How to Improve Slow Download Speed on Chrome?

Learn how to improve the slow file download speed on the Google Chrome browser. You can use these simple fixes to increase downloading speed on chrome.

In spite of 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 as compared to its counterpart.

This exact issue has been shared at Google Support Forums and has already managed to attract quite a lot of attention. At the time of writing, over 8000 users have upvoted the original poster’s query and their response also seems to be along similar lines.

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

Related: Google Chrome is Very Slow: How I Fixed it! (5+ Methods Added)

However, as I am deeply engrossed in the Google ecosystem, it was a tough choice to switch over to another browser. 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.

Enable Parallel Downloading in Chrome

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 at 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 single file and notify you about the completion of the download.

Here are the steps to enable parallel downloading chrome flags:

  1. Launch the Chrome browser on a computer.
  2. Open 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 little instability in the daily usage of the browser. If that is the case, then you should consider disabling the parallel downloading flag.

Disable Third-Party Extensions

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

There’s no extension as such that could literally boost up Chrome’s downloading speed quite considerably. Rather the extensions that you have installed beforehand might be exhausting the bandwidth in carrying out its daily activities. Therefore a much viable option in this regard will be to disable these extensions.

Here are the steps to disable the browser extensions on chrome:

  1. Launch Chrome browser on the computer,
  2. Click on vertical 3dots icon situated at the top right.
  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 use Internet, you could check that out on the extension listing page on the Chrome Web Store for Offline term.

It’s better to just disable the extension rather than completely removing them from your PC. Once the required file has been downloaded, you could simply 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 clients (which is 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 regularly delete these temporary internet files from time to time.

Here are the steps to clear the browsing data from chrome:

  1. Launch Chrome browser on the computer,
  2. Click on vertical 3dots icon for options menu.
  3. Select the Settings menu from the list.
  4. Switch to the Privacy and Security tab from the left page.
  5. Click on the Clear browsing data menu.
    This will open clear 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 one) is that it could slow down the loading speed of the webpages. As the browser may no longer be able to pick up bits of data of the associated website from the cache memory, hence it would have to load up the site from scratch.

However, this wait for a few extra seconds is definitely much more acceptable than waiting for 5-10 minutes extra for a file to be downloaded.

Scan and Remove Malware via Chrome

Note: available for windows 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 would it also slow down the rate of download. 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 scan and clean up the computer using chrome browser:

  1. Launch Chrome browser on the computer,
  2. Click on vertical 3dots icon for options menu.
  3. Select the Settings menu from the list.
  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 Clean up computer menu.
  7. Hit on the Find button.
    Scan and cleanup chrome browser on computer
  8. Chrome will now begin scanning your PC for potentially harmful programs and would subsequently remove them as well.

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 of paramount importance). Likewise, you should also avoid downloading .exe files directly from the web if you aren’t sure of the source’s reliability.

Bottom Line: Chrome File Download Speed

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.

There was an extension installed on my browser that notified me of price drops across various online stores. However, for that, it had to continuously keep on running in the background and interacting with those site’s servers.

Related: How to Manage Download Settings in Chrome Computer?

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

Lastly, here are the recommended web browsers for your computer and mobile phone that you should give a try.

WindowsMacOSiOSAndroidLinux
Chrome WindowsChrome MacChrome iOSChrome AndroidFirefox Linux
Firefox WindowsSafari MacSafari iOSEdge AndroidChrome Linux
Edge WindowsFirefox MacEdge iOSSamsung InternetEdge Linux

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