Browser wars: Google Chrome just received a major performance boost

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Monticello / Shutterstock)

Searching the web on Google Chrome (opens in new tab) is now faster than ever thanks to a new update to the omnibox in Google's browser (opens in new tab).

In a new post (opens in new tab) in the search giant's The Fast and the Curious series by Chrome product manager Yana Yushkina, the company explained that searching in Chrome is now even faster since search results are prefeteched if a suggest query is very likely to be selected.

For those unfamiliar, Chrome's omnibox (opens in new tab) suggests potential queries when the “Autocomplete searches and URLs" feature is turned on in the browser's settings. This makes searching for information faster and easier as users don't have to type in an entire search query to find what they're looking for.

According to Google, search results are now four times more likely to be shown within 500 milliseconds of a user typing a query into Chrome's omnibox. It's worth noting that this only happens if Google Search (opens in new tab) is your default search engine (opens in new tab) though other search providers can trigger this feature as well by adding information to the query suggestions sent from their servers to Chrome (more information can be found here (opens in new tab)).

Memory improvements and shutdown hangs

With the release of version M89 of its browser back in March, Google rolled out its new memory allocator PartitionAlloc (opens in new tab) to Android smartphones (opens in new tab) and Windows (opens in new tab) devices bringing improved memory usage (up to 22 percent savings) and performance (up to nine percent faster responsiveness).

Since that time though, the company has also implemented PartitionAlloc on Linux (opens in new tab) in m92 and in Chrome OS in M93. Now with field data from version M93 on Chrome OS, Chrome shows a total memory footprint reduction of 15 percent in addition to a 20 percent browser process memory reduction which improves web browsing on Chromebooks (opens in new tab) for both single and multi-tabs.

Google also provided new details on a local cache that was added to Chrome's history system years ago with the goal of making startup faster. Instead of speeding up startup though, the cache added code complexity and memory usage while also being the company's top contributor to shutdown hangs in its browser. The cache has now been removed and Chrome will likely shut down faster going forward.

Looking to improve your web browsing experience? Check out our roundups of the best browsers (opens in new tab) and best anonymous browsers (opens in new tab) as well as our list of the best VPN (opens in new tab) services to keep your browsing data private

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.