Chromebook running slow? Google’s update may be to blame

Google search engine on home page of HP chromebook
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Vantage_DS)

Google has recently released a relatively minor update to Chrome OS, but it looks like it could be causing some Chromebooks to start performing worse.

Chrome OS version 91.0.4472.147, which released at the end of June, was supposed to bring a series of bug fixes and security updates, but, as Gizmodo reports, several users have been reporting that their Chromebooks have been running more slowly since the update.

It appears the culprit could be an increase in CPU usage, with users pointing out in the official bug report that their Chromebooks’ processors are ramping up to their maximum speeds and sitting there. This was then causing serious performance degradation as the CPUs were being throttled, as there’s no CPU power to spare for other tasks.

Which Chromebooks are affected?

This annoying issue doesn’t affect all Chromebooks, just certain makes and models from particular manufacturers, which are identified by the ‘Grunt’ and ‘Hatch’ codenames.

According to About Chromebooks, the devices affected are:

It’s important to point out that if you have one of these devices, it doesn’t mean it’s definitely affected by the bug. If you’re using it without issue, then there’s nothing to worry about.

However, if you do own one of those Chromebooks, and you have noticed a drop in performance recently, the latest Chrome OS update could be to blame.

What you should do?

If you have the 91.0.4472.147 Chrome OS update installed and are suffering from problems, then unfortunately there is not an easy way to uninstall the update and go back to an earlier version.

You could try resetting your Chromebook – do so, follow our how to reset a Chromebook guide.

Otherwise, you’ll need to wait until Google releases another update that hopefully fixes the issue.

If you have one of the affected Chromebooks, but have not updated to 91.0.4472.147, simply ignore the notifications asking you to update until it’s safe to do so. If you can avoid restarting your Chromebook, that will also help as it will stop the update from automatically installing.

We’ve contacted Google for comment, and hopefully this issue will be sorted out soon.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.