Prerendering in the best case speeds up specific processes. When it comes to web browsers the technology is used to pre-load and render websites to display them faster for the user.
This only works if the browser gets the site right though; If you look at a standard web search for instance, you will get ten search results by default plus other pages that you could click on.
It would be a tremendous waste of processing power and bandwidth if the browser would load all of those pages, especially if the user clicks on one result only on that page.
The Google Chrome web browser, and Chromium as well, use prerendering in a limited way. It may be used when you enter a phrase into the Chrome address bar. But which page or pages do get prerendered when this is happening?
That's easy to find out (thanks to François Beaufort who posted a short demonstration video on YouTube). All you need to do is to open the Google Chrome or Chromium Task Manager to see which pages get prerendered by the web browser.
You can open the Chrome Task Manager with a click on the Wrench icon, the selection of Tools and Task Manager, or alternatively by using the keyboard shortcut Shift-Esc to bring up the Task Manager directly.
Look for Prerender: entries in the Task Manager. The indicator is followed either by the site url that got prerendered or the page title. It may still take time to identify the prerendered link on the page as Google Chrome does not display information about it in the Task Manager.
Update: Google changed the way prerendering is disabled in Chrome. Load chrome://settings/ in Chrome, click on show advanced settings on the page that opens and uncheck "prefetch resources to load pages more quickly" in the options under privacy. The original method described below does not work anymore. End
Prerendering in the web browser is automatically enabled by default. Users who do not want to use the feature can disable it the following way. Enter chrome://flags in the address bar and locate the "Prerender from omnibox" option.
Enables prerendering of suggestions from the Omnibox and predicts appropriate network actions (prerendering, Instant, DNS preconnect) by calculating a confidence value for each Omnibox result.
Switch to disabled in the pulldown menu to turn the feature off.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.