Ghostery has killed my use of Google Chrome

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

For the last 2 years I had Ghostery installed on Google Chrome (on a Mac) and I was using Chrome as my main web browser. I love the way it protected me from spam advertising. I’d open my favorite magazine and a purple box would open in the bottom right part of the browser window, where Ghostery would list all the advertising widgets it had blocked. The list was eye opening for me. On some magazine sites there were as many as 20 different 3rd party snippets of Javascript, all attempting to spy on me in some way, or serve me ads that I did not want to see.

So I was a fan of Ghostery and I recommended it to others.

However, Ghostery has been changing in ways that slowed down Chrome. I don’t mind taking a small speed hit, if we are talking about a few seconds on each page. I can live with that. I assumed perhaps they were trying to be aggressive about keeping out the spam. Less charitably, perhaps they wanted to monetize themselves by doing more analytics regarding what I was allowing, or what they wanted to allow me to see, based on deals with the advertising companies themselves.

This last month, there was a dramatic change. Chrome started locking up and becoming unresponsive. At first I thought I had too many windows open — once upon a time I would keep as many as 40 windows open. So I cut back to just 5 open windows. And still I had problems. I would quit Chrome, and restart it, and it would work for 20 minutes and then start to lock up again. Opening a page could take 5 minutes. If I tried to close a browser window, by holding the Command key and then hitting the W key, a minute or two would pass before the window actually closed.

I was not having these problems with Firefox or Safari. But I never had Ghostery installed on them. I did not use them as often.

I did some reading online and I saw that people were having trouble with Ghostery on Chrome. So deleted Ghostery, and suddenly all of the issues with Chrome were solved.

I am a bit sad about Ghostery. I liked it. I’ll miss it. But I can’t wait 5 to 10 minutes to open a web page.

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