Why is Chrome so slow on my Mac?

Google’s Chrome is one of the most popular browsers used on Macs, and for a good reason. Thanks to its features, speed, integration with Google’s other services, and the huge number of extensions available for it, it is even more attractive to Mac users than Safari that comes preinstalled with macOS. However, it has a reputation for occasionally being slow. If you’ve noticed the same problem, keep on reading to learn how to speed up Chrome on your Mac.

Why is Chrome slow on Mac?

There are a number of reasons for Chrome running slow on Mac:

  1. You have extensions installed that are consuming lots of system resources.
  2. You have extensions installed that are out of date.
  3. You’re not running the most recent version of Chrome.
  4. macOS is not up to date.
  5. Your internet connection is slow.
  6. There’s a problem with cached files.
  7. You have lots of tabs open, and they are using CPU resources and RAM.
Tip

If you want to check whether Chrome is using lots of resources on your Mac, go to Applications > Utilities and open Activity Monitor. Then click on the top of the CPU or RAM columns and look to see if Chrome is near the top.


How to fix Chrome running slow

Check macOS is up to date

  1. In macOS Ventura or later, click the Apple menu and choose System Settings.
  2. If Software Update Available is showing in the sidebar, click it.
  3. If not, choose General > Software Update.
  4. Click Update Now to install the update.
  5. If you’re running an earlier version of macOS, click the Apple menu and choose About this Mac, then click Software Update to check if an update is available.

Update Chrome

This is the first thing you should do if Chrome is running slowly on your Mac.

  1. Open Chrome and click the Chrome menu.
  2. Choose About Google Chrome.
  3. You will see a message telling you whether Chrome is up to date and whether automatic updates are turned on.
  4. If there is an update available, follow the instructions on the screen to install it.

Reset Chrome

Even if Chrome is up to date, sometimes, its settings files can become corrupted, causing it to slow down. It may also lead to Chrome slowing down Mac. Resetting it to the state it was in when you first installed it is the best way to fix the issue. The easiest way to reset Chrome — or any other application, for that matter — is to use the Uninstaller module in CleanMyMac X. You can download CleanMyMac X for free here. Once you’ve done that, follow the steps below to reset Chrome:

  1. Open CleanMyMac X.
  2. Navigate to the Uninstaller module.
  3. Click Google in the middle panel and select Chrome in the right-hand panel.
  4. Click the Uninstall dropdown next to Chrome.
  5. Select Reset and click the Reset button.
CleanMyMac X - Chrome in Privacy tab

Close tabs

If you only have a few tabs open, they won’t cause your Mac to slow down. But if you have 20 or more open at the same time, that could be the cause of your Mac and Chrome slowing down. Review each open tab and close those you don’t need, bookmarking them if you want to come back to the page later.

Check Chrome extensions

If you’ve been using Chrome for a long time, you’ve probably installed lots of extensions. Now is a good time to review them and decide whether you need them all. If you know you definitely don’t need them, remove them. If you’re unsure, disable them so that you can enable them again later if you find you need them. At the very least, you should make sure that those you keep are up to date.

  1. Open Chrome and click on the three dots at the right of the toolbar.
  2. Choose Extensions > Manage Extensions.
  3. To update all extensions, click Update at the top of the window.
  4. To disable an extension, click the toggle switch at the bottom right of the extension’s box.
  5. To remove an extension completely, click Remove.

Scan for malware

Sometimes, it is malware that makes Chrome slow. The thing is that some viruses add their own extensions to browsers, not to mention that they consume a lot of resources as they run in the background. Therefore, another possible fix is to check if any malware has sneaked onto your Mac. 

The easiest way to do it is to use a dedicated cleaner app for a Mac virus scan. The app we recommended above — CleanMyMac X — comes with the Malware Removal tool that can do the job for you. 

Here’s how to use it: 

  1. Open CleanMyMac X. 
  2. Click Malware Removal > Scan. 
  3. Click Remove if malware has been detected.

Clear Chrome’s cache

It’s possible that an issue with cached files could be slowing Chrome down. To fix it, clear the cache:

  1. In Chrome, click on the three dots and select Settings.
  2. Click Privacy and security, then Clear browsing data.
  3. Select the box next to Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.
Tip

There is an easier way to clear Chrome’s cache files — using CleanMyMac X. And, as a bonus, you can also clean Safari and Firefox cache files, too, as well as your download history, browsing history, and autofill data. Here’s how to do it:

  • Open CleanMyMac X and go to the Privacy module.
  • Click Scan.
  • When it’s finished, select the box next to Chrome and select the items you want to get rid of.
  • Click Remove.
    CleanMyMac X - Privacy module

    Check your internet connection

    If none of the steps above works, check your internet connection to make sure that what seems like Chrome running slowly isn’t your Wi-Fi or broadband being slow. Use a different browser on your Mac or, better still, use a completely different device to see if they can get online and browse more quickly than Chrome. If the other device also has problems, you’ll know it’s either your Wi-Fi or broadband. Restart your router to see if that helps. If not, check with your broadband provider to find out if they are having network problems.

    Chrome is a great browser and usually runs pretty quickly. However, it can be a bit of a resource hog, especially when you have lots of tabs open. When that happens, it can run slowly. Follow the steps above to find out the reasons for Google Chrome running slow on Mac and ways to fix it.

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