Chrome seems to be continually receiving data even though I'm not downloading anything. This is making a noticeable impact on my browsing speed.

The first screenshot shows Chrome receiving data even though I'm not downloading anything (nor buffering a YouTube video etc.)

enter image description here Even after I completely close Google Chrome, the "chrome.exe" remains in the Resource Monitor list and the "Received bytes" column continually increases in the screenshot below. However, "chrome.exe" does not show up in the Processes tab of Task Manager.

enter image description here

This only occurs sometimes, but I don't know why. I have tried running a malware/virus scans to ensure that there is nothing malicious behind this, but those scans have shown nothing.

Any ideas on what's causing this?

  • 2
    If you check Wrench > About Chrome, is it downloading an update during this time? Also Chrome extensions can keep background pages around, see Wrench > Tools > Task Manager.
    – ephemient
    Apr 7, 2012 at 23:55
  • Chrome automatically updates itself to the next version, google releases chrome updates quite frequently, every week or two, which is a good thing.
    – Moab
    Apr 8, 2012 at 0:27
  • 1
    @Moab Googleupdate.exe downloads it, not chrome.exe
    – HackToHell
    Apr 8, 2012 at 2:25
  • 1
    I forgot to mention: most traffic should all be visible in chrome://net-internals. NaCl and plugins can bypass it, and there's a couple other exceptions, but anything initiated by an open window or tab or extension or background page should be there.
    – ephemient
    Apr 8, 2012 at 7:35
  • @HackToHell I never said anything about which executable did the downloading? Only a reference to the program itself.
    – Moab
    Apr 8, 2012 at 14:51

4 Answers 4


Long story short: AJAX. Nowadays, many webpages are not static-- they run code, and that code often communicates with the network. Google uses AJAX heavily, as do nearly all webpages that participate in ad networks. Developers who want interactive pages will often use AJAX in lots of clever ways to make the experience more pleasant.

If you want to see what's loading, you can click on the wrench icon on the top right corner of Chrome, go to Tools, and select Developer Tools. Click on the Network tab to see the network activity of a given webpage.

If you are worried about it (you really shouldn't be), you can disable Javascript, install an ad-blocking plugin, or pipe your connections through a filtering proxy (like Privoxy).

  • It can't be AJAX because this occurs even if the browser is completely closed. When I close Chrome, "chrome.exe" shows up in Resource Monitor but not in Task Manager. The built in Chrome Task Manager doesn't shows 0 for "Network" column for all tabs/extensions: puu.sh/oKyj. This problem is starting to drive me crazy because my browsing speed is being slowed down considerably.
    – hasc
    Apr 9, 2012 at 19:43

The Chrome executable can keep running in the background after the last window is closed. This serves to execute background tasks which are basically web-pages without a window and generally use AJAX to keep themselves up to data and check for remote changes.

You can disable this by going into the Settings page, going to the bottom and clicking Show Advanced Settings and going all the way down once more and deselect Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed which is enabled by default.

  • @downvoter - Is this clearer? Mind letting me know what I said wrong?
    – Itai
    Apr 17, 2014 at 4:04

I have netstat logs that indicated chrome was interacting (or at least attempting to interact) over the network when the browser window wasn't even open! I noticed this regular background network activity happening every few seconds and started logging it. The log indicated "Chrome" as the culprit. Chrome was installed for some time with no issues, but what changed was the addition of the extension for "Google Drive". The incessant background communication started thereafter. I believe this feature wants to interact with my system regardless of browser usage. I uninstalled Chrome (along with Google Drive), and the background activity stopped. I don't like the uncontrolled interaction... not knowing specifically what, when, why or to whom my information is flowing.


only thing that worked for me is this:

  • right-click on Chrome icon SHORTCUT
  • click PROPERTIES

"C: \ ..... \ ..... .....\chrome.exe"

"C: \ ..... \ ..... .....\chrome.exe" --DISABLE-BACKGROUND-NETWORKING

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