Getting rid of Google Chrome was almost impossible until I followed these three steps.
Is it difficult to get rid of Google Chrome? Regular readers will know that I have been going through a long process of getting rid of Google Chrome for several months. This past month in Scotland has made this process all the more urgent, due to the power inefficiency of Google Chrome when running on my laptops. When you rely on a battery-powered power station and solar panels for your power, 90 minutes of extra runtime makes all the difference.
The problem is, Google Chrome is as much a browser as it is a mini operating system, capable of doing so much. It is also a storage tool for a lot of data that is needed to function in the modern world. Switching to a new platform is very difficult, and I find myself going back and forth between different browsers, which in itself cause more problems, as I open tabs and leave data in different places.
I spent some time looking at what the sticking points were and came across three steps I needed to do to get a clean break. Here they are:
1: Recover all Google Chrome passwords in a good password manager
Despite my best efforts to make sure all my passwords were built into my password manager, unfortunately I still had things that only existed in Chrome.
There is hardly any way around it. The only solution was to export everything from Chrome, manually browse the passwords, and add the missing ones to my password manager. My current password manager is BitWarden, although LastPass and 1Password are also highly recommended. But whatever you choose, I suggest you go with a manager that you can easily use across all of your platforms, and it's worth checking out if there's a browser extension available for the browser you're migrating to.
To export your data from Chrome, the process is different depending on the version you are using:
• Type chrome: // settings / passwords in the address bar and press "Ent";
• Click on the three vertical dots ⋮ to the right of "Saved passwords" and click "Export Passwords";
• You may need to confirm the action and authenticate yourself;
• Save the file in CSV format (comma separated variable).
• Press the three dots then "Settings";
• Click on "Passwords";
• Select "Export passwords";
• You may need to confirm the action and authenticate, then save the file.
Rather than having a bunch of duplicates in my password manager, I like to edit the file so that it only contains passwords that I don't already have in the password manager (a CSV file is a text file).
To know how to import the data into your password manager, you will need to consult the documentation. Also, don't forget to safely delete this CSV file when you're done: it contains your passwords after all! It's boring and time consuming, but necessary.
2: Install the essential extensions in the new browser
Take the time to do this. If you wait too long, you'll end up thinking it's faster to use Chrome, and you'll dig the hole you're in even deeper. However, given the size of the Google Chrome ecosystem, you won't get a replacement for every extension (which might not be a bad thing from a performance standpoint). It's also boring and time consuming, but necessary.
3: make your new browser the default browser
It's obvious. On desktops and laptops, browsers will give you the option to do this. On mobile devices, the option can be a bit difficult to find:
• Go to "Settings" and scroll down to find your new browser;
• Select the app, then tap "Default Browser App" and select your new browser.
• Go to "Settings and applications";
• Click on "Applications to use by default";
• Press "Browse the Internet" and select the new browser of your choice.
This prevents your muscle memory from returning you to Chrome. Hiding the icon can also help!