Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Do I have to leave Google Chrome behind?

Summary: I live in my web browser - it needs to "just work" - without fail.

TOPICS: Browser, Apps, Google

I've been an avid user of Google Chrome since it was first released. Generally, it's fast, it enables the latest features in Google's various services, it syncs across all of my computers, has great extensions, and, lately, is buggy as hell.

I live in my browser. I write there. I communicate there. I even play there once in a while. The only desktop applications I use anymore are Adobe CS6 (which was just released, totally rocks, and is another story for another day), Skype, and Evernote, and I'm increasingly using Evernote's web interface. I utterly rely on the web and a browser for virtually everything I do. And while I don't mind tinkering once in a while, my browser is not something with which I have the time or desire to play around.

Chrome had been rock solid for some time and I happily embraced it as part of that lovely Google ecosystem of which I'm so fond (Some people would call that lock-in, but I prefer the ecosystem moniker). Lately, though, especially on Windows, Chrome has been hanging on certain pages, crashing Flash-heavy sites on resume, failing to load, failing to fully uninstall, bogging down under my myriad of tabs, and otherwise slowing me down.

In fact, I'm typing this in Firefox for the first time since 2009.

Chrome has never been especially easy on system memory, especially with Flash-intensive sites, but when I'm running quad-core machines with 8GB of RAM, performance shouldn't be an issue, no matter how many tabs and windows I have open. The kicker, though, began last week, when Chrome began throwing errors on launch about incompatibility with my version of Windows (Win 7 Pro, 64-bit) and requiring reinstallation just to launch. A search of Google's support forums revealed many users with similar or related problems.

Plenty of fixes were proposed, many around corrupted user profiles, renaming profiles, fully uninstalling, fully reinstalling (the latter two didn't work on repeated attempts and system restarts as Chrome never seemed to fully uninstall), checking for malware, etc.

It wasn't malware, it was just buggy. I don't want to have to mess around with the browser. I want to optimize it, install the tools I need, and just use it. Period.

And the average user isn't going to have the wherewithal to be tweaking, renaming, digging, and otherwise screwing with what should be their most heavily used application (after, possibly, Microsoft Office).

I don't want to leave Chrome behind. Firefox and Opera are both perfectly fine browsers, but I really like Chrome. It works for me. Or at least it always has. Now, I'm not so sure.

Topics: Browser, Apps, Google

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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  • Working here for the past 2 years

    For me is rock solid since i started using it as my main browser 2 years ago. No crashes whatsoever, no bugs, really just works. I switched because Firefox was just that, buggy, and prone to crash randomly.
    I also live in the web and rely almost 100% in the browser.
    • I agree with expect - no problems with Chrome

      I agree with expect - no problems with Chrome
    • Me 3

      Chrome is my favorite browser. I have no complaints.
    • Chrome bugs

      I love Chrome as well, but I am going to agree with the author. The past month or two has been very buggy and over the past couple weeks I have actually found myself needing to open a IE window just to see certain content. I hope they get it together soon as I really enjoy all of Chrome's features.
      • Could it be a Java issue on Windows?

        I know that with Windows it's always very important to update to the latest version of Java.
    • well

      there are obviously mixed review here because I had issues with chrome shortly after i started using it. With pages not loading all the way, caching problems, etc. So now I only use Firefox (Nightly) 64 bit. It works fine on all my machines (except on Linux, where I run the stable or normal beta).
    • Yes, Buggy

      I agree with the author on this one. Any page containing Flash has the capability to wreck a page in Chrome these days, especially if you spend some time on the site.

      When Chrome 18 was released to the stable channel it was hell, and then the first update they did made it a little more stable. But the Flash bugs are still there, although to a lesser degree now.

      It is disconcerting.
      • Flash UPdates?

        Interesting that there have been a number of Flash updates lately - maybe that is the cause, or at least a contributor.
  • Try Google Chrome Beta Yet?

    h t t p s : / / w w w . g o o g l e . c o m / l a n d i n g / c h r o m e / b e t a /

    Try it before you go popping your cork.

    Google Engineers have redesigned V8 and optimized their JIT compiler--the result: 25% speed gain.

    Don't take my word for it. Get it.
    DTS Your Linux Advocate
  • Good luck with that

    Google Chrome was notorious for leaving file handlers in place after it was uninstalled. Don't be surprised when you click on a link in Outlook or Word and it fails to open up.
    Your Non Advocate
  • what are you talking about?

    Maybe I missed something.

    What other browser "just works without fail" 100% of the time?

    Your errors sounds computer related. I run Chrome all over the place and yes it has its occasionally minor flaws but it generally works fine - no worse than any other browser and usually better.
    • That's very true.

      I use Chrome on MacOS X and love it. Never have a problem. Much faster than any other browser on Mac.
  • Aw, snap!

    i hate when Google Chrome displaying that @_@

    Chrome is sure fast load, but it's worthless if still displaying 'page unresponsive, kill bla bla' or even 'Aw, snap!'

    Firefox sure are RAM eater, but it didn't disappointing me with those type of annoying message... so ye, Firefox still [b]the best[/b] for me... RAM eater but still [b]stable[/b] to run...
  • Chrome runs fine

    Chrome runs fine on a 2 year old dual core with 2GB of RAM as it does on a new quad core with 8GB RAM.
  • Chrome Problems

    I have experienced the same problems that Chris found. Chrome 18 loads slowly and continually has problems with flash. I am continually in task master killing the Chrome process.

    I went back to Firefox 12.0. No problems but I would rather be using a solid edition of Chrome.
    • Not to defend Google's spyware browser .... but

      ... but the moment you use the word Flash, any complain about the browser is completely negated.

      Today, Flash is the source of 80% (if not more) of the problems of EVERY browser, including infections. The moment you notice a Flash related issue, is the moment you find the REAL source of the problem.
      • What is this "flash" of which you speak?

        Haha I obviously know what flash is, but I haven't even installed it on my computer. The web works perfectly fine without it.
      • Unless I'm mistaken...

        ...Chrome doesn't rely on Flash in the same way as other browsers - Google integrates it in to Chrome directly so you shouldn't need to update Flash. This SHOULD make it more stable on Chrome than others as it isn't an addon but an integrated part (in theory)

        As it happens, I'm running the official release of Chrome at work and the Dev version (not even the Beta) at home and neither is proving problematic. In fact, I only remember one version of the browser which ever was buggy and I've been on Dev or Beta since its release!
  • Chrome is fine--Flash plug-in(s) are causing your problems

    Note to Christopher-- the problem isn't with Chrome--disable one (or more) of your Flash "plug-ins" in your Chrome settings. I had the same problem as you describe and once I disabled 2 of the Flash plug-ins, no more problems!
  • I'm A Fan!

    Chrome is my favorite browser! It runs perfect about 98.9% of the time. So overall I'm satisfied.