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Latest Chrome OS stable update hurts performance on some Chromebooks

If your Chromebook suddenly feels slower lately, it’s not your fault. It seems that the latest Chrome OS update, v91, is causing performance issues for some users.

Chrome OS 91.0.4472.147 is the latest version released to the stable channel that most Chromebook owners are on, but it comes with the nasty side effect of performance hiccups. Reddit users were the first to bring this issue to light, and the issue has also since picked up some comments on the Chromium Bug Tracker. One user reports on that thread:

Having extraordinarily terrible lagginess in Chrome browser after last night’s update. Pretty much every website now lags horribly. I did a complete power wash and disabled all extensions. Still terrible.

What’s the problem exactly? Chrome OS 91 seems to hurt performance by overworking the CPU. One user found that CPU usage often hits up to 100% with the clock speed also dropping down to 0.80GHz, a fraction of the power available on most modern Chromebooks. The problems are apparently “immediately” noticeable after you update the machine. Not all devices seem to be affected, though. Android Police points out that most reports are from “hatch” and “grunt” boards that include Chromebooks with 10th Gen Intel chips and some AMD models as well.

If you’re not already on Chrome OS 91, you may want to hold off on updating until Google has fixed or at least acknowledged these performance issues. If you are already affected, switching to the Beta channel temporarily might help out. Before you switch, though, hit ALT + Shift + i to send feedback to Google.

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