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Improve Slow Download Speed Faster in Chrome browser

Are you having slow downloading speeds in Google Chrome on your computer? Learn how to improve file download speed in your browser.

You can face slow downloading issues on the Chrome browser.

In that case, you can try different methods such as enabling parallel downloading, disabling conflicting third-party extensions, clearing browsing data, customizing the firewall, and scanning & removing malware from the system.

Improve Slow Download Speed on Chrome browser

Despite all the goodies that it has to offer, Chrome is notoriously infamous for hogging quite a lot of memory resources. But its issue doesn’t seem to end here. There have been numerous complaints from users that they tend to experience a slower download speed on this browser than its counterpart.

This issue has been shared in the Chrome Support thread and has attracted much attention. At the time of writing, over 8000 users have upvoted the original poster’s query, and their response seems similar.

I, too, have a near about similar experience with this browser. Initially, I attributed it to issues with my ISP. However, it soon became an everyday routine, with files taking ages to download. Then I tried switching to a non-Chromium alternative (Firefox), and the increment in download speed was unquestionably there to notice.

However, I am deeply engrossed in the Google ecosystem, so switching to another browser was a tough choice.

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Note: If you’re looking for why the Chrome browser is slow but not the download speed, you can refer to the linked article.

Fortunately, the need for the same didn’t arise as I was able to improve the slow download speed on Chrome via a few handy workarounds. And in this guide, I have shared all of them. So without further ado, let’s get started.

Download Rate Limiter

Many downloading sites put a download rate limiter to offer a limited downloading speed. It depends upon the site-to-site and your membership status. The premium member might have a high downloading speed compared to a free or basic plan member.

If that is the case, the downloading speed limit won’t be bypassed no matter what you do on the Chrome browser. If you try to trick the downloader site, it might terminate your download connection.

Stop Background App and Updates

The network connection has a limited bandwidth speed for download. If you feel that Chrome is not performing better at downloading, then there are chances that some other applications or software are consuming the network.

The best bet you can take is to quit the background apps and system updates. You can use Force Quit on Mac and Task Manager on Windows PC to check the background processes.

To stop the system updates, you should check the

  • Mac under the Apple menu > System Settings > General > Software updates
  • Window under Start menu > Settings > Windows Updates

Just making sure that no other background app or system upgrades are in process, the bandwidth will be fully utilized by Chrome browser to get downloading faster.

Disable Third-Party Extensions

The internet community seems divided into two halves regarding extensions in this domain. While some recommend installing third-party extensions to boost the speed, others take a different approach and suggest disabling the extensions. And I stand with the latter half of the group.

There are extensions as such that could boost Chrome’s downloading speed quite considerably. Instead, the extensions you have installed beforehand might be exhausting the bandwidth in carrying out its daily activities.

Therefore a viable option in this regard will be to disable these extensions. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Launch Chrome browser on the computer,
  2. Click on the Morevertical 3dots icon options menu.
  3. Hover on More Tools > Extensions.
  4. Toggle the button to disable all the extensions that require an active internet connection.
    Disable Extensions in Chrome Browser

If you aren’t sure whether an extension uses the Internet, you could check that out on the extension listing page on the Chrome Web Store for the Offline term.

It’s better to disable the extensions than remove them altogether from your PC. Once the required file has been downloaded, you can re-enable the extension without the need to re-install them and set it up from scratch.

Clear Browsing Data

The process of downloading files is the transfer of data packets from the server to the client (your PC). However, if your browser has accrued its own set of temporary data over the due course of time, then it might slow down the entire browser.

The best bet is to delete these temporary internet files from time to time regularly. Here are the steps to clear the browsing data:

  1. Launch Chrome browser on the computer,
  2. Click on More vertical 3dots icon for the options menu.
  3. Select the Settings menu from the list.Google Chrome Settings options
  4. Switch to the Privacy and Security tab from the left page.
  5. Click on the Clear browsing data menu.
    It will open a precise browsing data pop-up window in Chrome.
  6. Enable checkbox against Cookies and other site data and Cached images and files.
  7. Hit the Clear Data button.
    Clear Browsing Data from Chrome Computer

The only drawback (if you would like to call it one) is that it could slow down the loading speed of the web pages. As the browser may no longer be able to pick up bits of data of the associated website from the cache memory, it would have to load up the site from scratch.

However, waiting a few extra seconds is much more acceptable than waiting 5-10 minutes to download a file.

Scan and Remove Malware via Chrome

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Note: available for Windows PC users only.

There could have been instances where you might have unintentionally visited an insecure website or downloaded a malicious third-party Chrome extension. If that is the case, then there is a possibility of the browser getting infected with malware. These virus programs continuously run in the background, track your data, and could even send it to unauthorized users.

Not only does it lead to privacy risk, but it also slows down the rate of downloads. As the malware is already transferring data packets in the background, the server load might considerably increase on your end, and as a result, the download might even fail to start.

In this regard, you could use Chrome’s built-in scanner tool to find and remove harmful software on your PC. Here are the steps to clean up the computer:

  1. Launch the Chrome app on the computer,
  2. Click on More vertical 3dots icon for the options menu.
  3. Select the Settings menu from the list.
    Google Chrome Settings options
  4. Scroll to the bottom and hit on Advanced.
  5. Choose the Reset and clean up at the bottom of the Advanced section.
  6. Select the Clean up computer menu.
  7. Hit on the Find button.
    Scan and cleanup chrome browser on computer
  8. Chrome will begin scanning your PC for potentially harmful programs and remove them.

From now on, you should avoid visiting sites that don’t follow the HTTPS or SSL security protocols (or verify the domain credibility of that site if visiting it is paramount). Likewise, you should avoid downloading .exe files directly from the web if you aren’t sure of the source’s reliability.

Enable Parallel Downloading

Chrome has a dedicated flags section for letting users test the browser’s experimental features. One of these flags comes with the option to initiate parallel downloading. So rather than downloading a file in one go, Chrome will break it into smaller data packets to decrease the load on the server.

Once all these packets have been downloaded, the browser will pack them into one file and notify you about the download completion. Here are the steps to enable parallel downloading experimental flag:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser on a computer.
  2. Open the below Chrome flags URL address in the browser.
    chrome://flags
  3. Now search for Parallel Downloading experiments.
  4. Click on the drop-down and change its state to Enabled.
    Enable Parallel Downloading Chrome Flag
  5. Hit the Relaunch button for the changes to take effect.

Since it is an experimental feature, you might experience a slight instability in the daily usage of the browser. You should consider disabling the parallel downloading flag if that is the case.

Bottom Line

So this was all from this guide on improving the slow download speed in the Chrome browser. We have shared four different methods regarding the same. In my case, the combination of the second and third methods worked out.

An extension was installed on my browser that notified me of price drops across various online stores. However, it had to continuously run in the background and interact with those sites’ servers.

This exhausted most of my network bandwidth and slowed the full download speed. Disabling and then deleting its associated cache and cookies work out quite well. That said, we would like to hear your opinions in the comments as to which method gave desirable results.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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