How-To Geek

Fix Google Reader Lag by Blocking Google Plus Button

Note: This article is part of our archive and is likely out of date.
(Links may not work, downloads have not been recently tested for safety)

Chrome: Many Google Reader fans have noticed, since the upgrades last month, that the service is unbearably slow. Speed things up by blocking the Google Plus button.

Ever since the upgrade from the old Google Reader interface to the new integrated-with-Google-Plus interface, many Google Reader users were reporting a painfully long lag between reading entries in Reader. Previously hitting a keyboard shortcut or arrow button to move you through the new stories was instant with no noticeable lag. After the upgrade a lag of 3-5 seconds per individual story became common (we experienced this annoying lag around the How-To Geek office immediately after the upgrade).

One of the theories was that the addition of the Google Plus button to every article was causing memory issues. Geeks Are Sexy tested the theory by blocking this address: using AdBlock. While people were reporting great success with that move (and you may find it works great too) we didn’t have any luck.

What did work for us was installing Chromeblock and, while visiting, clicking on the ChromeBlock toolbar button and blocking Google +1. After that the 3-5 second lag vanished and browsing articles was as snappy as it had been.

Hit up the link below to grab a copy of Chromeblock.


Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/17/11

Comments (15)

  1. Bee.K

    Oh wow that is a major speed increase

  2. Sean

    I had to use to get AdBlock to work correctly.

  3. Pat

    Thank you for this. The lag and the missing share buttons are two things I hate about their UI change. To share things out now, I made my own “Send To” button, then have it sent to the Delicious API where it’s bookmarked and shared. Not quite as easy as before, but it gets the job done.

  4. Jerome

    That was a great tip! I had started using Firefox just see if the lag was caused by Chrome…Adblock worked perfectly.

  5. Jose R. Ortiz

    best. tip. ever. thank you.

  6. Jim

    anyway to make this work with FF?

  7. deckoff

    What I did: I selected the whole frame, containing the +1 button, alongside with tags and I dont remember the other two things, right-click and AdBlock-ed it(the frame with all sharing mumbo-jumbo). Now fast like it used to be :)
    I hope this helps someone

  8. Al

    What deckoff said. Excellent tip!

  9. Alex M

    Excellent tip! the AdBlock trick worked with me.

  10. rick

    Reader has many other things wrong with it too since the redesign, and there’s a cottage industry of userscripts out there to remedy the problems. This one’s terrific, but there are many to choose from:

  11. jrobie

    Thanks, I am so sick of having to install things and find work-arounds to fix Google products that worked well and were attractive before Google screwed them up.

  12. Jim

    nice tip rick…liking that userscript
    (an it works well with google reader colorful list view userscript) my oldishy style(fast) google reader back now

  13. James

    Oh my God!!!
    This Fixed it! Thank you so much!!

  14. John

    Worked like a charm for me from the day you posted this until a couple of days ago. Looks like google changed the URL or something so its not blocked anymore. Their new one doesnt lag as much as it did originally but still more lag than when it was blocked.

  15. BAF

    Yeah, they changed it to https instead of http. Update the filter and it will work again.

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!