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I Ditched Google Chrome and You Can Too

Here is a tip for browsing the internet: switch from Chrome to Safari

(Ringer illustration)
(Ringer illustration)

I am not demanding of my gadgets. I don’t care about having the newest thing. I had an iPhone 4 until late 2015. It worked fine. I have used Google Chrome on my MacBook Air for many years, following this same line of thinking. But my onetime favorite internet browser, my dear Google Chrome, has betrayed me. It became increasingly slower and buggier. Last month, I finally abandoned it.

At first, I felt like Rose in Titanic, abandoning the corpse of poor, frozen Jack Dawson to the ocean floor even though I just promised him I’d never let go, and also I made such a lame effort to stave off his hypothermia by allowing him to dry his body on the floating door: terrible and guilty.

First, You’ll Deny There Is a Problem

Chrome had all my passwords saved and, to be frank, I had forgotten most of them, so believe me — I only made this switch under duress, after I tried all the tips I could find. I cleared my cache. I diligently checked for updates. I disabled my plugins and my extensions, including the extension I’d enabled to suspend my tabs in a previous effort to make Chrome suck less. I checked my laptop for tucked-away malware; I tried disabling the hardware acceleration, which is CNET’s “quick fix for your slow Chrome browser.” Nothing worked. While Chrome was open, it was like a sloth on opiates had possessed my MacBook Air (Chromebooks and PCs seem to have less of an issue with the Google browser). The spinning wheel icon taunted me. I restarted the computer four to five times a day, and fretted that it had broken.

Then, You Will Bail Hard

Then, I switched to Safari, which I’d previously opened only twice a year to watch Apple’s product launches and conference livestreams for work. Chrome and Firefox have better reputations for their extensions; Safari has long been maligned as a mediocre default pushed upon the masses by Apple.

And I understood: I was Rose in Titanic, but I was abandoning the cruel Billy Zane by hocking a loogie at his face. I felt great, and my computer was no longer borderline-unusably slow. A woman’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.

I’d always considered Safari an unloved cousin of Internet Explorer, a halfhearted shrug of a product. I chose Safari over Firefox because Firefox’s slowness had prompted me to switch to Chrome several years ago. And, guess what? Safari is fine. Here is a short list of reasons I like Safari, or at least like it enough:

  • My computer does not freeze anymore.
  • In fact, my computer is fast.
  • Safari has bookmarks and its own version of incognito mode.
  • If I use Handoff mode, it syncs with my phone.

I miss Google integration, but not as much as I don’t miss wanting to throw my computer in a gutter.

Oh, Also: Passwords

Did I have to get password resets sent to my email address because I forgot all my passwords and they were too hidden within Chrome’s labyrinthian settings? You bet I did! Is it pretty annoying that you can’t see the URL in the little URL box on Safari? Yeah, it is. Am I so pleased with my decision that I feel morally compelled to spread this message to the masses in case any of you are currently struggling with the Curse of the Spinning Wheel because you chose the wrong internet browser? Yes, definitely, that is exactly what I am like, thank you for reading and don’t use Google Chrome if you have a MacBook.