Fixing Slow Extensions: Make Your Browser Fast Again

published on 30 October 2023

You may occasionally encounter performance issues that can slow down your browsing experience. Identifying a slow extension can help you take the necessary steps to address the problem and enjoy a faster, smoother online experience. Here’s a guide on how to detect a slow extension:

  • Observe browser performance: Pay attention to your browser’s overall performance. If you notice that your browser has become significantly slower or unresponsive, it may be due to one or more extensions causing performance issues.
  • Check CPU and memory usage: Modern browsers offer built-in tools to monitor CPU and memory usage by extensions. Open your browser’s task manager (often accessible via the browser’s menu or keyboard shortcut) to see which extensions consume the most resources. High CPU or memory usage can indicate a slow or poorly optimized extension.
Chrome Task Manager
Chrome Task Manager
  • Disable extensions one by one: To pinpoint the problematic extensions, you can disable them individually and test the browser’s performance after each disabling. Start with the extensions you suspect may be causing the issue. If turning off a particular extension noticeably improves performance, it’s likely the culprit.
  • Check for extension updates: Outdated extensions can sometimes cause performance problems. Ensure that all your extensions are up to date. Extension developers frequently release updates that address performance issues and other bugs.
  • Read user reviews and feedback: Check the reviews and feedback for the extensions you use in the respective browser extension store (e.g., Chrome Web Store, Firefox Add-ons). Other users often share their experiences, including any performance-related issues with specific extensions.
  • Consider alternative extensions: If you’ve identified a consistently slow extension and its performance issues aren’t improving, consider searching for alternative extensions that offer similar features but with better performance. Always read user reviews and ratings to gauge the quality and performance of alternative extensions.
  • Report issues to extension developers: If you believe an extension you rely on is causing performance problems, consider reporting the case to the extension’s developer. Many developers actively work to address user-reported issues and improve their extensions.
  • Regularly maintain your extensions: Periodically review your installed extensions and remove any that you no longer use or need. This can help reduce the overall load on your browser and improve its performance.

Identifying and managing slow extensions can help you maximise your browser’s capabilities while avoiding unnecessary performance bottlenecks.

If you are a developer of a browser extension, it’s crucial to optimize its performance for a better user experience. Read this article Optimizing Performance: How Our Extension Became Lightning Fast to learn how we enhanced Casca extension’s performance.

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