Chrome OS update may speed up your slow Chromebook: What we know

Lenovo Chromebook Duet
(Image credit: Future)

One of the advantages of Chromebooks is the fast bootup time due to the relatively simple operating system. However, but in recent years that is increasingly untrue for particularly lower-end Chromebooks.

Fortunately, a recent code commit discovered by About Chromebooks suggests that Google may have both uncovered the culprit and found the solution to delivering fast bootup to Chromebooks again. 

According to the code commit, the slowdown is the fault of ARCVM, the virtual machine that allows you to run Android apps on a Chromebook. The note indicates that ARCVM "continuously consumes CPU for several minutes on muster login before user has been launched any Android app or [P]lay store." 

Android app support was introduced to Chrome OS a few years ago, but whether you make use of it or not, you may not be thrilled to have it impact your Chromebook's performance every time you turn it on. The virtual machine is basically monopolizing the CPU's resources on launch even when you aren't using it.

The update will allow Chrome OS to restrict ARCVM's access to the CPU to a certain percentage, presently that is 25%. However, it may change prior to the official release of the update. And for those heavy Android app users, don't worry, the restriction seems to be lifted if you actively try to run an app or the Play Store. 

There's no timeline for this update to reach users yet as we are still just looking at a code commit. However, it's clear that this would be a net benefit to all Chromebook owners, so hopefully, we see it show up as an experimental flag or beta sooner rather than later. 

Sean Riley

Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more.  Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.