Question How to identify whether browser slowdown is due to my system or internet connection

Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
Over the last few weeks I've been experiencing slowdown issues within my browser (Chrome Version 88.0.4324.104), but I can't figure out if it's a system issue or an internet connection issue.

Clicks within the browser are at times taking a while to register - it's not that the page is slow to load, the browser basically freezes. The same thing is happening when I'm typing, with the browser freezing before catching up and entering whatever I've typed. This is particularly an issue in Google applications: G Suite, GMail and YouTube, although I am seeing the click freezes on other sites too. I don't seem to experience any issues within apps like Steam or Spotify.

I'm on Windows 8 and Vodafone superfast broadband over Wi-Fi, using a Netgear USB adapter. I've not really experienced any issues with any other internet connected devices, Netflix etc. I'm also not experiencing this issue on my Macbook.

I've also got AVG Tune-up which isn't really highlighting any issues. I've also done all the usual things in terms of clearing cache / browsing data, as well as uninstalled and reinstalled Chrome. I've got a few extensions installed but certainly not enough to cause this level of issue, and nothing that I've installed recently.

Any ideas how I can identify whether the issue is with my internet connection or my PC?
 
Last edited:
I would first try to install firefox just to see if the browser is the issue.

One of the common ones but it is only a guess is that it is a DNS server issue. I would manually set the DNS to 1.1.1.1 in the IPv4 setting in the nic. I would also disable IPv6 while you were there since it also causes strange issues.

Normally I would recommend 8.8.8.8 (google) dns but 1.1.1.1 is cloudflare and when you use chrome and that DNS the DNS stuff is encrypted. It blocks the last hole that some ISP were using to collect data. 8.8.8.8 is also suppose to support encrypted DNS but they turned it off for a while and I have not checked if it is back on.

DNS has 2 general sources of issues. The first is the defualt method is to use your router as a proxy. Some router firmware has issues. The second problem is the default DNS that the router uses after its proxy function is the ISP DNS. ISP DNS tend to be much more unstable than google or cloudflare.

Then again it might not be DNS.

If none of the above helps you can boot a USB linux image. This will show if it is hardware or if it some windows stuff. It will not harm your windows install, it runs most things ok but is running purely from the USB so you will not get optimum performance on many applications. It should work fine to test things like web browsers.
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
So I've used Firefox all day without any issues, which I guess points to an issue with Chrome specifically. Funnily enough, I'm using Chrome for the first time in hours writing this reply, and the typing is already freezing again - so it's definitely Chrome.

Any ideas what the problem could be, or why this might be happening? Appreciate now I've realised this, this might not be the right forum for this question...
 

COLGeek

Cybernaut
Moderator
Start by removing your Chrome extensions, one by one, to isolate which one may be affecting performance. Seems this is where the issue most likely lies.

Or remove all. Test clean and then add back one at a time, testing along the way.
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
Start by removing your Chrome extensions, one by one, to isolate which one may be affecting performance. Seems this is where the issue most likely lies.

Or remove all. Test clean and then add back one at a time, testing along the way.
Yeah tried that, no luck :/
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
I know this will seem strange, but are your video drivers up to date?

Also, is Windows fully up to date?
Just downloaded the latest available driver from Geforce Experience, restarted. but problem persists.

I'm on Windows 8 (I keep meaning to get around to upgrading to 10..), but it's still autoupdating when required, so as far as I know it is up to date.
 
There is one radical thing you can try - just wipe the whole chrome profile folder. That will totally re-set the chrome browser.

But - you probably have things you want to take care on, so I'd recommend you first saved your favourites to a file, and also made a backup of the contents of the chrome profile folder (dump it to a usb thumb drive or using an effective archiving software such as 7-zip).

Here is a short guide on how to locate the profile folder:
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
There is one radical thing you can try - just wipe the whole chrome profile folder. That will totally re-set the chrome browser.

But - you probably have things you want to take care on, so I'd recommend you first saved your favourites to a file, and also made a backup of the contents of the chrome profile folder (dump it to a usb thumb drive or using an effective archiving software such as 7-zip).

Here is a short guide on how to locate the profile folder:
Thanks Grobe. Would that not have been wiped when I uninstalled/reinstalled Chrome?
 
Jul 21, 2020
14
0
10
0
So I uninstalled Chrome, and this did indeed seem to remove the profile folder. I reinstalled, but then of course as soon as I signed in, the profile seemed to be restored, and the problem started occurring again. I then just deleted the folder without uninstalling and not signing back in, but it still seems to be slow. For example I'm seeing scroll delays on YouTube.

Could the fact that it's at its worst in Google Apps be something to do with how they are always refreshing? GMail to check for new emails, Google Drive constantly saving the docs you're working in? That seems like it's pointing to a connection issue more than Chrome itself, but then I don't seem to see that issue in Firefox. I'm flummoxed by this all round!
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY