Google Chrome on Windows 'completely unusable', gripe users

Recent versions of browser attract performance, stability complaints

Google's Chrome browser promises "speed, simplicity and security", but for a significant number of Windows users you can strike "speed" from that list.

A thread on Google’s Chrome forum titled: “Chrome has become completely unusable, in almost every imaginable way” has attracted over 375 posts since the problem was raised in early September. Most of the affected users appear to run Windows.

Here is a sample:

I have been using Chrome for years and years, and over the last month or so, Chrome has become unstable, unresponsive, slow, and makes my system crawl. I have NEVER had a single issue with it in the past, but it is almost unusable now. I have not changed or added any extensions in over a year, and just to be sure, I have disabled all extensions, and still have stability problems. I've deleted my appdata chrome folder and it doesn't resolve the issue … Guess I'm going to have to switch to Firefox for my daily driver... And just when I was getting used to a 64-bit Chrome build... What a bummer.

When a product is as widely used as Google’s web browser, even problems that only affect a small minority of users can have a substantial impact, and no doubt Chrome is running fine for most users, though it does tend to grab a large amount of memory even when behaving properly.

That said, the number of users reporting problems does seem to have increased as the scope and complexity of Chrome has evolved.

The main reported problems are slow performance, crashes, or the browser becoming unresponsive.

What is the cause? Suggestions vary, ranging from problems with extensions, to issues with Chrome’s use of GPU acceleration (making the video drivers a critical component), or problems caused by the NaCl (Native Client) component, which lets you run compiled C and C++ code in the browser.

Malware is another possibility, though that would not explain cases where Chrome runs badly when other browsers are unaffected.

It is well known that Google makes little use of Windows internally. In 2010 it was reported that Google was forbidding internal use of Windows. “We’re not doing any more Windows. It is a security effort,” said an unnamed employee.

Such a policy would naturally exclude Windows development efforts, but it is also possible that Windows applications receive less attention than those which run on the machines that most Google employees use day to day. ®

Other stories you might like

  • Stolen university credentials up for sale by Russian crooks, FBI warns
    Forget dark-web souks, thousands of these are already being traded on public bazaars

    Russian crooks are selling network credentials and virtual private network access for a "multitude" of US universities and colleges on criminal marketplaces, according to the FBI.

    According to a warning issued on Thursday, these stolen credentials sell for thousands of dollars on both dark web and public internet forums, and could lead to subsequent cyberattacks against individual employees or the schools themselves.

    "The exposure of usernames and passwords can lead to brute force credential stuffing computer network attacks, whereby attackers attempt logins across various internet sites or exploit them for subsequent cyber attacks as criminal actors take advantage of users recycling the same credentials across multiple accounts, internet sites, and services," the Feds' alert [PDF] said.

    Continue reading
  • Big Tech loves talking up privacy – while trying to kill privacy legislation
    Study claims Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, Microsoft work to derail data rules

    Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft often support privacy in public statements, but behind the scenes they've been working through some common organizations to weaken or kill privacy legislation in US states.

    That's according to a report this week from news non-profit The Markup, which said the corporations hire lobbyists from the same few groups and law firms to defang or drown state privacy bills.

    The report examined 31 states when state legislatures were considering privacy legislation and identified 445 lobbyists and lobbying firms working on behalf of Amazon, Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft, along with industry groups like TechNet and the State Privacy and Security Coalition.

    Continue reading
  • SEC probes Musk for not properly disclosing Twitter stake
    Meanwhile, social network's board rejects resignation of one its directors

    America's financial watchdog is investigating whether Elon Musk adequately disclosed his purchase of Twitter shares last month, just as his bid to take over the social media company hangs in the balance. 

    A letter [PDF] from the SEC addressed to the tech billionaire said he "[did] not appear" to have filed the proper form detailing his 9.2 percent stake in Twitter "required 10 days from the date of acquisition," and asked him to provide more information. Musk's shares made him one of Twitter's largest shareholders. The letter is dated April 4, and was shared this week by the regulator.

    Musk quickly moved to try and buy the whole company outright in a deal initially worth over $44 billion. Musk sold a chunk of his shares in Tesla worth $8.4 billion and bagged another $7.14 billion from investors to help finance the $21 billion he promised to put forward for the deal. The remaining $25.5 billion bill was secured via debt financing by Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Barclays, and others. But the takeover is not going smoothly.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022