speeding up chrome

Internet browsing has already consolidated its place in our daily lives. There is no denying that. Depending on the OS, people use a browser of their choice for work, reading news, watching YouTube, or downloading all kinds of files. However, not all browsers deal with the tasks equally well.

Moreover, even the same browser does not give the same level of performance across operating systems. I am sure, that those of you who own a mac and chose Google Chrome as their go-to browser know what I am talking about.

At first, my top choice was Chrome too. It was a great option to keep everything intact across all of my devices. Having used Chrome on Windows for a while, I quickly noticed that my experience on mac was not on par. I could not help but wonder, why is Chrome so slow on mac?

What Makes Google Chrome Slow on Mac

There is a number of reasons why Google Chrome is sluggish on your macbook. So if you are looking for explanations of why Chrome hates mac – I’ve got you covered.

Chrome is not built for Mac

I fully understand that I am stating the obvious here, but Chrome has never been built, or developed, if you will, for mac specifically. Granted, Google is attempting to implement long-requested fixes and features that mac users have been reporting for decades (like finally supporting native mac notification design with the release of version 57).

But Google rolls out these updates at an extremely slow pace. Moreover, it does not change the fact that Google has never set its primary focus on optimizing anything. With Chrome for mac, Google has given us no reason to think otherwise.

Chrome crunches on CPU & RAM

CPU and RAM usage issue must be the very reason why you are reading this article in the first place. Lacking optimization in the use and loading of plugins, Chrome may be using up to 100% of your CPU. That, of course, varies depending on your macbook lineup and configuration, though even capable machines tend to work under a heavy load when Chrome is running.

chrome on mac

Even if you own a more recent version of the macbook pro that is capable of withstanding whatever tasks Google’s browser chooses to throw at it, such use of performance takes a toll on battery life.

Google has been attempting to fix the issue in the recent updates, yet the changes have not been significant enough for Chrome to come anywhere near Safari or even Firefox.

Chrome approaches browsing as a complex process – which it is – and splits preloading of every tab, plugin, and extension into a separate process. To do that, it requires a higher memory (RAM) usage.

Clearly, Google has all the good intentions when opting for such an approach. On one hand, it prevents the crash of an entire page if a single plugin fails to load and preloading helps web pages load faster. On the other – no wonder that chrome is slow to start on mac.

What to Do to Speed Up Your Mac and Fix Chrome

Some of us may be too hooked on Google’s ecosystem or find extensions too hard to give up. We are in this together. Here is how to solve some of the most common issues and speed up Chrome browser on mac.

  • Update Chrome to the latest version

Google Chrome has a built-in automatic update feature that is supposed to check for and download updates on startup. However if you are running into performance issues then manually installing updates by going to Menu>Help>About Google Chrome can help you solve your problems.

You never know, the issues you are facing might have already been addressed in an update.

  • Keep track of your tabs

Let me make this simple. The more tabs you have up and running the more resources your browser is going to use. Try keeping your tabs to the minimum of what you need, and you will soon find that your macbook’s fans no longer sound like a space shuttle taking off.

man working on mac

Trust me when I say this, I do get it that keeping only a few tabs open is easier said than done. Luckily, there is a handy extension[link] that can help you quickly tap in and out with a minimal use of resources.

With a single click OneTab minimizes all of your opened tabs and converts them into easily accessible links that take a second to get back into. Try it, your RAM will thank you.

  • Disable unwanted extensions

If you are like me, then you have installed lots of extensions just to try them out. Chances are, you forgot about them altogether after trying (just like I did). Now is a perfect time to get back to Menu>More tools>Extensions and disable or delete the extensions you do not use.

Extensions are essentially apps that Chrome runs in the background and keeps on standby so they are ready when you need them. Turning off all the unnecessary ones can greatly improve the efficiency of resource usage.

Using a certain browser may be a matter of habit or a necessity. If you feel like Chrome is what you need on your mac – try the tips above, those should help.

But if your mac is still having a hard time, you will most surely be left with two options to improve performance: either cash out for the latest and greatest from Apple or switch to a different browser. It’s a sacrifice the either way around.

Rupert Smithers

Rupert Smithers

Rupert Smithers is a freelance UI/UX designer from California. He is a devoted Mac fan who enjoys blogging about its benefits and problems.
Rupert Smithers
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