Chrome Running Slow on Mac: 4 Possible Reasons and 5 Fixes

Google Chrome is one of the best web browsers. It even rivals Safari, Mac’s native browser. Part of the reason why Chrome is so popular on Mac devices is that it allows third-party tools, extensions, and has Google Chrome account synchronization capabilities. 

However, there’s also no denying that Chrome is a very resource-demanding browser. The heavy use of CPU power can make Chrome run slow on your Mac. So that begs the question, what are the possible fixes? 

Hi, I’m Andreas, a software developer who understands the ins and outs of applications such as Google Chrome. Despite knowing that Chrome can be slow on Mac, I still use it. 

This gives me enough knowledge of how Chrome works and how to fix the issue. So if you’re interested in learning more, make sure to stick around. 

Why Is Chrome Running Slow on Mac?

Before I give you the fixes, let’s discuss a bit more about why Chrome is running slow on your Mac.

Reason 1 – Chrome Drains Resources

The most obvious reason is the resource-demanding nature of the web browser. Chrome is widely known to consume more RAM than any other web browser. This might be the reason why Chrome is running slow on Mac. But that’s not the only reason. 

Reason 2 – Extensions, Cookies, Cache

A common notion in the Mac community is that extensions, cache, and cookies can also be the issue. Google Chrome makes excellent use of third-party applications that improve your browsing experience. But some of these extensions could harbor malware. 

In addition, some extensions might not be compatible with Chrome’s code. So certain extensions could be the reason why Chrome is running slow on your Mac.

Reason 3 – Battery Life

Some say that MacBooks with poor battery life can also make Chrome run slow. Although I haven’t tested this theory, it does make sense. 

Your MacBook Pro or Air will compensate speed and performance for battery life. But if that’s the case, every application would run slow, not just Google Chrome.

Reason 4 – Faulty Chrome Updates

There’s one last reason why your Chrome might be running slow, and that’s due to failed Chrome updates. The update might be the culprit if you’ve recently updated Google Chrome and noticed a significant shift in speed and performance. 

Now that you have the rundown of the possible reasons, allow me to give you the possible fixes.

How to Fix Google Chrome Running Slow on Mac

You can do many things to speed up Google Chrome on your Mac. Here are a few that I’ve found effective over the years. 

Solution 1: Remove Extensions

Judging by why Chrome is running slow, we can run specific fixes to address each reason. So, naturally, the first fix is to delete extensions. Here is how.

Step 1: Launch Google Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.

Step 2: Click on “Settings” and go to “Extensions.”

Step 3: A new window will appear, showing all the extensions on your Chrome. Delete the ones you don’t need. 

Extensions run in the background, and they can take up lots of CPU resources, so you free up plenty of resources by deleting the extensions you don’t need. Although it’s not a long-term solution, deleting extensions will help if you’ve gone too far overboard. 

Solution 2: Clear Caches and Cookies

The second solution addresses a similar issue – cache and cookies. Although extensions, cache, and cookies are entirely different, we can delete cache and cookies to speed up the browser. 

We do this because cookies and cache might contain malware. Not every malware, such as ransomware, will lock you out of your system. Some malware deliberately slows down your browser and eats up computer resources by performing processes in the background. 

So it might be worth your time to delete cache and cookies if you haven’t done it in a while. However, remember that if you do that, you will be logged out of all websites where you have an account. So make sure you write down your log-in credentials before deleting cookies and cache. 

With that said, here is how to do that.

Step 1: Launch Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner. Click “More Tools” and “Clear browsing data.”

Step 2: A new window will appear outlining all the data you can delete. Select “Caches, images, and files” and “Cookies and other site data” (optionally select ”Browsing history” and “Download history”).

You can see how much storage each option takes up. By deleting both, you are freeing up storage space. 

In some cases, the abundance of data stored through cookies and cache files might be the reason why Google Chrome is running slow on your Mac, especially if you’re running low on storage space. 

But in most cases, it’s harmful malware that is making Chrome run slow on your Mac. 

Solution 3: Update Chrome

The third fix is to update Google Chrome on your Mac. I mentioned that sometimes Chrome doesn’t update properly. So, you’ll need to determine if Chrome needs to be updated. 

Luckily, it’s super easy to check if Chrome needs an update. Here is how to do that.

Step 1: Launch Chrome and click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner. Then, go to “Help,” and “About Chrome.”

Step 2: Chrome will tell you if it needs an update on this screen. After a few seconds, it will display a blue checkmark or red or orange color. A blue checkmark means Chrome is up-to-date. However, anything other than a blue checkmark means you need to update it. 

If so, click on the button next to the Chrome version to update the browser. 

Updating Google Chrome can resolve the issue of your browser running slow. Since updates are meant to fix issues, such as performance and speed issues on Chrome, it is worth your time to update Chrome if it does require one.

Solution 4: Shut Down Chrome From Activity Monitor

If Chrome is still acting slow, a possible solution is to open Activity Monitor to shut down Chrome. The Activity Monitor is a tool that tells you exactly how much hardware resources each app takes. To open Activity Monitor, do the following:

Step 1: Click on the “Go” menu and then “Utilities.”

Step 2: Under “Utilities,” look for “Activity Monitor.” Double-click to open it.

Step 3: While in Activity Monitor, look for Chrome. Select it, press the “X” in the top left, and a pop-up message will appear. Click “Stop” and then on the next pop up window press “Force Quit”.

Solution 5: Reinstall Chrome

The final solution is the good old uninstall and reinstall fix. Even if Chrome updates as it should, many things could interfere with your browser. These problems are all making it run slow on your Mac. 

So, here is how to reinstall Google Chrome.

Step 1: Click on “Finder” and go to “Applications.”

Step 2: In the Applications screen, look for Google Chrome.

Step 3: Right-click on Google Chrome and select “Move to trash.”

Step 4: After deleting Chrome, go to and download Chrome for Mac. Follow the installation wizard and launch Chrome

In many cases, reinstalling Chrome can solve the issue. However, you should try this fix as a last resort. Sometimes, it’s better to try and optimize Chrome to solve the speed issue rather than uninstalling it. 


That concludes this guide on the four reasons and five fixes for Google Chrome running slow on Mac. No doubt there could be more issues making the browser run slow, and the number of solutions could be equally large.

Your main goal should be to optimize Google Chrome to get a better browsing experience. You can do that by making sure Chrome is up to date, deleting unnecessary and harmful extensions, and deleting cookies and cache that contain malware. 

If nothing works and Chrome still runs slow on your Mac, I advise reinstalling Chrome as that might solve the problem. I hope this guide explains the causes and fixes to solve your problem.

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