In the space of a decade, Google Chrome has solidified itself as a very popular web browser.
If you are a Windows XP user, it's currently one of the safest browsing options, since Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer 8,9 and 10.
Google made its first foray into web browsers back in September 2008, with many welcoming Chrome’s ease and speed, but over time even Chrome can begin to slow down a bit – especially if you’ve installed extras such as extensions.
But fear not, as there are some ways to ramp up your Chrome browser’s speed.
Tip 1: Ensure your browser is up to date
Like any software, the simplest way to get the best performance is by ensuring you’re using the latest version.
Your Chrome browser should be installing updates automatically in the background whenever you close and reopen it.
Thankfully Google has an easy way for you to determine whether you’re up to date, and comes in the form of the three dots icon situated at the top right.
If the dots are grey, then your Chrome browser is already up to date. If it’s green, it means an update has been available for 2 days, orange means 4 days and red means 7 days.
Should you need to update, you'll see an option called: Update Google Chrome when you click on the dots. Click it and select Relaunch.
Step 2: Clear your browsing data
Press CTRL + H on your keyboard and you’ll be taken directly to your web history.
From here, click Clear browsing data… and select the beginning of time in the drop-down box.
Tick the boxes to select the things you want to clear and click Clear browsing data.
Step 3: Disable unused extensions and plug-ins
If you’ve installed any extensions or plug-ins, they can cause your web browser to lag.
Extensions are extra features for Chrome that are usually developed by third parties, while plug-ins allow you to view content such as videos.
To disable the ones you don’t use or can live without, type chrome://extensions into the address bar. Deselect the ones you don’t use very often - you can always reactivate them later.
For plug-ins click the three dots in the right hand corner of your screen and click Settings.
Scroll down to the bottom of the screen and click Advanced. Then from the drop down click Content Settings. From there you can enable and disable your plug-ins you do not need.
Step 4: Try the Chrome Cleanup Tool
Google has developed its own Chrome Cleanup Tool which will remove any software which may be causing your browser problems.
Download the Chrome Cleanup Tool here and follow the installation instructions for Windows 10/8.1/8/7.
Step 5: Keep security software up to date
A slow browser could be a warning that you have malware on your computer.
Microsoft has had anti-spyware software Windows Defender on its PCs since Vista, so make sure it’s turned on by typing Defender in the search box.
Make sure you’re using software like BT Virus Protect to keep your browser safe from potential malware that could be slowing Chrome down as well. BT Virus Protect is free for many BT customers – read more about it here.
Step 6: Enable hidden features
Google is also testing out new features for Chrome – some of which can speed up your browser.
You can access these by typing chrome://flags into the address bar. The ones which could prove beneficial are Enable fast tab/window close and Enable tab discarding. Find them both and click Enable.
Be warned, these are experimental so there are no guarantees they’ll work just yet. The good thing is, if you choose to enable them you can always switch them off later if you notice any problems.