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Why is my Chromebook so slow?

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  • 7 min read

Photo by CC Photo Labs / Shutterstock.com

The lightweight ChromeOS allows Chromebooks to have relatively quicker boot and shut down time as well as quick app launches. However, like any other laptop or desktop, Chromebook can get slow too — and quite quickly.

Chromebooks can get slow due to several reasons like too many active browser tabs to low free storage. Here are the most common reasons for your Chromebook getting slow.

  • An extension is misbehaving.
  • Too many tabs are opened.
  • You haven’t shut down your Chromebook in a while.
  • Your Chromebook is low on storage space.
  • You’ve installed too many extensions that are slowing down the Chromebook.
  • You’ve altered Flags used for enabling/disabling features, including experimental features.

Below we’ve discussed 11 ways to speed up your Chromebook if it has slowed down.

Also read: How to use the camera on Chromebook?


Restart your Chromebook

The most elementary way to get rid of temporary bugs and errors is to restart your Chromebook. If that doesn’t work, perform a hard restart by pressing and holding the Chromebook keyboard shortcutRefresh key and Power button.

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A hard restart clears the cache and RAM of the Chromebook.


Delete or deactivate extensions

Corrupt or malfunctioning extensions often cause a lot of problems. Head over to chrome://extensions and try disabling all your extensions to check if the browser starts functioning as normal again; if it does, enable them one by one until you have all the essential extensions working again.

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Check active tabs

While Chromebooks are designed to be quick and efficient, the number of active tabs that yours can open at once and still function at its optimum capacity largely depends on the available RAM and processor.

If your Chromebook isn’t powered by a monster processor alongwith over 5GB of free RAM, you might want to keep all the Chrome tabs you’re opening in control.

Having a lot of active Chrome tabs can also hinder the smooth functioning of other apps, especially those requiring more system resources — like photo editing or a video streaming app.

So, if you’ve got a lot of Chrome tabs open, consider shutting the ones you’re not using. If you haven’t closed these tabs in a while, now would be the right time to do so.


Check free storage

Having some free storage on your Chromebook is essential for it to function smoothly and we aren’t just talking about sparing a GB or two. Ideally, you should always keep at least 10% of your Chromebook’s storage free.


Reset your browser

Resetting Chrome can fix all sorts of random bugs and glitches with the browser and might also help speed up your Chromebook.

Step 1: Head over to chrome://settings/reset. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults.

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Step 2: Chrome will show you a warning prompt. Click on Reset Settings, and your browser will reset to default settings. 

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Restart the browser and the site should load just fine. 

Also read: Chromebook keeps disconnecting from WiFi: Quick Fix


Check your internet connection

Since Chromebooks are designed to work with the internet, a slow internet connection also means that any app or tab that you try to open or work through will respond significantly slower.

You can check your internet speed on fast.com or speedtest.org. If you’re facing a slow internet connection, either restart your router to see if that fixes the issue or contact your internet service provider.


Change nameservers

You can change the name servers from the defaults provided by your ISP to Google’s name servers (8.8.8.8 or 8.8.4.4) or a custom one.

Follow the steps mentioned below to change the name server.

Step 1: Open Chromebook’s settings using the notification menu from the home screen or the app menu.

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Step 2: Then click on WiFi under Network.

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Step 3: Click on the connected WiFi network.

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Step 4: Click on Network and then scroll down, select Google name servers and enter them.

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Update ChromeOS

Your Chromebook might be slow due to a ChromeOS bug. Usually, the devs are pretty quick at fixing OS-related issues. So, check if there’s a pending update and install it.

Step 1: Open Chromebook’s settings either using the notification menu from the home screen or open the Settings app from the app menu.

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Step 2: Then select About Chrome OS at the bottom left of the screen and click on the Check for Updates button. If there is a new OS update, Chromebook will automatically start downloading.

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Uninstall apps

Chromebooks can run thousands of Android apps natively that can be downloaded via the built-in Play Store; however, loading it with apps isn’t a good idea. An issue with one or more apps can hinder the device’s performance and cause the Chromebook to slow down.

Uninstall any unwanted or rarely used apps from the device. Alternatively, you can also uninstall every app that you’ve downloaded from the Play Store and re-download them again later.

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You can either uninstall apps directly from the app menu or through the Play Store.


Reset Flags

You can use Flags in Chrome to enable/disable certain features, including experimental features in the browser. Modified Flag settings can also cause issues with Chromebook. Follow the steps mentioned below to reset all Flags in your Chromebook.

  • Step 1: Type chrome://flags in the browser’s URL/address bar.
  • Step 2: Click on the Reset all button on the Flags app.

Powerwash your Chromebook

If nothing else has worked so far, you can powerwash (or reset) your Chromebook as a last resort and start anew

Keep in mind that doing this will remove all of the user accounts connected to the Chromebook, and you’ll have to set it all up again. However, a powerwash will most likely resolve any software issues causing the Chromebook to slow down.

Step 1:  Open Chromebook’s settings using the notification menu from the home screen or the app menu.

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Step 2: Select Advanced, located near the bottom of the options towards the left.

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Step 3: Click on Accessibility, followed by the Reset button beside the Powerwash option.

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CT Editorial Team

CT Editorial Team

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