Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

Chrome might be the most popular Internet browser Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox Which Browser Is Best? Edge vs. Chrome vs. Opera vs. Firefox The browser you're using right now may not be the best one for you. The browser arena changes so frequently that your conclusions from comparisons made last year may be completely wrong this year. Read More in the world, but it also comes in for a fair amount of criticism 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Use Chrome on a MacBook Chrome is, for many people, the first thing installed on a new Macbook. It makes sense: in its early days Chrome gained a reputation for being lightweight and fast. Read More .

One such criticism is that the software is no longer as fast as it used to be; people claim it’s now a memory hog that has gotten bogged down with too many features and extensions.

While that argument does have some merit, it is still possible to greatly improve your browser’s speed simply by tweaking some of its “flags” 10 Hidden Chrome Settings You Should Be Changing 10 Hidden Chrome Settings You Should Be Changing There’s more to Chrome settings than the basic tweaks you made when you first set up your browser. Let’s see what that involves. Read More . Here are the eight best tweaks that you can make today.

How to Access the Flags Menu

Before we begin, it is important to understand that the flags are all experimental features that may or may not end up in future stable releases. With that in mind, it is very possible that they’ll disappear altogether at some point.

Secondly, because they are experimental, changing them could have unforeseen consequences for your browser’s general usability. Proceed with caution.

chrome-flags

Ads by Google

The first step is to access Chrome’s secret flags menu – this is the place from which all the tweaks are made. Luckily it’s very simple – just type chrome://flags into the browser’s omnibox and you’ll be shown the list.

Hint: The list of flags seems to have no logical order. Use Ctrl + F to find the individual flags we discuss below.

1. Increase the “Raster Threads”

Raster graphics use pixels to form an image (as opposed to vector graphics Increase Image Resolution: Convert Raster Images to Vector Increase Image Resolution: Convert Raster Images to Vector Read More , which use lines and curves). Virtually all websites use raster images, and raster threads are how a computer reads those images.

This is a great hack, therefore, for anyone who suffers slow-loading images on pages they visit.

raster-threads

Head to Number of Raster Threads and choose 4 from the drop-down list.

2. Prevent Tabs From Reloading

If you have a poor Internet connection that keeps dropping out How to Fix Your Wireless Internet Connection in Windows How to Fix Your Wireless Internet Connection in Windows Are you struggling to get a strong and stable wireless Internet connection? It could be the hardware or Windows itself causing the problem. Here are some troubleshooting tips. Read More , it can be annoying when pages that failed to load suddenly all refresh at the same time, using up precious bandwidth.

To prevent this from happening, search for Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs and select Enabled. It will force Chrome to only reload the tab that you’re currently looking at.

offline-pages

To disable the feature completely, select Disabled and also select Disabled on Offline Auto-Reload Mode (the option directly above).

3. Improve Page Loading Times

If you find that web pages frequently take a long time to load, try enabling Experimental Canvas Features.

This will allow Chrome to use opaque canvases. In practice, that means Chrome can make certain assumptions that speed up the drawing of transparent content and images. For example, it can automatically remove everything underneath the canvas pixels because it knows it will not be seen.

chrome-canvas

4. Close Tabs Faster

Tabs and windows on Chrome The 10 Best Extensions For Chrome Tab Management The 10 Best Extensions For Chrome Tab Management If you’re a multi-tasker like me, you love tabs. Perhaps a little bit too much, as it’s easy to suddenly find you have a buffet of tabs available, but you’re no longer quite sure what... Read More can be closed more rapidly by running Chrome’s JavaScript handler independently from the graphical user interface. Although the “kill” process will still be continuing behind the scenes, the tab/window itself will be removed from your screen.

chrome-fasttab

You need to find the setting for Fast Tab/Window Close and click on Enable.

5. Low-Priority iFrames

An iFrame (short for Inline Frame) is used by web designers to insert content from another source within a site. In layman’s terms, it is like a webpage within a webpage. Too many iFrames on a website can dramatically impact a page’s loading time.

They are typically used for adverts, plugins, and other non-native content.

chrome-iframe

Enabling this feature will allow Chrome to ascertain what it believes to be the most important iFrames and load them first. Adverts and other non-essential content will be loaded after the rest of the page is already being displayed.

6. TCP Fast Open (Only Available on Chrome OS Top 6 Android Apps We'd Like To See On Chrome OS Soon Top 6 Android Apps We'd Like To See On Chrome OS Soon In light of the impending cross platform portability, we take a look the Android apps we would most like to see made available on the Chrome operating system sooner rather than later. Read More and Android)

TCP Fast Open (TFO) is an extension that speeds up the opening of data channels between two endpoints.

It works by giving the browser a cryptographic cookie so it can re-authenticate itself before the traditional “three-way handshake” has been completed.

chrome-tcp2

In short – enabling this feature will allow data to start being sent/received more quickly.

7. QUIC Protocol

This is another data speed hack.

The QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) Protocol was developed in-house by Google in 2012. It focuses on reducing bandwidth, latency, and congestion by decreasing the number of round trips needed when establishing a new connection.

chrome-quic

Although it remains an experimental feature, QUIC was submitted to the IETF for standardization in June 2015 – so it might be about to become more widespread.

8. “Stale-While-Revalidate” Cache Directive

“Stale-While-Revalidate” is a cache directive which tells the cache that a response can be served even if its max-age has expired (i.e. – it is “stale”).

This is possible for up to five minutes – anything after that will result in a blocking fetch. However, for a period of 60 to 300 seconds, the browser will display the “stale” response and do a background update to refresh the resource.

chrome-stale-cache2

The bottom line: better cache reuse, fewer blocking resources, and a faster browsing experience.

Confirming and Undoing Your Changes

Whenever you change a Chrome flag, you’ll need to reboot your browser before the changes take effect.

Just click on the large Relaunch Now button at which pops up at the bottom of your screen. All the pages you currently have open will be automatically reloaded, though we recommend that you save any work before proceeding.

chrome-relaunch

If you find that you’ve broken something but you’re not sure which setting caused the problem, you can easily restore all the flags to their default settings. Look for the Reset All To Default option in the top right-hand corner of the menu. Click it, and restart your browser.

chrome-reset

Your Favorite Experiments?

We’ve given you an overview of a few flags that can speed up your experience, but there are lots more options in the list, all of which will affect your experience in one way or another.

Have you found a little-known flag that has made your Chrome experience faster and more enjoyable? Perhaps your favorite flag was removed and your hoping it’ll soon make its way into the main release?

Let us know all about your own Chrome experiments in the comments box below.

  1. drope
    August 24, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Thanks very mutch!!! Perfect!!!

  2. Lipton
    July 18, 2016 at 12:34 am

    I can't find the iframes flag. Am I missing something? Did they remove that flag maybe?

    • Stephen “Bendah” Wainwright
      July 27, 2016 at 10:51 pm

      It was removed in a recent update. I am unsure why.

      • Pierre
        August 23, 2016 at 10:09 am

        Probably because it was stable enough and went live for everyone.

  3. M. Green
    June 3, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    do any of the flags deal with the "your display driver has stopped responding and has recovered" message while on sling tv? This freezes everything and requires restarting sling. Has happened on 2 different video cards.
    Maybe this is wrong place to ask this, but I cannot find answer anywhere and "makeuse
    of" has helped me immensely. Thanks.

    • gabe
      October 27, 2016 at 11:40 pm

      If you're still having that problem, it *might* be worth trying disabling hardware acceleration. That resolved display-related problems I used to have with YouTube. (Settings...Show advanced settings...System...deselect "Use hardware acceleration when available")

  4. Kelsey Tidwell
    April 2, 2016 at 10:16 pm

    Yep, my Chrome is faster now. :) Thanks for the info, Dan! Archiving this for future reference...

  5. Humayun
    April 2, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    Great tips. I used to try these in the past. Enabled all of these on my Android and laptop.

  6. Abhi
    April 2, 2016 at 4:44 am

    Thanks. I always wanted to understand Chrome flags better and put them to use.

  7. purewitz
    April 1, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    This smells like an April Fools Jokes.

    • Augustus
      May 17, 2016 at 11:52 pm

      No. all these are real things.

  8. Peter Fitzsimmons
    April 1, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    Not that I have any real issues but I thought I'd try Just tried 1,3 and 5 on my Chromebook. It's just restarted now and it does appear (to my eyes anyway) that pages have loaded quicker.

    I really do like these handy hints and tips from MUO. You guys are doing a much better job than other sites that actually help people like me to get the most from our machines.

    Keep up the good work!

  9. Read and Share
    April 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

    Hey, pages do seem to load faster! Thanks!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *