Speed up Chrome start by lazy loading tabs - gHacks Tech News

Speed up Chrome start by lazy loading tabs

Native Lazy Tabs is a free browser extension for Google Chrome that speeds up the loading of the web browser by using lazy loading.

You may have noticed that Chrome's startup performance lacks severely if Google Chrome is configured to load the previous browsing session on start.

The core reason for that is the Chrome will load sites in any tab on start, regardless of how many tabs are open in the web browser.

If you had 50 or 100 tabs open in the last browsing session, Chrome will load these tabs on start. That's bad for the startup performance as you will notice lag while Chrome loads all of the sites. It is also bad for memory use, as all sites use RAM when they are loaded.

Most web browsers support a feature that blocks this from happening. Firefox for instance loads only the active tab when you have configured it to restore sessions, and will load sites in other tabs only on selection.

Vivaldi has the lazy load feature built-into the browser's startup settings (vivaldi://settings/startup/), and Opera has a similar feature that is called "delay loading of background tabs" which you find under opera://settings/.

Only Google Chrome, the browser with the largest market share, does not support this functionality.

Native Lazy Tabs

lazy load tabs chrome

While there are some solutions available for Chrome that address this issue, all date back to 2014 or earlier, and don't work super reliably.

Native Lazy Tabs changes that. It uses the tab discarding method that Google introduced as an API in Chrome 54. The extension blocks all but the active tab from being loaded on Chrome start.

The tabs are still shown in the Chrome interface, and you won't lose any records because of this. The sites are not loaded though, which you will notice during start of Chrome as the start is super fast in comparison, and when you compare memory use before and after installing the extension.

You can check this in the Chrome Task Manager, where you will only see the active tab loaded on start, whereas you'd see all sites open in tabs loaded without the extension.

The screenshot of the task manager above shows Chrome's memory use and the tabs that are open in the browser with Native Lazy Tabs enabled.

Below is a screenshot of the same Chrome session with Native Lazy Tabs disabled. About 30 or so extra tabs are loaded, and Chrome's memory use is roughly three times as high right on start.

chrome without lazy load

Startup is slower without the extension. While Chrome's interface is displayed in about the same time, you will notice that the loading of tabs slows down the browser significantly until all sites have been loaded.

Verdict

Native Lazy Load is a useful browser extension for all Chrome users who have configured Chrome to load the previous browsing session on start. You will notice that Chrome will start faster, and that memory use is way lower. A feature like this should be built-in the browser in my opinion.

Summary
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5 based on 7 votes
Software Name
Native Lazy Tabs
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Browser
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Comments

  1. Ben said on June 2, 2017 at 10:36 am
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    Chrome cannot even do this by default? Wow. Laughable.

  2. Yuliya said on June 2, 2017 at 12:25 pm
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    It’s stuff like this that prevents me from using Chromium. You need an extension for everything and then end up with a barely working browser because it becomes a resource hog. It’s also got one of the worst bookmarks managers in the history of browsers.

  3. Paul said on June 2, 2017 at 8:17 pm
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    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 2, 2017 at 8:35 pm
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      Yes it is. Chrome loading time is slower with FooTab, and if you check the memory use, you will notice that all tabs are loaded in memory.

      1. Paul said on June 2, 2017 at 9:03 pm
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        Thanks, Martin.

  4. Saltyman said on June 3, 2017 at 12:06 am
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    Hi Martin,

    I’m the author of this extension. I visit your site regularly and I got surprised when I saw this today. Thanks for publishing this, I really appreciate it.

    And I agree with you and the users above: a built-in feature for this is a no-brainer, it’s ridiculous to need a extension for this.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 3, 2017 at 5:42 am
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      Great extension, deserves all the praise it gets (and more). Let me know when you create a new one in the future, I will likely cover it as well.

      1. Saltyman said on August 2, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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        Hi Martin,

        I made a new extension which improves the image scaling of Chrome by applying the “webkit-optimize-contrast” value from image-rendering CSS property. It’s pretty noticeable for some images, for others not so much. And note: it only works for resized images, where the image scaling takes place.

        Here’s the link: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/better-image-scaling/cjifmfjjelmmfknfijnfdciabkblgame

        Honestly, it’s a pretty “silly” and simple extension: I will leave to you to judge if it’s worth an article on your site, hehehe.

        If you do, here’s a tip: show a comparison without the extension, with the extension and with Firefox. Even with my extension, Firefox image scaling is vastly superior to Chrome image scaling: that’s what motivated me to do it.

        This link have good images to compare: http://projectsoane.com/winners_2016. To see the difference, open the images but don’t zoom out them.

    2. Andreas W said on September 23, 2017 at 8:30 pm
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      Thank you for doing this! I looked for this for years.

  5. Jeff-FL said on June 3, 2017 at 1:24 am
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    I always have chrome start to a single blank page, and if i want a previous session, i use Session Buddy, which has an option to lazy load.

  6. Paul(us) said on June 3, 2017 at 7:22 pm
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    Martin, Thanks for the article and tip for this handy add-on program. I agree this has to be build in.

    I have only a question maybe its me but when I installed the native lazy tab 0.2 version from the Google add-on site and tried to activate (by checking it) the also working in incognito mode, it was not working (activating himself) on main Google Chrome 58.0.3029.110 Stable (64 bit) (2017-05-09 release date). Is it me do i do something wrong?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on June 3, 2017 at 8:48 pm
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      Paulus, I did not test it in Incognito mode. Maybe the developer will chime in again?

    2. Saltyman said on June 3, 2017 at 9:54 pm
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      Hi Paulus,

      I disabled the option to use “Allow in incognito” mode because the extension can’t do anything there: it can only discard tabs from the last session, and incognito doesn’t save any session.

      But let me know what you think. Do you think it’s better to leave the option available even if doesn’t do anything?

      Thanks for the feedback.

      1. Paul(us) said on June 4, 2017 at 1:08 pm
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        Thanks Martin Brinkmann and Saltyman, for addressing main question. In the good old days I would not have asked you main question about the possibility to reinstall tabs in private mode because I was still young, innocent and I was still trusted the creators by thinking that Google Chrome really would take take of business, by cleaning after him self after you close the browser application (And I have the scars to prove it).

        But wise thru the years I have come up with to many situations that the so called private mode is (again and again) leaving data (even after Chrome fixes) not only in the browser but also on the computer.
        Even when I am working in a sandbox (Being Sandboxie, And maybe I have to choose another software package? ) in private mode even then the Chrome browser is leaving traces behind in the browser himself.

        So now a days I use before i close the browser application i use the add-on click and clean (Right now up to version 8.9.8.8) to clean up after may self.

        Therefore I am contemplating why the extension Native Lazy Tabs not should have a “Allow in incognito”.
        This would be ferry helpful when it had a sort of session save and where the tabs are up again but the sites are not loaded though? I hope to hear/read your thoughts about the possibilities Saltyman and Martin.

  7. Saltyman said on June 4, 2017 at 2:38 am
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    Martin, just leaving an update here: version 0.3 has been published, and now discards tabs for all windows (I didn’t know that it was possible to re-open multiple windows after exiting the browser).

    1. Michael said on June 6, 2017 at 9:35 pm
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      Thank you very much for fixing this issue,
      as I am the reporter of the problem :)

    2. Jacob Groß said on December 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm
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      Seems like the extension has been removed from Web store. What happened?

  8. wilfried said on June 5, 2017 at 11:29 pm
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    50 till 100 tabs open and complaining about the start up time … oh yes, i forgot … ghacks and Google …

  9. hrj said on June 15, 2017 at 9:11 pm
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    Thanks for discovering this plugin, and to the plugin author for creating it.

    Since the chrome plugin store doesn’t work for me, I searched for an open-source version of it, and found one here https://www.crx4chrome.com/extensions/ianooggapgmmmfojacmhnfaheidgpbki/ which was GPL licensed.

    So I took the code and modified it further: if there is a new-tab in a window, the extension swithches to that tab, thus preventign a normal tab from loading. If a new-tab is not present in a window, then it is created.

    Code available here: https://github.com/hrj/sloth/

  10. Mushaf said on December 15, 2017 at 7:29 am
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    Today I noticed Chrome extensions page stating: “This extension violates the Chrome Web Store policy.”

    It has been removed from Chrome Web Store as well. Any idea why?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on December 15, 2017 at 7:37 am
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      I don’t know. I still have it installed in Chrome though. It is such a great extension.

  11. Robert Ab said on December 15, 2017 at 7:34 am
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    I have noticed today that Native Lazy Tabs were disabled by Google: all websites started loading at the same time, icon disappeared from toolbar and when I went to chrome://extensions/ I noticed that addon is disabled and the following message next to it: “This extension violates the Chrome Web Store policy”

    Also addon is no longer available from Chrome extension web store.

    1. Adam said on December 18, 2017 at 4:58 pm
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      You can still get the version 0.7 from crx.dam.io/ext/ianooggapgmmmfojacmhnfaheidgpbki.html

  12. JT said on December 16, 2017 at 6:42 pm
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    The extension has been taken down from the Chrome Web Store. Anyone have an update from the developer?

    1. Adam said on December 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm
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      You can still download it from https://crx.dam.io/ext/ianooggapgmmmfojacmhnfaheidgpbki.html
      Or else you can use the similar open source Chrome extension: Lazy Tabs https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/lazy-tabs/aabgbgciohhaogajcnacpgilhmacdahc

  13. Robert Ab said on December 19, 2017 at 8:59 pm
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  14. anonymous said on February 17, 2018 at 8:12 am
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    Hi

    seems chrome has a flag like this (?)
    or this is something else?

    Thanks

    ================================================
    Only Auto-Reload Visible Tabs (Mac, Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, Android)

    Pages that fail to load while the browser is offline will only be auto-reloaded if their tab is visible.
    #enable-offline-auto-reload-visible-only

  15. QuadroVal said on March 13, 2018 at 1:39 pm
    Reply

    Check this out
    https://github.com/ekonoval/TabsLazyLoad_thegreatsuspender
    it’s done on the basis of TheGreatSuspender extension but suspends all the tabs on browser startup

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