Chrome extension getting very slow and unresponsive

In the last couple of days/weeks I notice the Chrome extension getting unbearably slow when viewing a PDF. My laptop is of high quality and very fast with other tasks. For example a PDF of only 8 pages with around 10 notes is really slow and unresponsive, especially compared to the default Chrome PDF viewer.
I have a video showing how slow the PDF viewer and eventually even crashes

Thanks for the report. Have you tried restarting Chrome, signing out of and back in to your Google account, perhaps completely uninstalling and reinstalling the extension? Trying the same from another browser would also be worth a shot – Paperpile runs on any Chromium-based one like Brave, Vivaldi, MS Edge in case you’re able to use any of them for troubleshooting. Let us know and please do share the video if the issue persists, here or via chat/email (

Have you identified the problem behind it Vicente? I tried all of the mentioned tips, but the more I annotate my PDFs, the slower the web PDF reader gets and at the moment it is in a state I can’t work with. Loading the annoatations takes at least 30 seconds, and after that it is laggy as hell, I would say 2FPS at most. After some time (5 minutes) the performance gets better. I am on a new Macbook Pro M1 Max and this is clearly a software related problem. All other PDF readers work like a charm.

Marcus – could you also try turning all browser extensions off, then only Paperpile back on, refresh and try annotating again? Since we haven’t received other reports of this behavior, it is very likely something in your browser environment/settings is interacting poorly with our extension. No further suggestions/thoughts for now; if that still doesn’t do the trick please also send over a couple of your annotated PDFs so we can try to reproduce on our end. Feel free to share via chat or email (

Hi, I turned off all browser extensions, except Paperpile, restarted the browser and tried it again. The behavior is the same on my M1 Macbook Pro 16". Here is the video.

As some background information:

  1. I only have Chrome open, nothing is running in the background.
  2. I am opening the paper.
  3. It literally takes ages to load the annotations, but only for heavily annotated papers. On other PDF viewers this works flawlessly.
  4. After some time the annotations are loaded and I try to scroll down. It is suuuuuper laggy, unworkable.

Here is the link to the paper:

Hi Vicente, I just wanted to check if you could reproduce the error by now?

Kind regards,

Thanks for the follow-up, Marcus. Although the team was able to reproduce some laggy behavior with the PDF you shared, there’s unfortunately no immediate solution to speak of at the moment (besides temporarily using another viewer). It might be relevant to point out we haven’t received other reports of this particular behavior since your own.

As you might’ve read elsewhere in the forum, we’ve been working on complete rewrites of the extension and web app (see our roadmap) which will address this sort of issue and bring significant overall performance improvements. First betas are scheduled for after the summer and wider release before the end of the year.

I’m not sure if this is because this is being worked on, or because I updated Chrome today, but the extension won’t load papers/PDFs today. Is this related to the problems above in this thread or maybe the Chrome update? I have gone through the remove the extension restart Chrome kind of troubleshooting. Just curious if this is ongoing or new with the update.

1 Like

@Ian_Cost – in the new Chrome version (104) we can not load a PDF in an iframe anymore (Block iframe contexts navigating to filesystem: URLs - Chrome Platform Status) which affects the Chrome default viewer when opening a PDF. The team is working on a fix which should land in the Chrome Web Store this week.

In the meantime, our native viewer works fine, so you may use that if needed by going to Settings > Browser Integration and choosing Viewer with annotations. The Google Drive viewer also works.

Thanks for the update. The annotation viewer works perfectly fine, so I can live with that :slight_smile: Good luck with the update, hope it isn’t too difficult to remedy.

1 Like

I’m having the same problem, will migrate to native viewer as recommended. Hope this gets fixed easily.

@Ian_Cost, @Claire_Green, we’ve released a fresh version of the extension (1.5.412) which should fix the Chrome PDF viewing issue. Please let us know if it still doesn’t work for you.

1 Like

The update works on my end. Good to know the other versions also work though, for the future.

Many thanks.

1 Like