Chrome just got 5 updates to speed up your web browsing – here’s how to use them

Google just announced five new updates to its predictive search, with some updates arriving this week. You can already experiment with the improved search bar on Google Chrome and ChromeOS devices.

The search giant announced the update in a blog post on Wednesday promising the improvements will make browsing with Chrome’s address bar “even faster.”. 

Here are the highlights:

Smarter Autocompletion

Whenever you have a question, you want to find the answers fast. With an updated address bar, the search engine will better be able to predict what you’re looking for, even if you don't get the beginning of the URL right.  For example, when typing flights, Chrome’s omnibar on the desktop will suggest taking you to Google Flights. It may also take into consideration personal preferences such as preferred airline. No word on when this change is coming to mobile.

Dynamic results

The search bar in Chrome now boasts increased responsiveness, allowing users to receive faster and more visible results as soon as they begin typing the first letter of their query. This, combined with a new layout should mean faster and more readable access to the information you need. This update is on the desktop, only.

Chrome update autocorrect address bar

Chrome’s update can autocorrect URLs in address bar (Image credit: Google)

Typo Corrections

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been rapidly typing and misspelled a url; swapping vowels or some other irregularity. Chrome will now detect these typos and immediately show what sites are similar enough based on your previously visited websites.


For users who rely heavily on bookmarks to keep track of their favorite web pages, this update is a game-changer. Chrome now lets you search within your bookmark folders, making it more convenient to find those tucked-away pages. Whether you have an extensive collection of bookmarks or simply want to access a specific page more efficiently, this feature will help you stay organized and find what you need with ease.

Just remember that to search bookmarks through the address bar, you need to include the bookmark folder name.

Ever found yourself in need of an answer but unsure where to look? Google has addressed this dilemma with its latest update. Even if you haven't previously visited certain websites, the search engine will now suggest popular sites related to your query. This feature ensures that you're never left in the dark and can quickly discover sources of information through natural-language queries.

In all, these appear to be some useful quality-of-life updates to the address bar we all use so often. Now it's our turn to see how well they work.

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Twitter rolls back another terrible feature update in new speed record

In record time, Twitter has rolled back a feature that would force you to either look at two timelines or only view the 'Top Tweets' timeline, to the scorn of users.

For almost a week, users would have to switch between two timelines as they would scroll to see what new tweets were there from their brands and friends – myself included.

But it got to the point where I would be scrolling for five minutes, not realizing that I was on the 'Top Tweets' feed, not the 'Latest Tweets' feed.

It's a ridiculous design decision that didn't go down well with its many users. While there were some self-congratulatory tweets from designers at Twitter praising this reversal, I can't help but wonder if this was a feature purposely designed to annoy users for a short time, or communication of what users want in features at the company, has hit a new low.

Leave our feeds alone Twitter

I had spoken before about how much I hated this new feature, and I wasn't alone. Executives at Twitter were replying to others in how they were working on an alternative to this change in the feed, and we didn't have long to wait.

The alternative turned out to be Twitter reversing its decision to push 'Top Tweets' as if nothing happened. But it's an example of a feature that shouldn't have been there in the first place. Its change made no sense, and from a usability angle, it didn't give any benefits to the user.

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Having two timelines was confusing, and the added fact that the 'sparkle' icon on the top right, would give you the option to show one feed that no one wanted, was another baffling decision.

Every user on Twitter has different feeds from everyone else. It's what makes the social platform unique – its algorithm and the people you've decided to follow shape your interests while discovering new voices.

But features like this hinder the experience massively, and I'm not aware of anyone who likes to use the 'Top Tweets' feature. Twitter is a platform that many folks use to catch up on the latest news, regardless of the topic – it's not a magazine highlighting the last few days.

Hopefully, when the company realizes this, we will see less of these useless features and others that we can benefit from, such as an edit button.

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Microsoft’s faster Windows 11 Update speed claims just don’t add up

As part of Microsoft’s attempts to get people to upgrade to Windows 11, the company claimed that one of the benefits of the new operating would be faster Windows Updates – but many users are complaining that those promised speed increases have failed to materialize.

As an article in WindowsReport explains, many users have found that Windows 11 updates are still taking too long despite Microsoft's claims, and are publicly complaining on sites such as Reddit.

In our own experience of using Windows 11, we’ve not noticed updates downloading or installing any faster, and along with these user complaints, it seems like Microsoft may have overstated the improvements to Windows update speeds.

Analysis: Come on, Microsoft

There’s a lot to like about the new operating system – check out our Windows 11 review to see what we think – but Microsoft also has its work cut out to convince people to upgrade. The promise of faster updates was certainly alluring – no one likes to sit around waiting while their PC installs an update, but Microsoft also needs to be careful about over-hyping improvements.

If it talks about faster update speeds, then Microsoft needs to deliver noticeable improvements. If many users feel like they aren’t getting what they were promised, they won’t be happy – and they’ll make their unhappiness known in public.

The good news is that this is still early days for Windows 11 (even though we’ve already begun hearing rumors about Windows 12), so we expect Microsoft to continue updating and improving the operating system.

That means we could see those promised update speeds coming later, or at least current speeds improving. It seems like having Windows 11 installed on modern technology, such as NVMe SSDs, helps speed up the update process as well.

But, Microsoft needs to ensure that it doesn’t over promise and under deliver, no matter what hardware people are using. If it does, then Windows 11’s reputation could suffer serious damage.

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You’ll want to install this Windows 11 update to speed up your PC

If your Windows 11 PC is feeling slow, then you may want to make sure you download Microsoft’s latest update, known as Windows 11 KB5010386.

This patch was released as part of Microsoft’s big ‘Patch Tuesday’, a monthly event where the company releases a series of important updates for its software.

Included in the patches is KB5010386, which addresses a serious flaw in Windows 11 that caused the speeds of SSDs to drop – which in turn made affected PCs run slowly. While Microsoft has previously addressed this issue with the January 2022 cumulative update, as Windows Latest reports, some people have continued to suffer from this problem.

This new update aims to fix this issue once and for all, so it’s well worth downloading if your PC isn’t performing as fast as it should. The update is currently rolling out to Windows Insiders, who have signed up to test out early builds of Windows 11, but it’s also available to download directly as well.

Other patches

February’s Patch Tuesday also brought a cumulative update with security patches for 48 vulnerabilities. Again, this means making sure your version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 is updated to the very latest release.

There have been some more fixes to various errors in Windows 11 as well, to make it run more smoothly, including a fix for an error that prevented the Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) Modify operation from working correctly, as Windows Central points out.

This may be a bit of a niche issue, but as it comes with the security patches, it’s well worth installing anyway.

To make sure your PC is up to date, open the Start menu, type in ‘Update’ and click ‘Check for updates’. If any are found, click them to download and install.

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Ditch the Microsoft Teams icon from the taskbar to speed up Windows 11

There is a lot to take in if you've moved to Windows 11 from Windows 10, with many of the major changes visible in the taskbar. Yes, there is the repositioned Start button and the centered shortcuts, but there are plenty of other changes too. Just look to the right-hand side of the taskbar, and you'll notice all manner of changes since previous versions of Windows.

As Microsoft has tried to encourage people away from using the likes of Slack and Zoom, the company has been pushing its own Microsoft Teams app. A seemingly innocuous addition to the taskbar has been a shortcut to Teams, and while you may resent giving up space to the icon if you're not a user of the app, there are more reasons to hide the icon than simply saving space in your taskbar.

You might be surprised to learn that so long as the Microsoft Teams icon is housed in the Windows 11 taskbar, it is firing up processes in the background. These Microsoft Edge WebView2 processes are associated with the browser rendering engine, and they use up system resources that could be put to better use.

Drain on resources

The same is true of the Widgets icon that sits in the taskbar but, as developer Michael Niehaus points out, there is key difference between the two icons. While Widgets only launches processes when the icon is clicked, the mere presence of the Teams icon is enough to use up many megabytes of RAM.

If you're not using Teams, you might want to consider simply uninstalling the app. But to avoid the problem of having to reinstall it should you find you need it further down the line, there is an alternative – just hide the icon. This simple act is enough to prevent Teams from gobbling up resources in the background.

If you try right-clicking the Teams icon to delete it, you'll notice that no context menu appears. To remove the icon you will instead have to head to Windows 11's Settings app and go to Personalization > Taskbar, before moving the 'Chats' toggle to the 'Off' position.  

Via Ars Technica

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Windows 11 gets free speed boost with latest update

Windows 11 has finally cured all of the serious problems with drive slowdown that have been plaguing some users for a good while now, according to a new report.

While these issues were supposedly fixed with the December cumulative update for Windows 11, as we reported at the time, even after that patch went out, some folks were still complaining about drive sluggishness.

However, Windows Latest reports that with the latest preview patch for Windows 11 – namely KB5008353 – the full fix is delivered, and all users should be happy, according to its own testing and other anecdotal evidence online. In the update notes, Microsoft states that it: “Addresses a performance regression issue that occurs when you enable the update sequence number (USN) journal.”

The USN journal is a log of changes to files on your drive, and so it could be tied into any remaining performance issues. A Reddit user speculates that this particular tweak is the key point, and observes: “I installed KB5008353 and my OS drive NVME random write speeds are almost 3.5x faster.”

Another user on Microsoft’s Feedback Hub stated: “Not only on NVME, even my SATA SSD is faster now. Earlier Windows 11 used to boot up slower than Windows 10.”

A further major issue whereby the colors on some HDR monitors were getting messed up has also been fixed with this patch.

Microsoft says the update addresses a “known issue that might prevent some image editing programs from rendering colors correctly on certain high dynamic range (HDR) displays.”

So, no more white looking like it’s yellow, or other visual glitches which could be seriously annoying in image editing apps.

KB5008353 is in testing right now, as a preview update, but will get its full release as the cumulative update for February (next week, in fact).

Analysis: A ‘drastic’ uplift in system performance all round

Obviously it’s a relief to see the drive speed bug finally addressed for good – we hope, anyway – because this can cut performance in half and has been a serious problem for some users. The cure for misbehaving colors on HDR monitors is also very welcome, of course, and that fix has come pretty quickly.

On the other hand, the wait for the drive performance issue to be remedied has been way too long, and it’s disappointing that the apparent cure from December 2021 seemingly didn’t work fully.

There are a bunch of important fixes in this preview update, in fact, and as well as those two major ones, there are solutions for some problems with File Explorer, including a fix for “some issues that affect File Explorer’s performance when you browse for files and select files,” and a “reliability issue that causes File Explorer and desktop context menus to stop working.”

A Reddit user in the above mentioned thread clarifies: “No more slight delays in opening context menus! Basically no more delays in anything. Even the start menu opens up instantly. This was one minor thing annoying me about W11, but now I think I’m finally content with 11.”

Another Redditor agrees: “There are multiple reports from Insiders that this update is a drastic increase in system responsiveness, I just installed it, can confirm that too.”

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Google Chrome gets a speed boost for Windows 11 (and Windows 10)

Google has tweaked its popular Chrome browser, making it perform faster in both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

While Google Chrome is the most popular web browser in the world by quite a margin, it’s also notorious for hogging system resources, especially memory, which can result in it running poorly.

Google is understandably keen to address these issues, and as Windows Latest reports, Google has been working on a project known as Native Window Occlusion, which aims to reduce the strain tabs you’re not looking at put on your PC. If a window or tab isn’t visible – for example if the window is minimized, or there’s another window open in front of it – the tabs in the window will be put into a state that takes up a minimum of system memory and resources, freeing up your PC to concentrate on the tabs that are visible.

Google has been working on this project for three years, and it’s now rolling it out to Windows 10 and Windows 11 users.

Promising results

According to Google’s blog post on the improvements, Chrome is now 25.8% faster on startup, and GPU memory usage has dropped by 3.1%. This has led to 20.4% fewer renderer frames and rendered crashes have also been reduced, this time by 4.5%.

By focusing resources on foreground windows, there’s now a 3% improvement in first input delay. Basically, Chrome now behaves faster and feels more responsive, especially when you first open it up on your PC.

The results are certainly promising, and hopefully Chrome users on Windows 11 or Windows 10 will see the benefits soon.

Calm female executive meditating in front of a laptop

(Image credit: fizkes / Shutterstock)

Analysis: Getting better

These improvements from Google are very welcome. Many of us use Chrome every day, but it’s increasingly becoming an app we begrudgingly use due to the fact that it hogs so many resources, slowing down even the most powerful of PCs.

By continuing to improve Chrome’s performance, Google could make this a browser people love to use once more. Microsoft has also been working on improving Chromium-based browsers, including Chrome, to help speed up its own Chromium-based Edge web browser.

With both Microsoft and Google working on improvements, Chrome may no longer be the notorious RAM eater it used to be.

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