Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a lot of extensions in Google Chrome, but I keep most of them disabled. Does having them there affect in any way the speed of the browser?

share|improve this question
you should've added this as an answer :) – pax Aug 31 '12 at 13:24
is your chrome memory issue solved.. – Vimal Venugopalan Aug 31 '12 at 17:49
@VimalVenugopalan, it’s not an issue, they are just wondering. In fact, they never asked about memory, they asked about speed. – Synetech Sep 4 '12 at 21:58
@Ramhound That would probably be the natural state of things, given they are disabled. More interestingly, perhaps, is overhead such as querying/scanning extension data from disk or updating them from the web store when Chrome starts up. These things could consume significant resources. – Zero3 May 26 '15 at 11:28

Having a lot of extensions installed will have an impact on Chrome regardless of whether they are enabled or not, however the impact will be much worse if you have many enabled extensions.

If you have a lot of extensions and many are enabled, not surprisingly, you will notice that the whole browser gets bogged down. This is exacerbated if many of the extensions are global, always running extensions (i.e., that affect all sites, or the browser itself).

Even if most of the extensions are disabled however, there will still be an increase in start-time because Chrome reads (if not loads) them on startup regardless of their state. This delay isn’t too much unless you really have a lot of extensions, so for most people, having a bunch of extensions won’t cause a problem in this respect.

Where you will notice it is in the extensions page itself (chrome://extensions). If you have too many extensions installed (whether the are not enabled), you will notice that the extensions page seems to get slow sometimes and even becomes completely unresponsive. Toggling an extension will make it worse because Chrome has to update the page. This may or may not have been resolved, so updating is a good idea. (This is the same situation as with downloads: if you have downloaded a lot of files and have the download shelf open, Chrome can become unresponsive for a few seconds when initiating the first download each time it runs because it has to populate the download list.)

share|improve this answer
A hit-and-run-downvoter? Gee I wonder if someone’s bitter. :roll: – Synetech Sep 5 '12 at 14:43
Not me, but It's entirely plausible that Chrome skips all disabled extensions on startup, spending neglectable resources on them. On the other hand, it's also entirely plausible that Chrome spends time scanning, querying, loading, updating, ... disabled extensions. This is what the original question was all about, but you only provided undocumented claims about significant performance penalties. If you could somehow back up your claims (like "Even if most of the extensions are disabled however, there will still be an increase in start-time ..."), I think this answer would be upvote-worthy. – Zero3 May 26 '15 at 11:40

You can check yourself which extension is taking up memory and how much and in result slowing down the browser performance. You can check the About memory: Measuring memory usage in a multi-process browser page in Google Chrome by going to this url: chrome://memory-redirect/ in Chrome. You can decide which extensions you would like to disable according to that page.

share|improve this answer
What does this have to do with disabled extensions? Disabled extensions are not shown since they do not take up memory because they are not loaded. – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 20:33
but you can keep track of what is slowing down the chrome browser – Vimal Venugopalan Sep 1 '12 at 20:35
How? The extensions are disabled? What does monitoring enabled extensions have to do with this question? – Synetech Sep 1 '12 at 20:37
-1 You have answered a completely different (albeit peripherally related) question. What does this have to do with speed? They asked if having disabled extensions slows Chrome down, not if they use memory. – Synetech Sep 4 '12 at 22:00

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .