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What is Pre-rendering in Chrome? Does it hamper your privacy?

When it comes to web browsers, there is nothing that comes close to what Google Chrome has to offer. With a market share of more than 63 percent, Chrome is the default driver for most people.

There are a lot of things that Chrome does to load pages faster and one of those features is pre-rendering webpages. Simply put, Chrome loads pages in the background, which it predicts you will open based on your browsing habits.

In this article, we will be looking at how pre-rendering works and if it hampers your privacy in lieu of a better experience.

Also read: Why Chrome uses so much RAM? How much does it affect your system?

Types of pre-rendering on Chrome

There are several ways in which Chrome uses pre-rendering to accelerate the speed at which web pages are loaded. A brief overview of these pre-rendering techniques is given below.

Chrome pre-rendering

Chrome tries to accelerate the pages you regularly visit by pre-rendering them. So as soon as you write the first few words of a URL you visit often, Chrome starts the pre-rendering process in the background.

Due to this pre-rendering, the pages load at lightning speed as Chrome starts loading resources for rendering the page even before you hit enter in the address bar.

Webpage pre-rendering

Web developers can also take advantage of Google Chromes’ pre-rendering to enhance the user experience of their website. To enable webpage pre-rendering, webmasters can include a pre-rendering keyword in their hyperlinks.

This keyword instructs Google Chrome to pre-render all pages, which have this keyword associated with them, enabling pages to be loaded instantly when someone clicks on them.

This method of pre-rendering uses Nostate prefetch, and no javascript is executed until and unless you click on the link.

AMP pre-rendering

On mobile devices, Google Chrome offers a feature known as Accelerated Mobile Pages(AMP), which enables results on Google search to be pre-rendered.

These accelerated pages have a thunderbolt sign next to them on a Google search, and all the resources required to render the webpage are preloaded. This pre-rendering is the reason for the fast delivery of pages that use AMP.

In AMP, pre-rendering the Javascript that is required to render the page is also executed, and even if you don’t visit an AMP page, the publisher of the website can access and modify the cookies it has set. That said, AMP pages are served by special AMP caches which are hosted by Google or Cloudflare and all the code is verified to prevent attackers from running malicious Javascript code in the background.

Also read: How to reboot your Chromecast?

Is pre-rendering in Chrome bad for your privacy?

Although Chrome uses pre-rendering to enhance user experience and load pages faster, it collects data like navigation history, local heuristics, and data learned from Google’s search crawlers to offer this experience.

If you don’t want Google to track your every move on the Internet and send the details of the webpages you visit on to its servers, you can follow the steps given below

  • Open a new tab on the Google Chrome browser on your mobile device and tap on the three dots icon located at the top-right corner
  • Then tap on Settings, from the dropdown list.
  • On the next page, tap on Privacy and security.
  • Toggle the button next to Preload pages for faster browsing and searching.

Also read: What happens when you block someone on Facebook? 15 talking points

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