How to Speed Up Google Chrome

Google Chrome burst onto the browser scene with one defining characteristic: speed. Chrome does a lot well, and in most cases, it does it faster than the competition can. Perhaps what’s most impressive about this is that the developers do not have Chrome fine-tuned in its default configuration. That’s right. It has the potential for even more speed, so let’s examine how you can speed up Google Chrome so that’s it even faster than it already is.

• Dictate startup switches – Google configures Chrome to start in a certain manner, such as with support for Flash, Java, and metrics reporting. While you likely use Flash and Java, you might not use some other default items. For each that you disable, Chrome requires fewer resources. Nevertheless, don’t disable for the sake of it. Only disable what you know you don’t use.

Common Disable Switches:

• disable-dev-tools
• disable-hang-monitor
• disable-images
• disable-java
• disable-javascript
• disable-logging
• disable-metrics
• disable-metrics-reporting
• disable-plugins
• disable-popup-blocking
• disable-prompt-on-repost

• Keep track of chrome – Whenever Windows bogs down, you press CTRL+ALT+DEL, and audit the running software and processes. Did you know you that a similar tool is available in Chrome? To access it, simply press Shift+ESC, and now you can determine if a plugin, theme, or webpage is the culprit. You can access other info simply by typing the following commands into the address bar:

• about:cache
• about:dns
• about:histograms
• about:internets
• about:memory
• about:network
• about:plugins
• about:stats
• about:version

Note: These commands won’t work if there is a space between the colon and the command or keyword.

• Lower the search suggestions – Whenever you type into the Chrome “omnibar,” it provides you with a list of suggestions based on past behavior. This feature plays havoc on older computer configurations. In addition, some users like to turn it off simply for privacy reasons. Unfortunately, Chrome doesn’t have an integrated mechanism to change this. Instead, in your Chrome shortcut, in the “Start in:” field, append -omnibox-popup-count=35. Thirty-five is the default. Feel free to change it to zero.

• Add mouse gestures – Once you try mouse gestures, you’ll wonder how you every got on without them. There’s a small learning curve, but then you’ll be navigating through Chrome lightning fast. Of course, Chrome doesn’t include mouse gestures by default, but now that they did add support for extensions, you can add it via the Chrome Gestures add-on.

• Speed up your search experience – Chrome hides some powerful search tools just below the surface. For instance, do you find yourself searching a particular website with Google often? Click the wrench, then Options, and then Manage next to the default search engine. Next, click add, choose a short keyword, such as eld, and enter the following URL: http://google.com/search?q=%s+site:thisextremelylongdomainname.com. Now, searching that site is as simple as typing eld plus the search criteria.

• Learn the most common shortcuts – Keyboard shortcuts are a powerful tool, and since you can’t bind all actions to mouse gestures, it pays to learn to use them. Here are some of the most common and useful:

• Ctrl+N – Open a new window
• Ctrl+T – Open a new tab in the current window
• Ctrl+W or Ctrl+F4 – Close the current tab or pop-up window
• Ctrl+P – Print the current page
• Ctrl+S – Save the current page (to file)
• F5 – Reload the current page
• Ctrl+F5 or Shift+F5 – Reload current page while ignored cache

• Use Chromium – Chromium is the open source browser upon which Google built Chrome. This is essentially Chrome without the Google branding. The main advantage to using it is currency. The developers update Chromium on a nightly basis. There’s a speed advantage to using the most current software, but this tip is only for users who don’t mind manually updating their browser.

• Get NoScript-like functionality – Another advantage to using Chromium or the developer build of Chrome is that you can access NoScript-like functionality. NoScript is a popular Firefox plugin that allows users to block scripts of all kinds on a per webpage or website basis. Select Options, then Privacy, and click the Content settings button. Now, you can add specific sites, and block them from using JavaScript. This is not as sleek as NoScript, but it gets the job done.