There are a a few common causes for this behavior. Some are easier to fix than others.
The most common cause of the hang is that the browser/system is overloaded.
To determine if the browser is overloaded, open the Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and view the CPU load (do so while Chrome is closed, then again when you get the hang). If you see that the usage is high, then what is likely happening is that the browser is trying to render pages that the system is having trouble handling.
In this case, there are a few things to try that can help.
Upgrading hardware (CPU, memory, video-card in particular) one way to resolve this issue. Of course this is not necessarily practical or even always possible.
In general, it is advisable to keep as few extensions and plugins installed as possible. The fact is that the more extensions you have, the slower the whole browser gets because it has so much more processing to do. The same goes for plugins, though they usually only apply to pages that include them while extensions are always active. You should uninstall any extensions and plugins you don't need, and disable any you do need, but don't use (very) regularly.
Keep your extensions and plugins updated. Not only do updates fix security issues, but they often include performance improvements as well, which can be anywhere from insignificant to dramatic.
- You can update extensions by opening
chrome://extensions, clicking Developer Mode, and then Update Extensions (NB it only updates enabled extensions, which is another reason to keep as few as needed)
- Plugins need to be updated manually, but you can use some tools to help track them to simplify the task
chrome://chrome/settings/content), though in older versions of Chrome, you may need to enable the feature first in
- You can also accomplish selective plugin- (usually Flash-)blocking with extensions (but don't go overboard; pick one or two good ones; using a dozen will just bog the system down again).
Another cause of hangs can be bugs.
- Bugs can be present in the browser itself, and updating it can help. For Google Chrome, go to Wrench menu->About to have it auto-update.
- Bugs can also be present in plugins and extensions. For this, refer back to the previous section on updating them.
- If the page is the problem, one options of course is to contact the webmaster and let them know about the problem and wait for them to fix it.
- Another options is to view the Google Cache or Internet Archive/"Way Back Machine" of the page which may be from before the bug was introduced. In fact, with the Google Cache, you can click the text-only link in the header to view the page much fast by getting only the text of the page without images, plugins, scripts, etc.
Network issues can also cause Chrome to hang like that. For example, if the page is blocking on a resource, and the site is down, the network is congested, your connection is being throttled, etc. then it can sit there waiting and waiting. In this case, you would need to check your Internet connection, though usually, this sort of problem will be intermittent. If you are experiencing it regularly like you said, then it is probably not the network connection.
Aliens and Gremlins
Finally, there are other, miscellaneous, obscure, esoteric, niche, oddball causes that can make tabs hang. These are the freaks that have no rhyme or reason and cannot be explained except perhaps by soothsayers and warlocks.
One such example is that a few months ago, a very small handful sites (e.g., Chrome Webstore, VirusTotal) stopped working for me. They would very occasionally load, but would often sit there stuck (usually waiting on some
.js Google Adsense files to load), with the throbber spinning and/or throwing up an unresponsive prompt. I tried everything from enabling everything to disabling everything, but nothing worked. Eventually I found that by disabling the DNS-prefetching function, they started working again. The real kicker is that the DNS-prefetching function had already been enabled for some time while the sites were still working, so it must have been a change in the pages that caused the issue (though other people were still able to load the sites, so either they had the function disabled or were using different browsers or newer versions).
The point is that one of the "downside-effects" of the software-as-a-service paradigm is that things that were working just fine can suddenly break and stop working without you having made any changes at all. This gives rise to a whole host of bizarre and unexplainable causes of problems.