Google Chrome Not Responding? How to Fix It

Most Chrome problems relate to memory glitches or misbehaving webpages

Google Chrome has grown well beyond simple browsing to the point where it's really a suite of web tools rolled into one versatile package. There's a downside to all of this horsepower, though. As it becomes more complex, opportunities for glitches abound.

Quite often, Chrome's errors manifest in a frustratingly vague way, through generic Chrome is not responding messages.

These steps apply to Google Chrome running on any operating system, as well as generic Chromium for Linux and Microsoft Edge using the Chromium engine.

Fix Common Google Chrome Problems

Causes of Chrome Not Responding

Chrome's slowdowns or stoppages usually relate in some way to memory-management problems. Running a very large number of tabs on an underpowered device often create memory leaks that destabilize Chrome or Windows or both.

Sometimes, a broken extension or a misbehaving web page generates errors that aren't correctly trapped by the browser, potentially freezing the browser or forcing its abnormal termination.

How to Fix Chrome Not Responding Errors

Even though there isn't one guaranteed solutions to the various problems that cause Chrome to stop responding, try these steps; there's a good chance Chrome will be as good as new by the end.

  1. Update to the latest version of Chrome. Before you start digging around in Chrome and risk losing settings, select Settings > Help > About Google Chrome to open a new tab displaying information about your Chrome install. At the same time, Chrome will start searching for a newer version of itself. If it finds one, Chrome will automatically update.

    The Settings menu is represented by three dots.

  2. Clear your History/Cache. Cache is a funny thing. Most of the time, it helps you get where you need to much faster, but if it's corrupted, it can seriously ruin your day. It's almost always safe to clear your cache, so there's no reason not to try that next. You should throw your browsing history into that too. If there's any data that could have been corrupted, get rid of it.

  3. Reboot. If Chrome experienced a memory error related to how your operating system allocates active RAM, then rebooting the computer flushes the system RAM and presents a like-new environment for Chrome.

  4. Disable extensions. Extensions are an integral part of the Chrome ecosystem, and they add an immeasurable amount of new features to the browser. However, some might not be actively maintained, and might fall out of date or develop incompatibilities with new versions of Chrome. Disable your extensions one at a time to see if one is the source of your problem.

  5. Clear your DNS Cache. While not actually related to Chrome itself, DNS caches make a serious impact on your network connection. DNS allows your browser to find websites with URLs instead of IP addresses. It's best to clear it out, in case something's corrupted or something went wrong.

  6. Make sure your firewall isn't blocking Chrome. It might seem like a no-brainer, but if you've been doing any work on your firewall, it's always a good idea to make sure your new settings don't block Chrome.

    Linux users can also check their firewall settings to see if Chrome is being blocked, though it won't explicitly be listed as Chrome. Open a terminal and check to see that both incoming and outgoing traffic are allowed on ports 80 and 443. Use either of these two commands:

    sudo iptables -S

    or

    sudo ufw status
  7. Reset Chrome to Default. It's always possible something was corrupted or your particular combination of settings is causing a problem. The only way to know for sure is to reset everything to the way it was when you installed Chrome the first time.

  8. Reinstall Chrome. If it seems like nothing is working, reset Chrome to default, uninstall it, and install it again. That's the most complete way to reset Chrome, but it's usually not necessary to go that far.