Uninstalling Chrome Extensions could speed up your Browser

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Don’t treat Chrome extensions like collectibles. Every extension that you install can contribute to page load times and make the web feel slower. Some extensions are worse than others, but in any case, you should uninstall extensions that you aren’t using.

This isn’t a new idea—computer users have been trying to identify resource-hungry extensions for as long as I can remember. But it’s hard to pin down the exact amount of time, in milliseconds, that a particular extension will add to a website’s loading process.

Now, a study by DebugBear is putting things into perspective. DebugBear evaluated the top 5,000 Chrome extensions to measure their impact on CPU processing and website load time. Many extensions have a negligible impact on page load times (even if they use a lot of CPU resources), though there are plenty of extensions that extend page load times by more than a full second.

It seems that AI and shopping extensions are the biggest offenders. DebugBear found that extensions like Monica AI and Klarna Pay Later run before a web page has finished loading, thereby forcing the user to wait longer than they should. Of course, there are no absolutes here—extensions like Honey and Merlin AI don’t run until a page’s content is displayed, so their impact is often insignificant.

But even if an extension runs after a web page has loaded, it may eat away at an unnecessary amount of computer resources. The Honey coupon extension is a CPU hog and may make your computer slower when you visit certain websites, especially when paired with other resource-hungry extensions like Dark Reader, MozBar, or Merlin AI.

Ad blockers are the only extensions that reduce page load time, CPU usage, and RAM usage. The goal of an ad blocker is to prevent websites from loading unneeded assets, so this isn’t much of a surprise (it’s also touted as a selling point for most ad blockers). Though I should note that the positive impact of an ad blocker can vary based on your settings and the websites that you visit.

Even if you can tolerate a slow browsing experience, you should uninstall unneeded extensions in the name of privacy and security. Browser extensions from reputable brands like AVG have been caught collecting and selling user data. And hackers have a habit of converting extensions into malware or spyware.

I suggest that you check out DebugBear’s Chrome Extension Performance Lookup tool to see the impact that some extensions have on your browsing experience. Or, skip the research and uninstall Chrome extensions that you aren’t using. Your browser may run faster, and if not, it will at least be more secure and less cluttered.

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