Solving Problems: Google Chrome freezes on each page

Since days I’m having the following problem: when I open a page in Google Chrome, it gets loaded, then it stops loading and the browser freezes for about a second or up to four. Since this happens on every page I load, even google search itself, I was so annoyed that I was about to abandon this lagging browser from my Mac.

For development purposes, Google Chrome is very nice. It’s not the browser of my choice for the daily everything browsing session – I love Safari more on that – but when it comes to developing I’m more and more switching over since the DevTools are quite awesome – and I’m not getting used to the ones shipped with latest Safari.

So heads up: find the solution to the problem. Fire up Google and search for it…

There are a lot of blog posts and discussion articles around tackling quite similar problems. I nearly went through them all, finding myself reading several years old answers. That won’t help me! Even my biggest hope, stackoverflow or its sisters superuser wasn’t much of a help in here. Yes, there are some questions I couldn’t have had asked more precisely, but there were no answers.

So after tweaking some settings regarding GPU and vsync and that sort of thing I found in various articles, I reset them all to default and went for some tasks on my own – unfortunately in the wrong order, so I had to go through all of those:

  • First guess: log out of Google account and restart Chrome; but no, no change.
  • Then I cleared out the complete history and cache, restarted again – without any change.
  • Next I uninstalled a DevTools extensions that was needed for; sound promising – but, nothing.
  • I disabled Googles PageSpeed extension… well, nope.
  • Now, before disabling all extensions one by one, I went the other way round: Start a new Incognito window, i.e. without any extensions and so on and: whohoo, no lags!

So what is the problem? Going back to normal mode and disabling all extensions – no lags! So start by adding one after the other again, restarting Chrome everytime, loading some test pages again and I came up with: “Edit This Cookie” – Chrome freezes and lags again!

I don’t know what this freeky application does besides of letting me edit a cookie, but it looks like there is a lot more going on in the background. I read about ads and stuff, so I quickly removed it – gone forever!

Now I can use Chrome again – yeah!

One interesting aspect here is that I’ve been using this extension (or at least had it enabled) for quite some time now, but the problems occured only in the past days. At least they went so badly in the past days. My guess for now is that it might have something to do with automatic updates of such extensions – which directly leads me to another big point everyone should have in mind: Installing extensions, testing and keeping is fine, but you never know what you’ll get shipped onto your computer tomorrow!

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