How to speed up the Vivaldi web browser

The following guide lists tweaks and suggestions on how to speed up the Vivaldi web browser to reduce lag and improve the browser's performance.

Vivaldi is based on Chromium, and performance should not really be much of an issue because of this. However, the browser may feel sluggish or laggy at times, with actions like opening a new tab or switching to another tab being noticeably delayed.

I noticed the tab delay issue recently on a modern system running Windows 10, and decided to look into it to find a solution.

I did find the culprit after a while. If you open vivaldi://settings/all/ in a tab, all activities in the browser are delayed as long as the settings page remains open. So, make sure you close the settings when you are done modifying them.

Speed up the Vivaldi web browser

vivaldi speed up

First thing I did was go through all browser settings to optimize the preferences for performance.

Please note that some changes may reduce the functionality of the browser. If you cannot live without it, e.g. mouse gestures, then don't disable the option.

  • vivaldi://settings/tabs/ -- I set the New Tab Page to "specific page" but without setting one.
  • vivaldi://settings/tabs/ -- Disable "show popup thumbnails", "show tab thumbnails", "detect page title notifications", and "use unread indicators". This removes some eye candy from Vivaldi, and the highlighting of unread messages on select social media sites.
  • vivaldi://settings/startup/ -- Make sure "lazy load restored tabs" is enabled if the browser is set to load the last session on start.
  • vivaldi://settings/appearance/ -- Disable "use animation" and "use buttons in range controls". Try "use native window" to see if it makes a difference.
  • vivaldi://settings/themes/ -- Edit the current theme, and make sure "accent color from active page" is disabled.
  • vivaldi://settings/start-page/ -- Disable "show background image".
  • vivaldi://settings/addressbar/ -- Disable "fast forward and rewind"
  • vivaldi://settings/mouse/ -- Disable "allow gestures" and "allow rocker gestures".

These settings may reduce some of the performance issues that you may experience when running the Vivaldi browser.

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The Task Manager

vivaldi task manager

Tip: I suggest you make use of the built-in Task Manager to monitor memory and CPU utilization of the browser, gpu, tabs and extensions.

Extensions may slow down the browser, and you may want to disable some or even all to find out whether doing so improves the performance of the web browser.

Vivaldi start up parameters

Vivaldi supports pretty much the same startup parameters as Chromium and Google Chrome. While there may be some differences, you may use the following parameters to improve the browser's performance or resource usage further:

--process-per-site

This switches the multi-process model from using one process per page, to one process per site. Useful if you open multiple pages of the same site regularly at the same time, as you will save quite a bit of memory then.

--disk-cache-dir=z:\vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=104857600

This moves the disk cache that Vivaldi uses to drive z:\, and sets the maximum cache size to 100 Megabytes (the value is in bytes). If you have enough RAM, z: could be a ram disk to further improve the process.

--enable-low-end-device-mode

This enables low end device mode which improves memory consumption of the browser.

--enable-low-res-tiling

This enables low res tiling which helps on slower devices when scrolling pages.

How to add the parameters

vivaldi startup

On Windows, you right-click on the Vivaldi icon (for instance on the taskbar), and right-click on Vivaldi in the menu that opens. Select Properties in the menu that opens then, and add the parameters to the target field of the properties window.

Make sure that there is a "blank" between the path and filename, and the first parameter, e.g.

C:\Users\Martin\AppData\Local\Vivaldi\Application\vivaldi.exe --disk-cache-dir=Z:\Vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=1073741824

Now You: Have another tip for improving Vivaldi's performance?

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How to speed up the Vivaldi web browser
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The following guide lists tweaks and suggestions on how to speed up the Vivaldi web browser to reduce lag and improve the browser's performance.
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Responses to How to speed up the Vivaldi web browser

  1. happysurf February 13, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

    Great tips for this good browser.
    About the parameter:
    --disk-cache-dir=z:\vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=104857600
    what change in case of portable version?
    Thanks.

    • Martin Brinkmann February 13, 2017 at 2:41 pm #

      I have not tried that, but try removing the drive letter part from the directory, e.g –disk-cache-dir=\vivalditemp\ –disk-cache-size=104857600

  2. Klaas Vaak February 13, 2017 at 4:14 pm #

    Are there any extensions for Vivaldi yet? Any compatibility with Chrome extensions?

  3. Shadess February 13, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

    These actually seemed to help a lot, specially with RAM usage. Thanks!

    I always have a lot of tabs open mostly due to the poor bookmark functionality/performance and the performance has been and is my #1 annoyance with Vivaldi.

    On an i7, SSD and 5GB of FREE RAM currently - with lots of tabs open, opening another new blank tab takes second(s). Instantaneous on Chrome with the same amount of tabs.

    • Shadess February 13, 2017 at 5:12 pm #

      oh these seemed to make the bookmarks manager legit work like 50x faster with thousands of bookmarks.

      Switching tabs, at least among tabs from the same domain seems quite a bit more responsive too.

      Proving to be quite a nice guide! :)

      • Rick February 13, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

        @Shadess, do you use the Quick Commands menu? That was the only part of Vivaldi that I found slow (it practically seizes up the browser), and speculation has been that the flaw relates to having a lot of bookmarks. I'm wondering if Quick Commands is fast for you now and if so which of the changes might have remedied the problem.

      • Shadess February 14, 2017 at 4:42 am #

        @Rick I haven't used the quick commands menu as that basically doesn't work, at least if you have a lot of bookmarks or open tabs. Tried it a few times and usually Vivaldi just froze and crashed after a while. Tried now and typing "youtube" 100% froze my browser for at least a minute and a half. Didn't crash though.

        I was talking about just the bookmarks manager. Used to be pretty trash for me prior to today. Assuming "--process-per-site" made the difference for whatever reason. That or disabling popup thumbnails.

        Didn't do "--disk-cache...", "--enable-low-end-device-mode" or " --enable-low-res-tiling".
        I'll probably give "--enable-low-end-device-mode" a go too.

        And again on an i7, SSD and ~5gigs of FREE RAM after running Vivaldi. Opera 12 handled bookmarks better than Vivaldi or any of the modern browsers do. So backwards that certain aspects of browsers just get hastily added and perform worse on faster hardware than browsers did 10 years ago.

  4. MdN February 13, 2017 at 4:59 pm #

    Disabling mouse gestures might speed up the browser, but it slows down almost everything else that I want to do while browsing. Since I discovered those I refuse to surf without them (native in Opera and Vivaldi, pretty great extensions for Pale Moon and Firefox).

    • Le Blanc July 13, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

      You should check out one of the best application there is for mouse gestures : Strokes plus. It will solve your problem. Since i've discovered it, i don't need to use specific mouse gestures extensions on browsers and i can use mouse gestures for almost any task on windows and it works with other applications as well...

  5. Mike February 13, 2017 at 5:09 pm #

    Not to sound like a broken record, but I'm not sure why Vivaldi hasn't been putting more effort towards boosting their browser's performance natively. I want to give Vivaldi another shot, but the times that I have tried it, it has been noticeably slower than Chrome, Opera, Edge, and Firefox. Instead they seem focused on adding niche gimmicks like the Philips Hue compatibility. I will make the recommended adjustments and see if that makes Vivaldi worth using as my main browser again.

    • victor February 15, 2017 at 12:58 am #

      Agree, instead of fixing any bugs left, they keep focusing their development on introducing new features (which would introduce new bugs).

      It's half a year already and they still haven't fixed the saved session tabs bug.

  6. Ben February 13, 2017 at 6:42 pm #

    Vivaldi is still extremly slow on startup. Devs know it but don't change anything.
    Same with mousegestures and closing tabs/going to next tab. Takes ages compared to FF.

    • Henk van Setten February 14, 2017 at 12:18 am #

      @Ben: Exactly the same gripe here: Vivaldi will simply take about a hundred years to fully start up ;-) Because it's not my habit to keep unused browser windows open all day, this remains my main problem with it.

    • Andy D July 4, 2017 at 6:37 am #

      Have you tried to disable Vivaldi at Startup?
      Task Manager -> Startup -> Vivaldi

  7. Jeff-FL February 13, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

    Thanks Martin, it's super-fast now. do you have a guide like this for Firefox?

  8. AC February 13, 2017 at 9:34 pm #

    Does --enable-low-end-device-mode actively discard background tabs to save memory?

  9. Dave February 14, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    Vivaldi is not complete yet. As a matter of fact it's still rather young. Expect refinements in speed and performance after it's feature-complete, as it matures.

  10. Saint Cyprian February 15, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Thank you Martin. Your advice was of great help and did the job of speeding up the Vivaldi Browser.

  11. Rick February 16, 2017 at 4:19 am #

    How could using a slider in range controls, as opposed to buttons, possibly make a difference in this area?

  12. kubrick March 11, 2017 at 12:03 am #

    Why does this browser have google chrome settings,.?
    i installed vivaldi and tried cleaning my history only to be confronted by chrome settings.Which settings have priority here.?

    it will not allow me to customise the actual GUI,cant move icons etc .
    quite heavy on resources.
    Overall its a fast browser but i feel its chrome with a fancy coat on....
    Maybe in time i might consider it my main browser but i have nagging concerns like it being closed source and has google connections.

  13. Jessica April 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm #

    I'm confused about the --disk-cache-dir=z:\vivaldi\ --disk-cache-size=104857600 parameter, and expect that a lot of others who aren't as tech savvy as you might be as well. I looked at your guide here for Chrome, https://www.ghacks.net/2015/02/08/save-memory-in-chrome-by-using-one-process-per-site/, and it suggests that you need to mod the registry.

    I have plenty of RAM; my CPU is slow. So doing this as a RAM drive would be ideal. Don't expect you to give me a tutorial, but can you point me to a link that would explain more of this? Because this is one thing that I think could really fix Vivaldi for me. It worked quickly at first, but with recent upgrades (in March 2017) it has become progressively slower (possibly that they didn't release x64 version? dunno).

    Thanks--I think explaining this further could really help some others out, too.

      • Jessica April 3, 2017 at 5:28 am #

        Wow, that was quick; thanks!

        Is there a reason you prefer the AMD freeware? I looked at something that benchmarked them--it was admittedly old, but SoftPerfect RAM Disk was by far the fastest, and much, much faster than the AMD. And MajorGeeks has a copy of the last freeware version (now it's strictly paid, as you probably know).

        I'm still trying to figure all of this out, but looking at some other tutorials to fill in the gaps.

        Let me know if there is a significant benefit to the AMD you suggest, or if it is just a matter of the SoftPerfect freeware no longer being supported.

        Also: SoftPerfect warns that only a volatile disk should be used if you have CCleaner; do you know if that is the case for all cleaning software? I only run it manually. And should I exclude this from my Auslogics Disk Defrag (or does a defrag even work on a "virtual disk")?

        Thank you! You've always got all the info I want. And btw, the other tweaks you suggested have definitely sped up Vivaldi significantly.

      • Martin Brinkmann April 3, 2017 at 6:30 am #

        Actually, I do use the last free version of Softperfect RamDisk as well, and it works just fine. You are right that it is no longer maintained.

        You should ignore the RAM disk when you use tools like CCleaner or Defrag.

  14. Jessica April 3, 2017 at 6:42 am #

    EDIT ON ABOVE QQ: I ended up determining (from what I read) that formatting it as an image disk set to start with Windows rather than as a volatile disk should be fine (will uninstall CCleaner just in case). I formatted it as exFAT (which was optimal per most things I read--that won't be a problem on my Windows 10 x64 system, will it?).

    Will the data be persistent, and then just flushed out when it goes over the 100 mb threshold? Or will I lose it (despite how I configured it) every time? Would it be worthwhile putting other, non-temp data there (extensions that don't contain vital info, etc.)?

    FYI: I followed this fairly detailed guide (with the exception of the file format): (http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/windows-tips-tutorials-articles/36703-create-ramdisk-speed-up-your-windows-computer.html), and this one to enable exFAT (http://forum.thewindowsclub.com/windows-tips-tutorials-articles/36703-create-ramdisk-speed-up-your-windows-computer.html).

    And lastly: just to confirm: I can do the same thing for Chrome (substituting "Chrome" for "Vivaldi" in your parameter)? I didn't see that the file path for the cache was necessary when I looked in the Vivaldi file structure... and since they're both Chromium-based...

    Thanks for your patience and help!

  15. Vivaldi July 27, 2017 at 5:05 pm #

    Thank you for the good suggestions for those who like to tweak, but vivaldi 1.10.xx has serious flaws and none of these suggestions will fix the lag problems. It took me days to finally fix it. It has nothing to do with anything else nor hardware, it is a real plague with vivaldi 1.10.xxx

  16. Michael August 3, 2017 at 6:12 am #

    Great suggestions! Finally speedy enough that I can enjoy Vivaldi despite my bad habit of opening too many tabs.

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