Chrome is the most popular desktop browser by a wide margin, second only to Safari in the mobile market. So it’s no surprise that Chrome’s parent company, Google, has spared no expense to make it as accessible and feature-rich as possible. Some of these features start out as experimental versions that are not available by default. These test functions are called flags.
Smooth scrolling is one of the flags available in Chrome. It is designed to reduce stuttering when scrolling through websites and provide a more user-friendly experience. This article will show you how to enable this little insider trick in your Chrome mobile browser.
What is smooth scrolling?
If you’ve ever used your mouse wheel to scroll through a website, you’re familiar with the jerking and stuttering that comes with it. This feature is a godsend for accessibility, especially when scrolling through long pages of websites. To see how much it affects, try scrolling by pressing the mouse wheel, and then try scrolling the wheel as usual. If you don’t have smooth scrolling enabled, there will be a sharp contrast.
This feature is nothing new. In fact, it has been around for a long time in many browsers, and Chrome lags behind a bit. The page up and page down keys are less commonly used for scrolling, but this feature also affects them. Instead of suddenly skipping, the keys will move content up and down evenly and without gaps.
In the mobile browser Chrome, the smooth scrolling feature solves a slightly different problem. Many users have found some lag when scrolling through sites with a lot of content. Even on not very complex sites, the browser seems to lag behind when scrolling and resizing. If you’re having these annoying issues while using Chrome on your phone, here’s how you can enable smooth scrolling.
Smooth scrolling on Chrome Mobile
Rest assured this is not an unauthorized workaround. You will not see any compatibility issues and this should not cause your browser to crash. The flags are considered stable by the developers and in case of any problems you can use the same process to revert the change. Also, you may find that the smooth scrolling option is enabled by default, and turning it off will have a positive impact on performance.
This is a very simple process to toggle smooth scrolling. Follow these steps:
- Launch the Chrome browser on your mobile device and enter chrome: // flags in the URL search bar. You will be taken to the “Experiments” screen.
- On this screen, use the search bar to find Smooth Scrolling.
- You should see a smooth scroll flag and a short description on the screen. Directly below it will be a dropdown menu, which will likely be set to “Default”.
- Tap the menu to display options to enable and disable.
- Enable the feature and click the Restart button at the bottom of the screen.
Now try using your browser normally for a while and see if you notice any changes. If you are not seeing smoother transitions or experiencing unwanted reactions, try turning it off. Remember to restart your browser after making any changes.
While in the flags, you may want to explore some other useful features that are not enabled by default, such as Autostart Policy. This flag asks for your permission before playing audio or video from sites, which is very useful in crowded places.
Word of warning
The inconsistent scrolling problem can be caused by various reasons. It may be that there is not enough RAM allocated for Chrome, or there is not enough RAM on the device. Smooth scrolling will increase Chrome’s RAM allocation when activated, which can slow down other processes on your device. If this becomes a problem, your operating system may close other applications to make room for Chrome.
It might also be a good idea to check your settings and see which apps are using the most RAM. Often unused apps or processes run in the background slowing down your device. Eliminating or removing them will help keep everything running smoothly.
Now that you know how to troubleshoot Chrome performance issues on a mobile device, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Turning Smooth Scrolling on or off is really easy. This can be done quickly from the Flags menu in your browser. If that doesn’t fix scrolling issues, try freeing up RAM on your device.
Do you have any helpful tips and tricks for when your browser is down? Does smooth scrolling when browsing pages matter to you? What other flags are you using and are you hoping to implement any new ones?