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Has your Chromebook crawled to a halt? Is it slow to load pages? Is it slowing down generally? Time to speed up Chrome again How To Speed Up Your Chromebook Experience How To Speed Up Your Chromebook Experience Do you want to improve your Chromebook experience with easy tweaks and shortcuts? There are lots of time-savers and little known tricks to improve and simplify your day-to-day usage of your device. Read More .

I’m an avid Chromebook user myself, and despite advocating their usage as cheap, reliable laptops Need A Cheap Laptop? Here Are The 5 Best Chromebooks In The Amazon Back-To-School Sale Need A Cheap Laptop? Here Are The 5 Best Chromebooks In The Amazon Back-To-School Sale The new school term is almost here, and with it, a deluge of Chromebooks at a rock-bottom price, courtesy of Amazon. Here are some of the best. Read More , I found my own Chromebook was slowing down enormously. Until I finally sorted things out, my pages were loading incredibly slowly and I had no idea why.

Loading-Slowly

I went as far as deleting the other accounts on my Chromebook and was about to do a Powerwash, when I realised there had to be an more permanent way to fix this. If I didn’t know what was causing it, I’d only have to do another Powerwash again in a few months. It’s not like you can stop using Chrome I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why I Hate Google Chrome But I'm Trapped In It. Here's Why In the Chrome vs. Firefox war, I'm siding with the Google users. But I don't want to. Chrome is my browser of choice because it has features that I can't live without. Read More when you use a Chromebook, either.

Here are the tricks that ultimately fixed my Chromebook’s speed and made it like new again. Try them for yourself.

Each step of this guide is important to understanding what is causing your trouble, though I’ve left the ultimate trick to speed up your Chromebook until last.

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Viewing RAM Usage on Chromebooks

To view your Chromebook’s memory usage Loading Or Crawling? Pinpoint The Extensions Slowing Your Browser Loading Or Crawling? Pinpoint The Extensions Slowing Your Browser The more extensions you have running, the more memory your browser needs and you may find your browser experience agonizingly slow. But, how do you pinpoint extensions that are using up the most memory? Read More , click the Menu button (the three lines in the top-right of Chrome), then choose More Tools, and Task manager. You can also use Shift +Esc if you prefer keyboard shortcuts.

Task Manager Chrome

If you want even more information, click on the “Stats for Nerds” link in the bottom-left of this window. Alternatively, head here: chrome://memory-redirect/

Analysing Your RAM Usage: What to Stop

This process above will show you all of the extensions and tabs that are taking up the most memory on your Chromebook. This will seriously make you re-think leaving lots of tabs open and running a pile of extensions.

There are some great tools to keep your tab habit under control Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions Is Chrome Hogging All Your RAM? Make It Behave With These 2 Extensions Chrome or Firefox? This might be the hottest question in today’s tech community, and one you’ll never find a straight answer for. Personally, I think both browsers are great, but have been using Firefox more... Read More , so check them out. I’m a fan of extensions like One Tab, Daily Links and Morning Coffee to make it easy to quickly bring up your favourite tabs when you need them. That way there’s no need to keep too many tabs open in the first place.

All browsers slow down under the weight of too many extenions What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? What Can You Do To Speed Up Your Browser? If you’re like me and you spend a huge portion of your day browsing the web then you understand how frustrating it is to have a slow, bloated browser that seems to be on its... Read More . Disable the extensions that are causing you grief by visiting chrome:extensions or navigate to this page via the Menu > More Tools > Extensions. You can easily disable or delete extensions from here. Personally, I love the extension Extensity, as it makes turning your favourite extensions on and off really simple.

Extensity

You may also find you need to log out other users as they’ve left tabs and extensions running.

If in this analysis you see “Background Page: Google Drive” is hogging most of your resources, skip ahead to the last tip in this article.

Disable Some Settings

For many users, they find Chrome is trying to hard to be helpful and that’s slowing things down. Try going to Menu > Settings > Advanced Settings > Privacy and turning off the following two options:

  • “Pre-fetch resources to load pages more quickly”
  • “Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors”

Prefetch Resources

Restart Your Chromebook

Some extensions and process are just a little dodgy and will continue to use more and more memory over time. To combat this, an occasional reboot will work wonders. Come on, it only takes a few seconds!

Google Drive in Offline Mode Uses RAM

If you noticed a large amount of memory usage by “Background Page: Google Drive”, this tip is for you. You no doubt have a lot of documents in your Google Drive, and this is causing your Chromebook to slow down. That’s because Google is syncing your documents for your offline use. A user with very few Drive documents wouldn’t notice this as much.

To fix this, you need to visit your Google Drive Settings. Head to drive.google.com, click the gear in the top-right and de-select the option to “Sync Google Docs, Sheets, Slides & Drawings files to this computer so that you can edit offline”.

As you’d expect, you no longer have immediate access to edit all of your documents offline now. However, if you’re online most of the time anyway, as most people are these days, you won’t even care. And your Chromebook will be fast again!

What Else Fixes Excessive Memory Use on Chromebooks?

Besides a Powerwash, what have you found that will fix things when your Chromebook’s slow to load pages?

  1. Jairus White
    December 4, 2016 at 11:58 am

    I deleted my browser and download history, cookies and cached images and browser memory dropped from 260k to 180k . Do you know if there is a setting to delete automatically?Jair

  2. Jesus & the Unabomber
    August 6, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    My experience, just now (but also using some of the articles tips) was to do a screen capture as a reminder of my current browser extensions and shelf items (everything else is backed up in browser sync, drive, amazon, dropbox, etc), drag all Download files onto a thumbdrive, and Powerwash.
    It took 2 minutes, and solved some wonkyness issues that nothing else was fixing.
    Thank you.
    broadfork.com

  3. Ashley
    May 22, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I found that the shockwave plugin was using most of my resources when I visited ad-heavy and video-heavy websites, so I went into the settings and disabled plugins. Amazing improvement! (Settings-->Advanced settings-->Privacy-->Content Settings-->Plugins-->Let me choose when to run plugin content)

  4. Dan Schaffer
    March 27, 2016 at 4:33 pm

    Thanks for the info. However, truthfully, it seems like switching from adblock to ublock made the biggest difference for me on my chromebook.
    Dan Schaffer

  5. TFrank
    March 20, 2016 at 2:40 am

    Thank you! I disabled “Use a web service to help resolve navigation errors” and my disk usage dropped from 99% to 5%!

  6. Karen Lee
    February 6, 2016 at 8:08 am

    A Thousand Thanks; I was about to throw this Chromebook out the window; getting slower than cold molasses every day the past few weeks. I un-clicked all advised; and added the One Tab & Extensify extensions; what a difference already. You are fantastic. klee.

    • Sharon
      November 27, 2016 at 10:48 pm

      Ditto;

  7. Michael Pirrone
    October 25, 2015 at 3:49 am

    I was at my wit's end lately trying to figure this out. It was Offline Sync for Drive! Disabling that turned it back into a racehorse. Even the *mouse* feels faster. That may just be my imagination. Thanks so much for this guide.

    • Julian
      April 23, 2016 at 5:46 pm

      You're absolutely right! My mouse is noticeably faster! Like... scarily faster!

  8. Patricia Ferdig
    October 24, 2015 at 4:33 pm

    After a couple months of struggling and a powerwash or two, the Google Drive offline sync was at the heart of the issue. Thanks so much!

  9. Ursula Z Hink
    September 15, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    Awesome! Worked like a dream. It was the sync and extensions. Thank you thank you thank you!

  10. John Mayson
    July 11, 2015 at 4:32 am

    I disabled offline access for Google Drive and my Chromebook feels twice as fast! Thanks for the tip, I would never have guessed that one.

    • Tracy
      December 4, 2016 at 6:24 am

      Ditto that! This was so helpful!

  11. Mike McLoughlin
    July 10, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Angela,

    A nice article, thanks, and one that would be useful for us over at Chromebook Central (chromebooks.com/community) to link to. However, I would suggest you change the order slightly to put Restart towards the top and quickly follow that with the addition of Restart Settings (https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/3296214?hl=en-GB).

    Thanks again,

    - Mike

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