Speed up Chrome start by lazy loading tabs

Native Lazy Tabs is a free browser extension for Google Chrome that speeds up the loading of the web browser by using lazy loading.

You may have noticed that Chrome’s startup performance lacks severely if Google Chrome is configured to load the previous browsing session on start.

The core reason for that is the Chrome will load sites in any tab on start, regardless of how many tabs are open in the web browser.

If you had 50 or 100 tabs open in the last browsing session, Chrome will load these tabs on start. That’s bad for the startup performance as you will notice lag while Chrome loads all of the sites. It is also bad for memory use, as all sites use RAM when they are loaded.

Most web browsers support a feature that blocks this from happening. Firefox for instance loads only the active tab when you have configured it to restore sessions, and will load sites in other tabs only on selection.

Vivaldi has the lazy load feature built-into the browser’s startup settings (vivaldi://settings/startup/), and Opera has a similar feature that is called “delay loading of background tabs” which you find under opera://settings/.

Only Google Chrome, the browser with the largest market share, does not support this functionality.

Native Lazy Tabs

lazy load tabs chrome

While there are some solutions available for Chrome that address this issue, all date back to 2014 or earlier, and don’t work super reliably.

Native Lazy Tabs changes that. It uses the tab discarding method that Google introduced as an API in Chrome 54. The extension blocks all but the active tab from being loaded on Chrome start.

The tabs are still shown in the Chrome interface, and you won’t lose any records because of this. The sites are not loaded though, which you will notice during start of Chrome as the start is super fast in comparison, and when you compare memory use before and after installing the extension.

You can check this in the Chrome Task Manager, where you will only see the active tab loaded on start, whereas you’d see all sites open in tabs loaded without the extension.

The screenshot of the task manager above shows Chrome’s memory use and the tabs that are open in the browser with Native Lazy Tabs enabled.

Below is a screenshot of the same Chrome session with Native Lazy Tabs disabled. About 30 or so extra tabs are loaded, and Chrome’s memory use is roughly three times as high right on start.

chrome without lazy load

Startup is slower without the extension. While Chrome’s interface is displayed in about the same time, you will notice that the loading of tabs slows down the browser significantly until all sites have been loaded.

Verdict

Native Lazy Load is a useful browser extension for all Chrome users who have configured Chrome to load the previous browsing session on start. You will notice that Chrome will start faster, and that memory use is way lower. A feature like this should be built-in the browser in my opinion.

Author Rating

5 based on 3 votes

Software Name

Native Lazy Tabs

Software Category

Browser

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About Martin Brinkmann

Martin Brinkmann is a journalist from Germany who founded Ghacks Technology News Back in 2005. He is passionate about all things tech and knows the Internet and computers like the back of his hand.You can follow Martin on Facebook, Twitter or Google+

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