If you use a Chrome browser for Mac and Google, you will occasionally be haunted by a ghoul called the Google Chrome Helper. Here’s how to tame this occasionally erratic spectrum of navigation.
If you use a Chrome browser for Mac and Google, you may occasionally be bypassed by a ghoul called the Google Chrome Helper. You’ll find this mysterious ghost hiding in the Activity Monitor menu – sometimes sitting in packs of 7 – celebrating on the raw meat of CPU cycles and system memory, making deafening screams from the laptop fan.
Chrome Help doesn’t explain what it is or does, although many users complain about it. Frequently asked questions about Chrome aren’t helpful either.
What is this mysterious help and how does it “help”?
The short story is, Google Chrome Helper isn’t exactly the problem. It tends to go wrong when there is a fraudulent extension or when the Google Chrome plug-in settings are configured to do everything by default. There is a long list of plugins here that Chrome supports, but most of the users on the help forums seem to have problems working with Flash content.
“Google Chrome Helper” is the generic name for embedded content that runs outside of the browser. Browser plugins are not HTML rendered functions; they contain content that has to be extracted elsewhere. “Google Chrome Helper” is the interface between the embed code of the browser and a remote server and runs automatically with the standard settings of Chrome. In many cases, the plugins and processes they manage are not listed by name because the APIs do not allow this. Google Chrome Helper is a martyr.
Disabling automatic helper support is easy and doesn’t stop you from using plugins. You only have to log in to see the content of the plug-in in each individual case. Disabling it isn’t entirely intuitive, however – it doesn’t mention any help outside of the Activity Monitor and forum complaints. You need to dive a few levels deep into your Chrome settings.
How to disable Google Chrome Helper
- 1. Open Google Chrome on your Mac or PC.
- 2. Click the three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
- 3. Click ‘Settings.’
- 4. Click “Advanced” in the left menu bar, and then select “Privacy and Security” from the drop-down menu.
- 5. Scroll down and select “Site settings” under “Privacy and security.”
- 6. Scroll down and click “Access non-sandbox plugins.”
- 7. Click the blue slider next to “Ask if a site wants a plugin to access your computer (recommended)” so that it turns gray and write “No site has plug-in access to your computer allows “Changes”.
Disabling all computer-to-computer access is the best way to suppress hyperactive help.
This is essentially the same as setting up emails to upload images only when you click an image upload link. Any content embedded in Flash, Java, Quicktime, DivX, or Silverlight on a web page appears as a gray area until you click it to load the player and content.
A big benefit of destroying Google Chrome Helper? Its purpose is to prevent Flash ads from loading automatically without having to install an ad blocker.
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