How to solve Google Chrome problems running on your Mac

Fix Chrome browser problems and get it working as good as new

Do you have problems with Chrome running on macOS or OS X? Just use Safari! No, seriously though, you can fix Google Chrome problems with the tips here and get your favourite browser working again.

Why use Chrome instead of Safari? One is the huge number of extensions for Chrome and there are some brilliant ones. Safari has a few extensions, but nowhere near as many.

Chrome also runs across macOS, Windows and Linux, so people that use different operating systems can keep bookmarks, extensions and other items in sync no matter which computer they use.

Update Chrome and macOS

The first thing to do when there is a recurring problem is to check for a newer version of Chrome because an update might have fixed it. Chrome will automatically update sooner or later, but you can speed up the process.

  • Open the browser, click the three dots button to show the menu
  • Select Help, About Google Chrome.

In addition to displaying the About information, this triggers a check for a newer version and if one is available it is automatically downloaded and installed.

It is also a good idea to check for operating system updates too. The problem might be something that Apple has fixed in a bug patch. Open the App Store and click the Updates button in the toolbar.

Chrome and YouTube

One problem that some people have had with Chrome is that it crashes when they try to watch a YouTube video full screen. It does not immediately crash and it might run for a minute or two, but then bang!

Not only does Chrome crash, but the Mac reboots, which could be a disaster if you had work open in other apps that wasn’t saved.

  • Go to the Chrome menu and select Settings.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and click Advanced settings.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and there is an item labelled Use hardware acceleration when available. If it is on then turn it off. If it is off then turn it on. Just try the opposite to whatever it is set to.

Turn off hardware acceleration in Chrome browser to fix crashes and other problems


Chrome automatically starts when the Mac starts

Any app can be set to automatically start when the Mac boots up or you log into your account. There is more than one way to do this, but the simplest method is usually the one used.

  • Go to the Apple menu and click System Preferences.
  • Click Users & Groups.
  • Select the Login Items tab.
  • If Google is listed, select it and then click the minus ( - ) button below.

Stop apps starting automatically by deleting them from Login Items in System Preferences on the Apple Mac


Chrome using too much memory or CPU

When Chrome was first released, it was lightweight and fast. However, as it got older it got bigger and bloated. This has caused memory and performance problems.

The good news is that the situation is improving and the latest version of Chrome uses less memory and less CPU. Make sure you have the latest version by going to the menu, Help, About.

Chrome extensions can use a lot of memory and processor power, and disabling those you aren’t actually using will make a big difference. Chrome will be faster and will use less memory.

Plugins use memory and CPU too, and disabling them will reduce the memory and CPU usage. Instead of running plugins all the time, you can set them to run only when you want them.

  • Go to the Chrome menu, More tools, Extensions.
  • Clear the tick next to any extension you are not using.
  • Click the trash icon next to any extension you can live without.

Disable or delete extensions in Chrome to reduce the memory and speed up the browser

  • Go to the Chrome menu and click Settings.
  • Click Show advanced settings.
  • In the Privacy section, click Content settings.
  • In the Plugins section, select Let me choose when to run plugin content. If a plugin is needed, there will be a blank space on the web page and an icon at the right side of the address box. Click the icon and you can choose to run all plugins for that page.

Disable plugins in Google Chrome and only run them when you click them


Fix any problem with Chrome

If none of the above fixes has worked, it is best to uninstall Chrome and reinstall it. Chrome syncs everything with your online account, so nothing is lost and all your history, bookmarks and so on will be fine.

Google says to drag the app to the trash, but it is better to use an uninstaller utility like AppCleaner. This tracks down all associated files and folders and deletes them.



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