10 Reasons To Stop Using Google Chrome

Performance and Stability

Just because it's the most used doesn't mean it's the best. There are many factors that have contributed to the success of Chrome in the market. And while there are some features to be credited that helped sell the browser to users, it is far from being the most impressive in terms of performance and stability. In fact, some Chrome users may even admit that they are forced to use the browser for this or that feature, despite the many heartaches and headaches the browser has on its performance.

The internet is full of anecdotes about Chrome's insatiable appetite for RAM and battery power. In a time when people have become more dependent on laptops than on the web for work, study or entertainment, along with relatively limited hardware resources, a terrible web browser is probably the last thing they need. Actually, the last thing they need is for Chrome to crash because it ran out of memory or worse, some bug from an extension.

To be fair, Google is working to improve Chrome's performance and reduce its footprint, primarily by restricting how much JavaScript works behind the background. Also, this can sometimes lead to sub-optimal user experiences, which Google is also trying to avoid. This still means that Chrome is by default a huge beast to tame and put on a diet.

Extensions Security

At one time, web browsers competed in the number of third-party add-ons, sometimes known as extensions, they supported. The extension system allowed the browser to remain slim, at least compared to the behemoth that Internet Explorer was while leaving the door open for functionality that browser developers had not envisioned or even intended. Wasn't either. Of course, this requires that the software have hooks that extensions can connect to in order to implement those features, including sometimes being able to modify what users see on a web page or on a user's computer. Touching files is also included.

Unfortunately, extensions have also become a source of problems in the long run, jeopardizing the stability of the browser as well as the security of the users. Complicating matters is how Google ran its Chrome Web Store, which was even more open-ended than its Google Play Store for Android. In exchange for a more open ecosystem, there was barely any quality control, and lots of malware-laden extensions were able to slip through the cracks, often in the form of extensions coming from reputable developers.

Google is trying to close that big hole, but its strategy has been a double-edged sword. It has restricted who can access which extensions to reduce the negative side effects of harmful extensions, but has also removed required functionality for some extensions. Unfortunately, it's not even a perfect deal, and there are still some problematic add-ons that go beyond Google's investigation.

Settings Bloat

Add-ons and extensions were supposed to make browsers simpler and lightweight, but things didn't always turn out that way in the end. In addition to being a resource-hungry piece of software, Chrome is also a complex one, and its complexity bleeds into its configuration options. Almost like any Google product, Chrome has pages upon pages of settings that the browser itself requires a mini search engine to look for the appropriate controls.

Slow Feature Development

Despite being considered to be "heavy," Chrome is ironically slow to actually add new features, at least compared to something like Microsoft Edge or even Opera. Yes, is a new Chrome release almost every month (though Google is now adjusting that), but that rate only means that most of the changes are bite-sized and focus on fixes rather than big new features.

Ecosystem Lock-in

Chrome is one of the most ubiquitous gateways to the Internet, where most of Google's money-making products and services can be found. In other words, it is pretty much the portal into Google's services, and it is becoming increasingly obvious that Google is shaping it up to be like one. It works the other way around as well, and some of the best Chrome features can only be experienced if you are already using other Google products.

Tracking and Privacy

Google has never been one to be associated positively with privacy, and the company is working hard to change that image. On the Web side of things, it has been heavily advertising its efforts to rid the world of harmful third-party tracking cookies, a laudable effort in itself. Other browser makers have also joined in on that thrust, but not all of them agree with Google's recent proposals on how to do it.

False Sense of Security

Even without those upcoming features like the controversial FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts), Chrome does have some measures in place designed to protect users' privacy. Some of those sound like your typical browser features, like removing a site's access to certain hardware or incognito mode. Others might be specific to Chrome or were implemented in Chrome first, like blocking non-HTTPS sites or removing FTP functionality.

Google Monopoly

Although Google can be praised for taking up the cause of banishing harmful cookies and trackers from Chrome and the Web at large, there have been doubts about the company's ulterior motives. In particular, its proposed compromise to replace those cookies is put into question because they seem to benefit Google only, particularly its ad platform business. And, of course, Chrome is being used as the vehicle to push that on the Web.

Browser Monoculture

Even if Chrome didn't have all these problems, there is one negative side effect that would still appear if almost all people on all platforms used Google's browser. The lack of competition will actually be dangerous not just for Google but for the Web as a whole, leading to a potential slowdown of innovation and development.

Dictating the Web's Direction

Perhaps the biggest problem with Chrome's large market share, and the reason why users should turn to potentially better browsers, is that it gives Google too much clout in the direction that the Web is going. If Google decides that Chrome will block sites that use this or that technology or require that sites implement a new feature, most websites will have to adjust to cater to Google's demands. At times, that works in the Web's favor, like pushing HTTPS to become the standard. Other times, however, it seems that Google is the only one to really benefit in the end, like when it "encouraged" websites to use AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages).