Google Chrome, a web browser built for speed, runs terribly slowly if I leave it on for a several hours. It's like it is using a lot of memory though it is not. Tabs are very slow to load or switch between. CPU and RAM usage both appear to be normal. If I reboot Ubuntu entirely and then open Chrome, it runs fine.

Editing /etc/nsswitch.conf made no difference. Hardware acceleration is on. Google Chrome Version 47.0.2526.106 (64-bit).

  • Anecdotally, I noticed Chrome ran a lot faster when a switched from X to Wayland.
    – Owen
    Mar 29, 2020 at 16:02

5 Answers 5


Disabling "Use hardware acceleration when available" in


Fixed the problem.

  • 3
    We're now in 2019, and it seems Google fixed this issue ; I wouldn't follow this advice anymore.\
    – Déjà vu
    Sep 8, 2019 at 1:36
  • 2
    It's still valid in Chrome 79 and Debian stretch
    – javsmo
    Dec 30, 2019 at 12:58
  • 1
    This was a problem for Linux Mint 2021 as well - very long startup.
    – easyrider
    Jan 23, 2021 at 17:25
  • 1
    It is now June 2021, and I can confirm disabling this option fixes the slowness and long-lag between key strokes. I am using AMD CPU and Nvidia GPU, on Ubuntu 20.04.
    – Joshua T
    Jun 3, 2021 at 10:54
  • 1
    Seems like problem is still valid for Ubuntu 20.04.3 LTS and Version 97.0.4692.99 (Official Build) (64-bit). Disabling hardware accelaration fixes it. Jan 29, 2022 at 15:17

This seems to a bug with hardware acceleration and you can see the slowness when tab switching.

go to chrome://settings/system

Disable hardware acceleration since it doesn't help:

Chrome Hardware Acceleration


Once I also faced the same problem. I searched for why Chrome is slow. My situation:

  • Chrome is not updated
  • Newly installed Ubuntu
  • Hardware acceleration is enabled

Here is a solution to this problem:

  • Update your Chrome

    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get upgrade
  • Disable hardware acceleration chrome://settings/?search=hardware

  • Thanks for the solution. I use Linux Mint 19.3 in an old Toshiba satellite A-200. Chromium browser was very slow until I disable hardware acceleration and it became much faster. Nov 26, 2020 at 9:38

@Seth! First of all, kudos to you for providing such a helpful answer to the slow Chrome issue!

Disabling "Use hardware acceleration when available" in Chrome's settings (chrome://settings/system) was indeed the key to fixing the problem. It appears that this option, while beneficial for many, can sometimes lead to slowdowns on certain systems, especially when there are GPU driver compatibility issues.

I would like to add a bit more information for users who might be facing similar problems. Chrome has introduced a Performance section in newer versions (110 and onwards), which offers two features: Memory Saver and Energy Saver. The Memory Saver feature automatically suspends inactive tabs to free up memory, significantly improving the browser's responsiveness. On the other hand, the Energy Saver feature is particularly useful for laptop users as it limits background activity and visual effects to conserve power.

Here are screenshots of the Performance section in my Chrome settings, where you can enable these features:

enter image description here enter image description here

To check if you have the Performance section available in your Chrome settings, ensure you have the latest version of Chrome installed. Google frequently updates the browser to address performance issues and introduce new features.

It's quite amusing to note that despite Chrome being known for its speed and simplicity, it seems to have struggled with this issue for Ubuntu users for over seven years now. Sometimes, technology just loves to keep us guessing.

Happy browsing!


My issue was very unstable youtube - page took x10 slower then usual to load, page itself was flaky, responsiveness was poor. Strangely it was working fine on same PC in firefox, but chrome was just unusable.

Year after i managed to fix it by enabling

  • chrome://flags/#ignore-gpu-blocklist
  • chrome://flags/#enable-vulkan

(also don't forget to install vulkan and mesa drivers!)

After latest release same issue reappear. After trying same fixes over and over again i managed to find the culprit - it was adblock chrome extension. I guess its somehow related with recent youtube wars with adblock community.

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