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How to fix Google Chrome not responding

Google Chrome is the most popular browser. There was a time when the browser was one of the least resource hungry browsers on the market. It’s low resource consumption, and its clean UI was what led it to dominate the browser market. Chrome still has a clean UI but it has since grown to consume more system resources.

Google Chrome not responding

Google Chrome not responding

Google Chrome consumes quite a bit of RAM. Its memory leaks are rare but it will use up quite a bit of RAM. The browser is still powerful and often the ideal browser for using powerful web apps. The browser will use more RAM if you’re using a web app like Pixlr but it will still work. If you’re using Chrome and it often enters an unresponsive state, there is likely a problem with the browser. Here’s what you can do to fix it.

1. Free up system resources

If you’re using a particularly complex web app, it’s worth freeing up system resources. Chrome may be struggling to run smoothly because it needs more CPU power. It’s not a fault with the browser and more a requirement of the web app that isn’t being met.

Quit all other apps that are running on your system. Close all other Chrome windows, and tabs that you have open and then try using the web app. 

2. Enable/disable hardware acceleration

Chrome supports hardware acceleration. This may help the browser load web apps and run them more efficiently, or it may cause problems. Try toggling the state of hardware acceleration in Chrome.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button (three dots button).
  3. Select Settings from the menu.
  4. Click Advanced in the column on the left.
  5. Click System.
  6. Turn Hardware acceleration Off if it’s on, or On if it’s off.

3. Update Chrome

Check if your browser is up to date. Chrome doesn’t force a user to update the browser but it not updating the browser can cause problems such as an unresponsive browser.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button at the top right.
  3. Go to Help>About Google Chrome.
  4. Chrome will check for, download, and install an update.
  5. Relaunch Chrome.

4. Disable extensions

Extensions are great but they can cause problems. They can end up using quite a bit of memory and if they haven’t been written well, they may cause problems with the browser itself going so far as to crashing it.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button at the top right.
  3. Go to More tools>Extensions.
  4. Turn the switch under each extension off.
  5. Check if Chrome is still unresponsive.

If Chrome runs fine with extensions enabled, an extension is likely to blame. Enable them again, one by one, to see which is causing the problem.

5. Clear Chrome cache

Problems with the cache can cause Chrome to become unresponsive. Try clearing the Chrome cache and check if the problem goes away.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. Click the more options button at the top right and select Settings in the menu.
  3. Go to Privacy and security from the column on the left.
  4. Click Clear browsing data.
  5. Select Cookies and other site data.
  6. Select Cached images and files.
  7. Click Clear Data.
  8. Relaunch Chrome.

6. Scan the system

Malware often targets browsers. If Chrome has been infected, it may randomly become unresponsive. Scan your system for infections and remove them.

  1. Open Windows Defender.
  2. Go to Virus and threat protection.
  3. Click Scan options.
  4. Select Full Scan.
  5. Click Scan Now.
  6. Remove all infections that are found.

7. Clear DNS/IP

Chrome’s problems can be traced to your internet settings. Try flushing the DNS cache on your system.

  1. Open Command Prompt.
  2. Run the following commands one-by-one.
ipconfig /flushdns
netsh winsock reset
  1. Restart Chrome.

8. Disable VPN and proxies

If you’re using a VPN or a proxy tool, disable it. It may not be compatible with Chrome. On that note, if you’re running apps on your desktop that monitor network traffic, disable them as well and see if the problem goes away. Apps that intercept network traffic from a browser can often cause problems with it and Chrome is no different.

9. Clean install Chrome

If all else fails, clean install Chrome.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to Programs>Uninstall a program.
  3. Select Chrome and click the uninstall button.
  4. Open File Explorer.
  5. Navigate to this location: C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Roaming
  6. Delete the Google folder in this location.
  7. Download and install Chrome again.

Conclusion

Chrome has become more resource heavy over the years and web apps have become more powerful. At some point, a website or a web app may be too heavy for the browser to handle. If Chrome enters an unresponsive state for a particular website but works fine with all others, the problem lies with the website and not the browser. 

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