How to make your Chrome browser work faster

Any Web browser has local cache, and everyone knows that its goal is to minimize the number of network requests by caching locally some resources like images or even the program code. The home page opens blazing fast? Sure, because the browser loads it from your disk cache, not from the network.
But let me question this holly grail of all Web browsers. Does local cache make your Internet browsing faster? I have two different ISP at this location. Take a look at the speed of my Verizon FIOS wireless internet connection produced by

Optimum Online is my second ISP and below is their data. Both ISP show pretty respectable speed, aren’t they?

Now back to local cache. Being a Web developer, I use several Web browsers to make sure that my JavaScript (a.k.a. HTML 5) applications look good on four major browsers. A regular person may not know a little dirty secret of Web developers – they often turn off the cache to make sure that the Web browser will always pick a fresh version of the application being worked on.

Recently, I started using Google Chrome for personal Web browsing. It’s a nice browser, but I noticed that some Web sites started loading really slow. Cleaning cache often helped. So I decided to make a more radical move – I simply disabled cache once and forever. Man, my Chrome started flying!

If you want to try this experiment too, here’s how to do it. Click on the image of a little wrench at the top right corner of the browser’s window, and select Tools | Developer tools. The bottom portion of your window will show the panel depicting the guts of the Web page you’ve been looking at. Then click on the little round Settings icon at the right bottom corner of the page. It’ll open a new panel, where you can easily find the Disable cache option. Just do it and let me know if you’ve noticed the difference. The same trick should work with other Web browsers too – just goggle on how to disable cache in yours.

6 thoughts on “How to make your Chrome browser work faster

  1. Yakov, you are on dual fiber optic channel – not to standard for most households. Also, cache is more for benefit of providers (paying for traffic large amount of money compared to consumer – 5-10 times more to serve the content then to receive it).

    1. Anatole, I have two ISP at my location. Updated the blog with the results of the second speed test. As you see, the download speed of a non-optical channel is even better. I don’t have a goal to use local cache for minimizing the network traffic for the benefits of ISP. I want my Web browser to work faster.

      1. The problem is the cost for Application SP, not ISP. By disabling browser cache the amount of traffic on each of the application server will go through the roof – bringing down overall application response time for ALL USERS. That is the reason why ISPs do not like torrents – if you use more sockets then your neighbor, you would get more bandwidth as it is going to be shared based on total number of sockets. In case of application bandwidth – servers are going to hit limits on total available bandwidth reloading static content and it would affect bandwidth of dynamic one. The only sites that would survive would be commercial ones that use Akamai or such. In the end you do not care about bandwidth, but only about application performance.
        I would be very curious to see why reading/writing to HD the cached content slows your machine that much – did you run iostat and benchmarks on your system?

  2. Lately Chrome had seemed like it was going a little slower than usual. Not slow, just slow-“er.” I disabled the cache. Still too early to tell, of course, but according to the preliminary load times of a few sites I visit regularly… I think you’re onto something here. Thanks for the idea. I’ll report back and let you know if it seems to be speedier in general.

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