If you recently updated to the latest version of Chrome OS 91 and you’re experiencing some unsettling performance degradation, you are not alone. As first reported by Android Police, users have taken to Reddit and the CR Bug tracker to report devices that are experiencing maxed out CPU usage after an update to version 91.0.4472.147 of Chrome OS that rolled out last Wednesday. It is unclear, at this point, what precisely is causing the issue or how many devices are affected but we do know that AMD and 10th Gen Intel Chromebooks are among the troubled machines.
More specifically, Chromebooks with the baseboards Grunt and Hatch are the confirmed devices suffering from the debilitating CPU crunch but the problem may not be isolated to these families of devices. One user reported the problem on a much older HP 11 G5 that is powered by a much older Braswell CPU. Whatever the issue may be, a bug report has been opened but Google nor any of its developers have addressed the root cause – at least not publicly. In the image below, you can see one user’s experience with the bug that has their AMD A4 processor pegged at around 80% with nothing running and no extensions enabled.
If you’re device recently updated and it feels as if the performance has diminished, you can check your CPU usage by opening the Chrome OS diagnostic app from your app launcher. If you see that the CPU usage is unusually high, try rebooting and disabling all of your extensions. If the CPU usage is still high, help the developers out by pressing Alt+Shift+i and submitting feedback with your system logs. This can assist in helping the dev team to diagnose the culprit at large. In the meantime, there are a couple of options to regain your Chromebook’s CPU power while developers get this bug squashed.
First, you can revert to a previous version of Chrome OS. This method is relatively simple but it will require power washing your device. If you go this route, make sure to back up all of your files to the cloud or a flash drive before you wipe your machine. Here’s a quick video that will walk you through the process.
Alternatively, you can always move your Chromebook to the Beta channel. This will get you to the next version of Chrome OS while we wait for a fix to the CPU issue. Moving to Beta is simple and won’t wipe your device. That said, it will require a power wash to move back to the Stable channel. Keep that in mind before you make the move because you’ll want to ensure you have everything backed up. To move to Beta, head to your Chrome OS settings menu and click on the About Chrome OS tab in the left-hand navigation menu. Click “Additional details” and then click the “change channel” button. Select the Beta channel and wait for the update to complete. When ready, you’ll be prompted to restart your Chromebook and you will then be in the Beta channel and hopefully, bug-free. We will update this post when a fix for the CPU usage issue begins rolling out to users.