Chrome Is Using Too Much of My CPU

By David Weedmark

Learn how to troubleshoot Google Chrome when it begins to gobble up system resources like the CPU and memory.

If Google Chrome has become a drag on your computer's performance by using too much CPU and memory, there are several options for getting back up to speed. Since Chrome v.43 has its own Task Manager, that's a good place to start. Windows Task Manager can also show you what's draining your PC's resources. Updating Chrome and its extensions often helps. As a last resort, you may want to reset Chrome or restart your computer.

Open Chrome Task Manager

Step 1

Press Shift-Esc to open the Google Chrome Task Manager. To see what's using the most CPU resources, click the CPU button twice so that the arrow points down.

Step 2

Click the task using up the most CPU resources.

Click the task that is at the top of the list, taking up the most CPU resources. In the example, a Tumblr page set to infinite scroll with lots of videos and photos is occupying 25 percent of the CPU. The Network activity that's displayed tells you that the page is still loading. In this case, waiting until the page has finished loading may reduce the CPU rate significantly.

Step 3

Click End Process.

Click the End Process button if the task is not reducing its load on the CPU. In the Google Chrome Task Manager, you can close any process except the Browser.

Open Windows Task Manager

Because the Windows Task Manager is built into the operating system and not a specific application, it can show you processes that the Google Chrome Task Manager cannot display. These can include phantom Chrome processes that didn't close down correctly and other processes that may be eating away at the CPU that have nothing at all to do with Chrome. A third advantage of the Windows Task Manager is that it can end any Chrome processes, including the browser itself.

Two of the six Chrome processes are occupying 5.2 percent of the CPU.

To open the Windows Task Manager, press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and select Task Manager. Select any Google Chrome process that is using a high amount of memory or CPU and select End Task.

Update Chrome

As with any other app, updating Google Chrome may clear up any problems the browser has been having.

Chrome will be up-to-date after it's relaunched.

To see if there are updates available, click the Menu icon in the upper-right corner of the browser and select About Google Chrome. If an update is available, click the Update button. Chrome will prompt you to Relaunch the browser when the update is ready.

Update Extensions

Update extensions and disable those you don't need.

Out-of-date or poorly designed browser extensions can cause problems for your computer's performance. In the case of Google Chrome, you can check your installed extensions by clicking the Menu icon, selecting Settings and then clicking Extensions.

If extension updates are available, click Update Extensions Now. Review the extensions you've installed and uncheck the Enable box to disable those that you don't need. The button is grayed out if the extensions are all up-to-date. Review the extensions you've installed. Click the Enabled check box beside any extensions you don't need in order to remove the check mark. If you don't think you'll use an extension again, click the Trash icon beside it to delete it.

Reset or Restart

The Reset Settings button is in Advanced Settings.

If you've gone through the troubleshooting steps, it's unlikely you need to reset Chrome or restart your computer. However, a reset or a restart is often a faster alternative and may be preferable if you've been experiencing problems on more than one occasion in the same day.

To reset Chrome, click the Menu icon, select Settings, scroll to the bottom and click Show Advanced Settings. Click the Reset Settings button at the bottom of the Advanced Settings screen.