Friday, March 23, 2018

Fix for when Chrome stops making screen updates

My desktop environment is KDE, and I use Chrome for my browser.  At any given time, I'll have 2-5 windows with 10-40 tabs each.  However, every once in a while (usually once every week or so), the rendering of Chrome will freeze.  That is, the entire window will remain frozen (visually), but clicks and everything else go through fine (you just can't see the results).  Changing my window focus (switching to a different window, opening the "K" menu, etc.) usually causes a single render, but that doesn't help with actually interacting with a (visually) frozen Chrome window.

Closing Chrome and opening it back up works, but that's really inconvenient.

I'm still not sure why this happens, but I do have a quick (and convenient) fix: change your compositor (and then change it back).  Why does this work?  I'm not sure, but since it's obviously a rendering problem, making a rendering change makes sense.

Step by step:

  1. Open "System Settings".
  2. Open "Display and Monitor".
  3. Go to "Compositor".
  4. Change "Rendering backend" from whatever it is to something else (usually "OpenGL 3.1" to "OpenGL 2.0" or vice versa).
  5. Click "Apply".
This always solves the problem for me.  You can even switch it back to the original value after you hit "Apply" the first time.