Chrome is Bad: How “Keystone” from the Google browser slows down the Mac

The fact that Google's Chrome web browser slows down computers has already become a meme for both Mac and PC users. But why is that so? And what slows down the Mac, even if you are not using the Google browser at all? The answer is Keystone. This is in Updater, which is supposed to bring Google software up to date, but in doing so causes the WindowServer process to demand an extremely high amount of computing power from the CPU. How to solve the problem and where you can get more details, you can read in this guide.

It is well known that the Google Chrome web browser is CPU-hungry. But a lot of CPU power on the Mac is also drawn by the Keystone updater. The solution: delete Google Chrome and Keystone on the Mac. You can find the instructions here.

It is well known that the Google Chrome web browser is CPU-hungry. But a lot of CPU power on the Mac is also drawn by the Keystone updater. The solution: delete Google Chrome and Keystone on the Mac. You can find the instructions here.

What is Google Keystone?

Google Keystone is an updater, a process that is designed to bring software up to date with automatic updates. Such software usually runs in the background and takes care of this task unobtrusively. With Keystone from Google, the procedure is not inconspicuous, because a lot of CPU power is unnecessarily drawn. This happens automatically after the system is started and even if no Chrome browser, no Google Earth or other software from the Alphabet subsidiary is used. 

I found the reference to Keystone and its behavior slowing down the Mac on the ChromeIsBad.com website. In one Post from December 2020 it will show how a brand new Apple MacBook Pro was slowed down because the WindowServer process consumed around 80% CPU power. For comparison: the process normally consumes less than 10%. In addition to this reference to third-party access by installed software, the Activity indicator no references to Google services, since Google Chrome itself was not used at all at the time in question.

Problems with Google Chrome and Keystone as an updater have been discussed on the web for a long time. It was not only since December of last year that it has been known what kind of half-baked software Google is unloading from users. I have one at the Mac Observer Items from August 2015 found. The Apple Help Writer even published one in July 2014 Entry to. And there is one even further back Question on the subject of keystone in the Apple communities, which was asked in 2008. So in at least 13 years, Google will have nothing  significantly improved in its software.

Make Mac Faster: Delete Google Chrome and Keystone!

Unfortunately, I can't avoid Google's Chrome browser because I need it every now and then for work. But if I had no other use for it, I'd find Keystone and kick it out. If that's exactly what you're up to, you will find the right instructions here (source is the “Chrome is Bad” website).

Step 1:

  1. Open the Applications folder on the hard drive (Macintosh HD)
  2. Uninstall Chrome (in ProgramFolder delete the Chrome entry)
  3. If the browser only ends up in the trash, empty it to complete the uninstallation
To uninstall Google Chrome on the Apple Mac, you can simply delete the corresponding package from the Applications folder. This is also possible with AppCleaner (see below).

To uninstall Google Chrome on the Apple Mac, you can simply delete the corresponding package from the Applications folder. This is also possible with AppCleaner (see below).

Step 2:

  1. Open the macOS Finder
  2. In the Finder menu bar Go to and then on Go to the folder ... here
  3. Then / Library and press Enter
  4. Now in the folders LaunchAgents, LaunchDaemons, Application Support, Caches and Preferences delete all google folders and remove everything with com.google and com.google.keystone begins
  5. Finally, carry out the 3rd step

Step 3:

  1. Open the macOS Finder
  2. In the Finder menu bar Go to and then on Go to the folder ... here
  3. Then ~ / Library enter and press Enter (with "~" this is the user folder, i.e. a different folder than above)
  4. Now in the folders LaunchAgents, LaunchDaemons, Application Support, Caches and Preferences delete all google folders and remove everything with com.google and com.google.keystone begins
  5. Delete the contents of the Mac Trash and restart the computer

Will the AppCleaner detect Google's keystone files?

I once looked to see if that AppCleaner recognize the folders and files mentioned above. Because the Mac app as an aid to uninstalling apps is advertised as deleting remnants of data that are not in the Applications folder but are related to the software to be deleted. 

AppCleaner did not find or display the keystone data. But I think it's because Keystone is a general Google services updater. So if you only want to delete Chrome but download updates for other Google programs, you still need Keystone. Maybe that's why AppCleaner doesn't delete it.

AppCleaner removes more than just the package from the macOS Applications folder. However, the app cannot delete the Keystone Updater.

AppCleaner removes more than just the package from the macOS Applications folder. However, the app cannot delete the Keystone Updater.

Which web browser should I use on the Mac / iMac / MacBook?

For most websites, web tools and internet applications, Apple's own browser “Safari” is completely sufficient. Since it is Apple's browser for the proprietary system of the Mac, there are no compatibility problems or particularly serious bugs that slow the system down. 

However, Safari is not based on "Chromium", which is required for some add-ons, plug-ins or web applications. If you need a Chromium web browser on your Apple Mac, then take a look at Opera: Opera.com. On the "Chrome is Bad" website, Brave (.) and Vivaldi (.) recommended.

Experience with Google Chrome, Keystone, and slow Apple computers

What are your experiences with the Chrome web browser, Keystone updater, and other Google issues that have slowed your Mac? Feel free to leave a comment on the topic;) And if you are looking for an alternative to the Google search engine, then take a look Ecosia

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5 comments

  1. Beatrix Willius says:

    Safari is by no means better.

    When I opened half a dozen pages of the mirror in OS in Safari with a MacBook Air from 2020 under OS, I could no longer scroll. Most of the time it works with the M1-Air. But the mirror is faster under Chrome. The mirror is overloaded with everything that has to do with advertising.

    • Jens Kleinholz says:

      Hello Beatrix! Have you tried iCab? I've been testing it for a few weeks and it's faster than Safari and Chrome on many of my test sites. Apparently a little insider tip. : D

  2. Simon says:

    So I have Safari and Chrome running on my MBP 16.
    To be honest, I can't confirm the WindowServer usage on me.
    In retirement, my MBP idles with about 3-4% utilization.
    However, I completely stopped Chrome via AppTamer as soon as I moved it to the background

  3. Sven says:

    Hi,

    is it not possible to forbid the connection using LittleSnitch?

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