Chrome Using Too Much CPU

Chrome Using Too Much CPU


Martha Davis
August 23, 2021

In general, the browser is faster than its peers.

However, there may be some instances when Chrome tends to consume more CPU power. In this guide, you will know why Chrome is eating up all the RAM and CPU and how to fix it.

What Happens When Chrome Uses Too Much CPU?

High cpu usage of chrome

You can check if Chrome is using too much CPU by accessing the ‘Task Manager.’ Look for Chrome under ‘Processes‘ to see how much memory it uses in the Task Manager. Sometimes, you may find that the browser is using 100% CPU. That is, it would be using the full power of your CPU.

So, what happens when Chrome uses the full power of your CPU?

The most common symptoms include the mouse pointer lagging or taking too much time to move, apps taking more time than usual to open, or worse, freezing.

Other common symptoms include screen freezing or the battery draining quicker than using a laptop.

Also, when Chrome hogs all the memory and CPU, your PC may become noisy. All this can affect the performance of your computer.

But why does Chrome use too much CPU?

Why Is Chrome Using Too Much CPU?

Chrome Using Too Much CPU

The most common reasons Chrome uses too much CPU at times could be that you might have opened too many tabs or windows or are using too many extensions or applications or those that use a lot of processor power.

It could also be due to a virus or malware.

However, Chrome comes with an in-built software reporter tool that helps detect malware.

However, sometimes, the tool itself uses lots of CPU. So, check for it, and if the software reporter tool is using too much CPU, disable it.

Also, you can find and eliminate common problems that make Chrome use more CPU and RAM.

How To Reduce Chrome CPU Usage?

Check Chrome in Task Manager

If Chrome uses too much CPU, you can always fix it using these tried and tested methods. There are two instances when Chrome uses lots of CPU and memory: When it is running and not running.

When Chrome is Running

When Chrome is running, or you have the browser open, you can do either or both of the following to stop it from eating into the CPU or memory.

Check Chrome’s Task Manager

Chrome is a versatile browser that comes with a task manager. Note here that this is the task manager that comes with Chrome and not Windows. You can access this task manager by doing the following:

Right-click the title bar and select ‘Task Manager,’ or you could also press Shift + Esc.

Click on ‘CPU‘ to sort the tasks with the highest CPU usage.

If Chrome is at the top of the list or you find that Chrome is using more CPU, you can disable it by clicking on ‘End Process.

Disable Extensions

Disable Extension

If ending the process doesn’t work, you can try again, but make sure that you restart the browser each time you do it. Alternatively, you can also try another method, which is disabling the extensions.

However, before you do this, check the extensions causing the problem in the Task Manager. If there are any, you can then follow these steps to disable them.

From the Chrome menu, go to ‘More Tools‘ and click on ‘Extensions.’

Here, toggle those extensions that are causing the problem. You can even remove them by selecting ‘Remove.’

When Chrome is Not Running

Google Chrome Closed After Closure

If Chrome is not running but is still consuming too much CPU, it is probably due to the applications and extensions you have installed in the browser that tends to run when your PC boots. You can disable such applications by following these steps.

Access ‘Settings’ from the Chrome menu.

Under the ‘Advanced‘ tab, click on ‘Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed‘ to deselect it.

Doing this should kill all the background processes that Chrome is running as soon as the browser closes.

Other Fixes

The above fixes should work most of the time. However, if any or all the fixes mentioned above don’t work, there are some other fixes that you can implement and see if it resolves the problem. You can find these fixes in the following sections.

1. Clear Cache

Clear Caches

At times, the websites that you open or visit may be running scripts even after you close them. These scripts tend to make Chrome use more CPU than usual. However, there are ways to close or end these processes.

You can follow the steps below to stop these scripts from running after closing all the scripts running from the websites you opened.

From the ‘More Tools‘ option in the Google Chrome menu, access ‘Chrome browsing data.’ Alternatively, you can also press Ctrl + Shift + Del.

Under the ‘Advanced‘ tab, select all the items, and click on ‘Clear data.’

Clearing the cache should stop Chrome from consuming too much CPU. However, if it doesn’t work, you can try the following method: resetting the browser.

2. Reset Chrome

Reset Chromes

If the above methods don’t work, you can try resetting the browser by following the steps given below.

From the Chrome menu, access ‘Settings.’

Under the ‘Advanced‘ tab, find and click on ‘Restore settings to their original defaults.’

You should get a warning from Chrome that says, ‘This will reset your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and pinned tabs. It will also disable all extensions, clear temporary data like cookies.’

Click on ‘Reset settings‘ to begin with the process.

Once you reset Chrome, it should hopefully prevent it from using too much CPU. However, if this also doesn’t work, you can try reinstalling the browser as a last resort.

3. Reinstall Chrome

Reinstall Chrome

If Chrome is still using more resources than it should even after going through all the methods given above, you can try reinstalling it by following the steps that you can find below.

Click on ‘Start‘ and type ‘Apps and Features‘ into the search field.

Click on ‘Apps and Features‘ and find Chrome from the list.

Click on it, and you should be able to see an option called ‘Uninstall.’

Select this option, and let Windows uninstall Chrome.

Once Windows completes the process, delete the folder, ‘C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Chrome.

Download and install the latest version of Google Chrome.

By uninstalling and reinstalling the browser, you can most certainly stop Chrome from using too much CPU.

4. Limit the Available Resources

You can also try limiting the resources available for the browser. There are two ways to limit resources available for Chrome.

Setting the Browser Priority to Low

Chrome Priority Low

The first method to limit the resources available for Chrome is to set the browser priority to low or below average. Follow these steps to set the browser priority in Chrome.

Open the Task Manager‘ by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

Click on the ‘Details‘ tab, and find and right-click on the ‘Chrome.exe‘ process that is using too much CPU.

Set the priority to ‘Below Normal‘ or ‘Low‘ as per your preference by selecting the appropriate option.

Setting the process priority to ‘Below Normal‘ or ‘Low‘ should resolve the problem of Chrome using too much CPU. Alternatively, you can also try setting the browser affinity to limited CPU cores.

Setting Browser Process Affinity to Limited CPU Cores

Setting Chrome Process Affinity to Limited CPU Cores

You can set the browser affinity to use only a few CPU cores by doing the following.

Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc buttons to open the Windows Task Manager.

Right-click on a ‘Chrome.exe‘ process and choose ‘Set Affinity.’

Select the cores you want to assign for this process.

Turning Off Hardware Acceleration

Chrome Turning Off Hardware Acceleration

You could also turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome to stop it from using too much memory or CPU power.

While hardware acceleration is a good thing and improves the performance of your PC, it tends to use too much CPU power, especially when it comes to Chrome. So, it would be better to turn it off.

If you want to turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome, you can do so by following these steps:

In Chrome’ Settings,’ search for ‘Hardware acceleration.’

You should find an option called ‘Use hardware acceleration when available.

Check to see if it is enabled. If so, disable it by clicking on it.

Turning off hardware acceleration should ideally resolve the problem.

Final Thoughts

You should resolve the issue, ‘Chrome using too much CPU’ by following the methods that you can find in this guide.

Similar techniques apply to all the other browsers, including Mozilla Firefox, Opera, and even Microsoft Edge.

Note that these are the most common techniques you can use if Chrome uses too much memory.

Martha Davis

Martha Davis is a computer hardware specialist who works extensively in designing and manufacturing hardware devices, researching advanced computer technology. She built as a platform to share her insight on computers and PC assembly with the web. Currently, she is carrying out her research on Robotics and Computer Vision and working privately to deliver services. Martha makes sure that readers of master the basics of setting up computer components like motherboard, CPUs, and GPUs through the informative articles that she writes.