Improve Chrome’s Startup Time By Installing A Background App

Chrome handles most browsing tasks like a champ, but the browser itself can slow down for various reasons. If you’re a Chrome “power user”, you might have noticed that its startup time takes a hit once you have a dozen or so extensions and apps installed.1

chrome background app

Chrome spins off every single app, extension, and tab as a separate process, resulting in a dozen or more processes to launch simultaneously when you start the browser. With every new extension or app, the number of “default” chrome processes increases and so does the startup time.

Thankfully, this problem can be solved by making use of “background apps”, which are unique to Chrome. As you probably guessed from the name, a background Chrome app will keep running in the background, even after you close all the Chrome windows. The obvious benefit of a background app is that it feels more native on your desktop compared to a regular web app. But there’s an added benefit as well – a background Chrome app will keep some of the chrome processes running all the time. So the next time you start Chrome, only a few extra chrome processes will need to be created, resulting in a faster startup. If you miss the good old days when Chrome used to start as fast as Notepad, simply installing a background app will take you back to those days. There are literally no other steps required.

For whatever reason, there aren’t many background apps available in the Chrome Web Store – you can find the few that are available with a simple search. The most popular of the background apps is one which you probably already know about – Google’s Offline Gmail app. If you’re using it, you really didn’t need to read this post. Please stop being furious and enjoy some kitty goodness. :)

[1] People using SSDs are unlikely to have this problem, as SSDs are much faster than regular hard disk drives.

The Author

Ashutosh Mishra

Ashutosh is an IT engineer from India who loves all things tech. Follow him on Twitter.
  • Guest

    The startup time is ok. Install new app will make the whole browser or system runs slower.

    • Ashutosh Mishra

      I have a fairly antique desktop, and haven’t noticed any performance issues after installing Offline Gmail. The background Chrome processes use around 100-150 MB of memory, and don’t use any CPU cycles. 

  • techno

    Thanks for this information but I agree with the comment. 

  • WaynesCellphoneDiary1

    My chrome time is ok too…. I see no major difference in when I just installed it and now.

  • WaynesCellphoneDiary1

    My chrome time is ok too…. I see no major difference in when I just installed it and now.

  • Computerprosolutions

    Thanks for sharing your post.

  • Computerprosolutions

    Thanks for sharing your post.

  • TunaFish

    Well even on SSD, it takes 6-7 secs to launch Chrome and become usable. It can get on your nerves if you have to launch chrome many times a day.

    By keeping Chrome running in background, it is now able to launch almost instantly. Thanks for the useful tip.

    • Avery Holder

      Maybe on a crap processor, but on my computer, 6 seconds is about how long it takes to be usable on a regular disk. An SSD would drastically decrease that I think.

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