Why Is My Chromebook So Slow?

We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re playing a game, watching a video, or typing up a document for work, when suddenly it happens. Your Chromebook slows to a crawl. If you’re anything like me, nothing is more annoying than seeing that little spinning circle telling me my Chromebook is going to be stuck for a while.

However, you shouldn’t despair as soon as this happens. There are actually several easy fixes to bring your Chromebook back up to speed, depending on what’s making it run slowly.

This article will not only take a look at some of the reasons your Chromebook is being slow, but also how you can find out the specific issue you’re having and how you can fix it.

So let’s see if we can diagnose your issue and get your Chromebook back up and running smoothly.

Why Is My Chromebook So Slow

Causes of Slow Speeds

There are several reasons why your Chromebook might be slowing down. Most of these causes are easy to fix if you know how to. One reason your machine is having issues is if it is running on out-of-date software.

I’m not going to pretend like I’ve never clicked the “Remind Me Later” button on a pop-up saying I need to restart to install updates. However, if you put off updating for too long (or don’t get the notification at all) then you can end up with a laptop that isn’t performing properly.

Your Chromebook may also be being slowed down by too many processes going on at once. Whether this is caused by having several dozen tabs open, if you’re downloading a large file while watching a video, or simply having too many things running at the same time (just to name a few examples), your Chromebook may struggle to keep up.

Another cause could be the internet connection. As Chromebooks rely heavily on an internet connection by nature, poor internet speeds could be causing your Chromebook to stutter to a halt in response.

While all of these issues have relatively simple solutions, there’s always the possibility that your Chromebook has just stopped working. This is just a worst-case scenario, and you should exhaust all other options before condemning your Chromebook to the Laptop Graveyard.

Why is My Chromebook Slow?

So now that you know some of the reasons why Chromebooks start to run slowly, let’s try and work out what’s causing the issue with your Chromebook specifically. This will take a bit of troubleshooting, so get ready to try a few different things.

The first thing to check is the easiest: your internet connection. You can check your connection either by looking at the internet icon in the bottom right-hand corner of the home screen or through the internet menu in your settings. You can also try connecting your Chromebook directly to your router via an ethernet cable.

Another simple way to speed up your Chromebook (and something that you should do regularly regardless) is clearing out the cache, cookies, and history data from your browser.

These are stored out of sight and mostly run in the background, so it can be easy to forget about them until they start to slow your machine down. Simply access the history menu in the top-right corner of Chrome and clear all.

Whether or not this is the root cause of your speed issue, this is sure to make a positive difference. In a similar vein, if you have too many tabs open at one time then this will also slow down your Chromebook. Try closing all tabs alongside clearing the data to see if this improves your speed.

If this doesn’t help, you should check the Task Manager to see if any processes are dragging your Chromebook down.

If something is using a massive amount of memory or CPU (among other things) consider closing it down. You might need to force-close the application if it’s having issues, so double-check to make sure it’s been shut down.

As mentioned before, if your Chromebook is behind on updates it may not be performing the way it should. You can see what software version you are currently running on by looking at the OS information.

This is found in Settings – open it up, and select ‘About Chrome OS’. If you look under ‘Google Chrome OS’ you’ll find your current version, along with an option to check for updates. Click this and see if you’re running behind.

If none of these work, consider taking your Chromebook to an expert to see what else can be done.

How to Speed Your Chromebook Back Up

Like I mentioned earlier, most of these issues are easy to fix. If you’ve managed to find the cause of the issue while running through these checks, it should be easy to get everything back to normal again.

If your issue was caused by too many processes, ie. you have too many tabs open, your cache and cookies are backed up, or if you’re trying to do everything at once, consider closing everything down to see if this improves things. Closing unneeded tabs, clearing out your history, and taking things one step at a time is an easy way to improve your Chromebook’s speed.

If the slow speed is down to your internet connection, you should try moving closer to your router, or even connect directly via an ethernet cable to ensure you’re getting the fastest connection possible. Connecting over the ethernet is also a great way to prevent any wifi drops, as a cabled connection is much more stable.

Use the OS data in your settings to make sure everything is up to date. You can also double-check your connection and run troubleshooting through the settings, so it’s always a good place to start when sorting out your Chromebook.

The task manager will give you some great information about the processes and applications that are currently running, as well as how much of a strain they’re putting on your Chromebook.

If an individual process or app is causing issues, try closing it down. If there are issues all around, close everything down and restart your Chromebook. This will give it a fresh start, and you’ll be able to see if there’s any change in the task manager.

So now you know how to find out what’s making your Chromebook run slowly, and some ways to fix it. These aren’t all the possible reasons for your Chromebook to be slow, and if these don’t fix the problem you should take it to an expert so they can take a closer look.

However, many of the causes of a slow Chromebook can be fixed yourself. So next time you see that spinning circle, don’t despair. Just follow these instructions and you’ll be back up to speed in no time!

About the author

Laptop Review Team

At LinuxHint we have a specialized team focused on studying the Laptop Computer market and writing about this space, providing reviews and insights to users to both make the right decisions about which laptops to purchase and also show tips and tricks on how to get the most value from your machine