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Speed Up Chrome By Changing These 8 Flags


Chrome might be the most popular Internet browser in the world, but it also comes in for a fair amount of criticism. One such criticism is that the software is no longer as fast as it used to be; people claim it’s now a memory hog that has gotten bogged down with too many features and extensions.

While that argument does have some merit, it is still possible to greatly improve your browser’s speed simply by tweaking some of its “flags”. Here are the eight best tweaks that you can make today.

Before we begin, it is important to understand that the flags are all experimental features that may or may not end up in future stable releases. With that in mind, it is very possible that they’ll disappear altogether at some point.

Secondly, because they are experimental, changing them could have unforeseen consequences for your browser’s general usability. So, you should proceed with caution.

Chrome Flags Overview

The first step is to access Chrome’s secret flags menu; this is the place from which all the tweaks are made. Luckily, it’s very simple – just type chrome://flags into the browser’s Omnibox, and you’ll be shown the list.

Related: The Best Advanced Chrome Settings You Should Be Using


Note: The list of flags seems to have no logical order. Use Ctrl + F to find the individual flags we discuss below.

1. GPU Rasterization

Chrome doesn’t use your GPU much to analyze images and data, but if you have one, there are a few things you can do to offload some processing to it and speed up the browser.

This is a great hack, therefore, for anyone who suffers from slow-loading images on pages they visit.

GPU Rasterization Flag In Chrome

When you enable GPU rasterization, your GPU takes over the above task from your CPU (or processor). If your CPU isn’t very powerful, or if your GPU is highly powerful, this can help you browse faster.

2. Override Software Rendering List

This setting overrides the default software rendering and forces the use of GPU acceleration even if it isn’t supported.

Some versions of GPU-acceleration device drivers are disabled by Chrome, and uninstalling these device drivers may cause your Chrome browser to slow down. When using Gmail or watching YouTube videos, you will notice the lag.

Override Software Rendering Chrome Flag

To fix this, open the Google Chrome browser and enable the Override software rendering list option, which will allow GPU acceleration.

3. Zero-Copy Rasterization

There are many things you can do with rasterization using Chrome flags, and one of the finest is zero-copy rasterization.

If you find that web pages frequently take a long time to load, try enabling Zero-copy rasterizer.

Zero Copy Rasterizer Flag In Chrome

It is a fact that GPU memory (or VRAM) is quite faster than the conventional, older RAM versions. If you have a desktop or a laptop with less RAM, you should definitely enable this flag.

In layman’s terms, it transmits the raster streams directly to GPU memory, which speeds up browsing compared to ordinary RAM.

Chrome is well-known for its battery-draining problems. If you use Chrome to watch a lot of videos, you may have noticed a significant battery drain. This has a direct impact on the speed of your browser.

Thankfully, you can easily resolve this problem with a single flag.

Streaming Media Caching Flag

Turning off streaming media caching minimizes system activity during playback, which can save power. Furthermore, it gives your entire streaming experience a modest boost.

5. Back-Forward Caching

Back/forward cache is a cool chrome flag that allows for quick back-and-forth navigation in all the websites. If you believe your network is running slowly, this flag can greatly improve your browsing experience.

Back Forward Caching Chrome Flag

Moreover, it’s a wonderful flag for those who use social networking sites like Reddit, Facebook, and others regularly.

This, as the name implies, allows you to scroll over the content with ease. There is some stuttering in the animation when scrolling in Chrome with the mouse or arrow keys.

This makes it difficult to browse through text rapidly while reading what is relevant (bad for content skimmers). Smooth scrolling seems natural and professional with this option enabled.

Smooth Scrolling Flag In Chrome

In short, enabling this feature will allow you to experience a cool scrolling transition and a good browsing experience.

7. QUIC Protocol

This is another data speed hack. The QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) Protocol was developed in-house by Google in 2012.

It focuses on reducing bandwidth, latency, and congestion by decreasing the number of round trips needed when establishing a new connection.

QUIC Protocol Flag In Chrome

Although it remains an experimental feature, QUIC was submitted to the IETF for standardization in June 2015 – so it might be about to become more widespread.

Related: Hidden Chrome Features That Will Make You More Productive

You can enable the QUIC protocol in Chrome to begin using it right away and speed up your browsing. Look for the Experimental QUIC protocol flag and choose it from the drop-down menu to enable it.

8. Parallel Downloading

Chrome Flags has several options that might help you speed up your surfing, many of which are configured by default. Parallel downloading is one such function that especially speeds up your downloads.

This flag separates a downloading process into various other processes, which ultimately reduces the downloading time. However, if you use a dedicated download manager software, there’s no need to enable it separately.

Parallel Downloading Flag In Chrome

No doubt, enabling this Flag can significantly speed up the download of large files. To enable this flag, use the search function to find the Parallel downloading flag and then, click Default > Enable.

Confirming and Undoing Your Changes

Whenever you change a Chrome flag, you’ll need to reboot your browser before the changes take effect.

Just click on the large Relaunch Now button, which pops up at the bottom of your screen. All the pages you currently have open will be automatically reloaded, though we recommend that you save any work before proceeding.

Relaunch Option In Chrome

If you find that you’ve broken something, but you’re not sure which setting caused the problem, you can easily restore all the flags to their default settings.

Look for the Reset all option in the top right-hand corner of the menu. Click it, and restart your browser.

Reset Flags Option In Chrome

Pick Your Favorite Chrome Experiments

We’ve given you an overview of a few flags that can speed up your experience, but there are lots more options in the list, all of which will affect your experience in one way or another.

Moreover, you don’t need to be a geek to utilize them, and you can easily disable them if Chrome starts acting strangely.

Although there are many more flags to test, you shouldn’t get too excited because they are still experimental features that could be risky.

The 12 Best Chrome Flags to Upgrade Your Browsing Experience

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