Google Chrome is the leading web browser in the world, be it on mobile devices or PCs. The application first came out as a dedicated web browser, but with the changing tech world, Google has had to make some adjustments in order to fit the growing – and varying – needs of the millions who use it.
Today, Google Chrome supports things like extensions, plugins, apps and more and in fact, you can also get a dedicated store for the browser. In short, the current Chrome app is much more feature-packed than what it was a few years ago, but as always, no good thing lacks a bad side.
With the many additions and features that Google has been adding to Chrome, they not only improve the performance and experience of using the browser, but they also tend to consume a lot of resources. In the end, the app has become more resource-intensive and thus ends up slowing down your smartphone or laptop’s browsing experience. In the worst case, these additions also result in poor battery life on these devices.
When compared to other web browsers such as Opera Mini or even Microsoft’s Edge, Google Chrome is definitely more data-hungry than any of them. This is regardless of the kind of tasks you are performing on the application, but due to the many goodies it brings, few are thinking about ditching it in favor of other browsers that are not as feature-rich but have better battery life.
If you are one of the many Google Chrome loyalists, here are a few tips and tricks you can employ to make the browser run faster while at the same time saving your phone’s battery life.
Update your Chrome browser
Many Google Chrome users tend to ignore important updates for their browsers. While in most cases the browser will auto-update itself to the newest version available, it’s essential to ensure that your device runs the latest version all the time. In the address bar, type chrome://help and your browser will immediately start scanning for any available updates to be installed.
Get rid of extensions and apps you don’t need
As noted, Google Chrome has a bunch of apps, plugins and extensions that it supports. All of these things are meant to make using Chrome easier and more enjoyable, but how regularly do you use these extensions and apps?
Note that whenever Chrome is up and running, these apps and extensions are also active and as a result, they’ll keep on using your phone’s resources as usual, be it the processor or battery. In the end, your phone or PC gets slower and battery doesn’t last, but you can disable or remove these extensions and apps. Simply open a new Chrome tab and type chrome://extensions in the address bar to reveal all installed extensions and apps. When the list pops up, look out for the ones you don’t use – or don’t need – and uncheck the box against them to disable or simply uninstall them by hitting the Trash can icon.
Stop Chrome from running in the background
In case you didn’t know, closing Google Chrome on your Windows PC in the normal way doesn’t stop it from running in the background. You’ll end up with a poor battery life without knowing that Chrome is contributing to the same. The good side of the story is that you can stop this in a few simple steps.
Click the system tray icon that appears the bottom right corner of your Taskbar and look for the Chrome icon. Right click on it and uncheck the “Let Google Chrome run in the background” option. This will ensure that whenever you close Chrome in the normal way, it doesn’t remain active in the background.
Disable Adobe Flash Player
Google Chrome already made the switch from Adobe Flash Player to HTML5, but still, there are lots of websites that are still using the former. To be honest, Flash Player really slows down the performance of your browser and device in general, especially when you are running multiple tabs in the background. To improve the performance of your browser, simply disable Flash content on your PC.
Open a new Chrome tab and type chrome://settings/ in the address bar and from the resulting page, go to Advanced Settings and under the Privacy and Security section, hit Content Settings>Flash. Pick the option that says “Ask first”, but you must first “Allow sites to run flash” in order to activate this setting. In fact, Google Chrome already recommends this setting as the best option.
Close tabs you don’t need
Google Chrome users tend to open up lots of tabs when working, yet they are only using a few of them at a time. Honestly, I have been here before, and this takes up huge PC resources and consumes lots of battery power as well. The open tabs will keep on running in the background and since they keep on refreshing, your device will end up being a lot slower than you’d imagine.
To ensure that your browser and device, in general, are running smoothly, make sure you close any unused tabs. While there are arguments that clearing the Recents apps list on your Android phone has little to do with saving battery life and improving performance, it’s worth doing so, especially for Chrome tabs that appear in the list.