Too many cookies: Chrome to reduce the load for annoyed users

Developers are destroying redundant cookie requests on the browser to make Chrome work faster, as it should.

Google’s Chrome is known to be demanding on CPU processing power and memory. The Chrome engineering team working on the issue has noticed that one of the sources of slowdowns is excessive cookie requests from websites.

HTTP cookies are small blocks of data that allow web browsers to track, personalize, and save information about each user's session. The cookie is created by a web server while a user is browsing a website and placed in the designated area on the user's device.

For subsequent visits to the same website, the browser automatically includes the stored cookie in its HTTP requests to the server. This process allows the server to recognize the user, recall stored information, and provide a more personalized and seamless browsing experience.

However, the overload of cookies from many websites sending queries simultaneously creates a bottleneck effect that slows down the browsing experience.

“We were astonished to discover that 87% of cookie accesses were redundant and that, in some cases, this could happen hundreds of times per second," write Chrome developers in a blog post.

The team recently worked on a new system called Shared Memory Versioning that should optimize the process of cookie requests.

Instead of constantly checking with the network service, Chrome keeps a local copy of the cookie data and its version number. This allows Chrome to verify if a cookie has the latest data without making repeated requests.

Chrome’s A/B testing showed that this new system improved the slowest interactions on all platforms by approximately 5%.

Apart from cookies, another well-known CPU bloodsucker is Chrome plugins. DebugBear, a site speed monitoring service, analyzed the impact of 5,000 Chrome extensions to determine that a single extension could delay website load time by more than a second, with each quickly adding up.