Google Chrome Tips: Reducing High Disk and CPU Activity

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I've been enjoying a fast and minimalistic browsing experience with Google Chrome for about a week now, and I'm not switching back to IE7, which I admittedly have been using before. Why I'm not using Firefox could be that I've never got dependent on plugins, and the experience with Firefox is somewhat bloated and unpolished in my opinion.

Anyhow, when I first tried Google Chrome I was bothered by occasional periods of high disk and CPU activity, which could last for minutes, or at least it felt like that. Since my hard disk is very loud when reading and writing, it really was bothering. Also the CPU activity was high at those occasions, which raised the CPU temperature, causing the CPU fan to spin, contributing significantly to the noise. This was a real showstopper for me, which felt a bit sad, since I had otherwise enjoyed the experience with Chrome.

Chrome Phishing and Malware option
Fortunately, after poking around the limited options settings in Chrome, I found a solution: Disable the "Enable phishing and malware protection" option, which is found under the Security section of the "Under the Hood" tab. This solved the problem completely, and Chrome is now very light on CPU and Disk usage. Total CPU usage for a days worth of work only amounts to a few minutes, which is very satisfying.

Of course, disabling a security feature is at your own risk. But in my case it was a matter of being able to use Google Chrome at all.

There's a Lifehacker post with a bunch of other tips on using and tweaking Chrome. Look here for a full list of keyboard shortcuts.

Comments section


  • Avatar of TenMile


    Yep, works as advertised. Soon as I click disable, CPU goes to zero and disk writing instantly stopped.

  • Avatar of CJ


    Worked for me too...

    It was driving me nuts when my laptop would spin the HDD forever...


  • Avatar of Anton


    Great! Disabling the malware/phishing thing stopped what was some really annoying (to the point of not wanting to use Chrome) disk thrashing.

  • Avatar of godblesstexas


    No change for me. With new release of Chrome, I no longer see Utilities listed in Chrome task manager. Windows task manager shows 30-35% CPU usage for Chrome, but Chrome TM only shows 5-8%. What gives?

  • Avatar of Diermuid


    I've had to shut down the SVCHOST for chrome repeatedly, but this is a better long-term fix until that feature becomes more efficient or less distracting.

    For those still having bad disk activity - Firefox was my other culprit. Check your resource monitor to see which apps are wearing your PC down. Oddly, IE is the one that causes the least disk activity for me. Possibly because I use it only as a last resort after Chrome, FF, and Safari have all gummed up.

  • Avatar of Dude


    it is a problem with hyperthreading, i wonder what you guy's are doing at mozilla.

    -ctrl alt del
    -right click firefox.exe's
    -bottom box affinity adjust, or something
    adjust all to processor 0

    you will find your processor now running at 5 percent

  • Its made chrome faster for sure but still can't play cityville on fb :( its trashing the disk to the point that the pc hangs up.

  • Avatar of jayson


    help.... chrome updater and google updater eats my cpu resourses....
    this past months i dont like chromes beahavior...... when i open it the cpu usage raises for about 90%-95% what i do is to to force kill the updater process to lower the cpu usage...

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