Speed Up Chrome By Changing These 8 Flags

Dan Price 01-04-2016

Chrome might be the most popular Internet browser in the world, but it also comes in for a fair amount of criticism.


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”. 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.



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, 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.



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 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.



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.



4. Close Tabs Faster

Tabs and windows on Chrome 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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 a look at many more cool Chrome flags as well as these Chrome extensions to speed up your web browsing if you like.

We’ve also covered how to fix Chrome crashes Google Chrome Isn't Responding or Keeps Crashing or Freezing? Google Chrome keeps crashing on your computer? Here's how to fix Chrome freezing and other frustrating Chrome errors. Read More if you need help.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

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  1. hosa
    January 24, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Well im SURE these feature will make chrome take both more CPU AND RAM
    My main concern with chome is reduce memory cosumption, and that will simply make it faster

  2. Oliver I.
    December 4, 2017 at 10:45 am

    It'd be nice if some instructions were included for helping power-users perform some basic benchmark tests to help validate these claims of a "speedier Chrome". Absent of some semi-solid metrics off which to go, comments saying these flags sped up their Chrome instance are shaky at best and almost certainly tinged with some degree of observer bias.

  3. Oliver I.
    December 4, 2017 at 10:42 am

    It'd be nice to include some instructions on how to perform some basic benchmarking tests for powerusers so that we have some semi-solid metrics to support the "speedier Chrome" claim. Absent of that, comments on these flags speeding up our Chrome installation are shaky at best and likely come with some observer bias.

  4. Ivan Ivanov
    August 28, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I am using 7 Times Faster extension. It's a ad blocker. It can speed up your internet in 2 times. It's a much more faster than AdBlock and AdBlocker Plus

  5. Mohamed
    July 16, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    My favorite is for:

    'Show Saved Copy Button'

    I set it to enabled-Primary

    That way whenever my internet is allows me to click on a button and load its cached response of that page.

  6. Larry Bradley
    April 20, 2017 at 6:55 am

    Great article, would be even better if you would tell us whether to enable or disable, though I suppose it is presumed that, in the absence of any directions, we should enable a feature if it is listed here (see items 7 & 8). I read somewhere else that QUIC should be DISABLED if you want speedier Chrome experience, you seem to indicate here that it should be ENABLED. Also, "Default" does not tell me what state it is in to begin with. Again, don't just tell us what each of these flags does, tell us what we should do with them.

  7. john
    January 26, 2017 at 5:57 pm

    I know these tweaks are kind of dated. Not every tweak tells the user specifically how to set the above flags. Can anyone confirm on how to set each of these flags? Thanks.

    • ChemicalX
      March 18, 2017 at 11:32 pm

      I don't know if you still want to do it, but just open chrome://flags and ctrl+f and find the things you want to modify. The guide itself shows you what to change. ie if you want to do the raster threads change, press ctrl+F, search for raster threads and make the change. Though that was the only option i couldnt change. Good luck!

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

    Thanks very mutch!!! Perfect!!!

  9. 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?

    • Anonymous
      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.

  10. 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")

  11. Anonymous
    April 2, 2016 at 10:16 pm

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

  12. 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.

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

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

  14. 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.

  15. Anonymous
    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!

  16. Anonymous
    April 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm

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