourself bogged down by the many, many URLs you’ve to keep track of every single day, OSlash is right for you.
It’s also great for you if you type out the same phrases, sentences, responses, messages, emails, and other forms of boilerplate text (or snippets) repeatedly at work. (Looking at you, salespeople, support execs, and recruiters!)
The app combines two proven productivity tricks: link management and text expansion in one to help you find, access, and share information as well as type 30x faster.
Our favorite feature? The OSlash launcher that gives you access to your shortcuts, tabs, and browser activity in one place using superfast hotkeys. Talk about a browser on steroids, huh!
Ready to speed up Chrome with OSlash? Get it here.
A web-booster that speeds up Chrome using just-in-time preloading.
The FasterWeb Chrome extension, previously called FasterChrome, takes the act of preloading web pages to the next level.
The extension uses hover-to-preload technology. When a user hovers over a link for 65 milliseconds, there is a 50% chance they will click. It’s at this point that the extension begins preloading the page.
Note that FasterWeb works best on pages within the same sites. Pages to external sites will still load faster than usual, but not enough to be noticeable.
Pro tip: FasterWeb is based on instant.page, a library that you can add to your site in just one minute to give it the same speed boost.
Get it here!
An open source tab suspender that automatically stops open tabs from running in the background to improve browsing speed.
This lightweight, nimble app is a must-have, at least for writers like me, who have 500 tabs open at any given time under the guise of research. It will reduce the memory footprint of your Chrome by suspending inactive tabs without actually killing or closing them.
You can also whitelist domains you do not want to suspend. Plus it can detect tabs playing audio and tabs that contain forms etc. and prevent them from being suspended.
It’s nearly the silver bullet for those of us who want the best of both worlds—being able to go back to our many tabs when needed without overloading our browser and CPU.
Speed up Chrome (especially on restarting with a huge number of open tabs) with The Great Suspender. Download it here!
A custom, configurable, open source keyboard shortcuts extension for Google Search, YouTube, Startpage, Brave Search, Google Scholar, Github, and Amazon.
Websearch Navigator is one of the lesser known extensions on our list of apps. It speeds up not just Chrome but also YouTube, Github, and Amazon, among other widely-used apps. (You do need to explicitly enable permissions for these other apps)
How does it help you browse faster? By letting you stay on your keyboard throughout the surfing process.
It boasts extensive keyboard shortcuts for searching, selecting results, opening results in the background or foreground, navigating to different search tabs in Google (Images, Maps, Videos, Books, News etc.). There is also support for navigating cards such as Top Stories, Twitter, and video results. You can designate both key combos and key sequences of your liking as shortcuts.
The USP? It will automatically sync settings between devices with the same browser profile, without you having to indulge in busywork.
Make Chrome faster by downloading WebSearch Navigator here.
A minimalistic add-on that speeds up your browser using 7 smart tweaks.
Speed Tweaks is one of the easiest ways to speed up Chrome. All you need to do is install the plugin and select the tweaks you want to enable on the toolbar popup.
Here’s a quick peek into the tweaks:
1. Blocking most common ads that run heavy scripts which slow down your browser
2. DNS prefetching that enables a browser to find the IP address of a website before you click on a link to it. This can speed up the loading time.
3. Blocking images from loading
4. Speeding-up on page-scroll to let you skim through a web page faster
5. Loading mobile versions of sites to decrease loading time.
6. Discarding all inactive tabs to free up RAM and improve browser performance.
7. Clearing the browser's cache
The light weight of the extension ensures that it will not stall your browser further as it runs all these tweaks. Get it here!
An extension to easily search for selected text in different search engines.
The first time I came across the word supercalifragilisticexpialidocious while reading on my phone, I obviously wanted to know what on earth it could possibly refer to. But the thought of needing to type it out into the search bar was too much.
I wish I had access to an app like Selection Search at the time. It’s the easiest way to search for the selected text in any search engine (yeah, not just Google!). You can select any word, phrase, or sentence, right click to activate the menu, and search for it across all imaginable search engine websites—from Google to Spotify to Amazon to Reddit and more.
You can even edit the selected text to suit your needs, add or remove search engines you’d like to work with, decide whether to open results in new tabs/windows/popups, and use hotkeys to activate the menu and quickly toggle between various search engines.
Faster browsing for the lazier of us is what Selection Search solves for, almost perfectly. Get it here!
A reliable, multi-threading download manager to speed up Chrome downloads.
What’s one of the most annoying issues when downloading large files? If your internet connection is slow or unstable, the download speed can be a pain, yes. But what hurts more is when a download gets interrupted and you’ve to start all over again. Ugh.
Enter Turbo Download Manager. It is capable of not just speeding up Chrome downloads on slow connections but it also supports multi-threading, that is, it can handle multiple requests at once. Further, its internal interruption control can automatically resume paused or failed downloads on bad networks.
Just everything you need in your knight-in-shining-downloader, isn’t it? Get it here!
A tracker and ad-blocker extension to make your Chrome run faster.
Ghostery is a privacy extension that doubles up as a productivity app by removing the clutter of irritating ads from web pages so you can focus on consuming the more valuable content instead. Its Enhanced Anti Tracking goes one step ahead of traditional ad-blockers and anonymizes your data to make sure your personal data remains private.
The makers claim it to be the first app to “combine the best of blocklist and AI-powered anti-tracking technologies”.
My favorite part (aside from the safety assurance) is of course their charming displays and security insights dashboards which make the extension more fun while making it more useful simultaneously.
Download Ghostery for a faster, cleaner, and more secure Chrome. Get it here!
A one-click history and cache cleaner app to speed up your Chrome.
Smart Cleaner is a simple tool to quickly and efficiently clean browser data, cache, cookies, and downloads. Browsers tend to get clunky over time as their memory becomes clogged with use.
To keep your Chrome in the pink of health, you should regularly free up memory by performing a reset using a history and cache cleaner. Smart Cleaner is simple and easy to use. It offers instant deletion of history and cache with one-click. It also deletes cookies and other site/plug-in data, including passwords, keeping your data safe from cyber threats.
If you’re bogged down by the tiresome manual process of clearing history on Chrome, you need to try this extension out, ASAP.
Cleaning up Chrome with Smart Cleaner will be as easy as hitting the Eraser icon in the extensions toolbar. Get it here!
Conclusion: Speed up Chrome browsing by fixing common issues
While we’re huge fans of extensions that speed up Chrome, fact remains that they are not a foolproof solution. Extensions themselves take up significant CPU and memory resources and can end up doing more damage to an already sluggish browser.
This is why you should be cautious and try to fix some common issues slowing down Chrome before installing additional extensions.
As the first step, you can check your internet speed and consider upgrading it if possible. If that’s not an option, you can definitely start by following our 5-point checklist above to update and detox Chrome. You can also consider trying out browser automation tools if a slow browser is annoying you, wasting your time, or hurting your productivity with repetitive tasks.
We’re pretty sure that if you follow these steps, you’ll not be bothered by a laggy and sleepy browser for long.
Know of any more tricks to speed up Chrome browsing? We’re all ears. Talk to us on Twitter!
And while you’re at it, maybe give OSlash a chance to supercharge your Chrome?