In the last week Google installed 3 apps on my Mac - Google Docs, Sheets, Slides. All without asking me. All they do is open a web browser and go to those on the web. This is obnoxious horrible behavior. What background stuff do I have to get rid of to not allow them to do crap like this in the future?
Did you recently download Chrome? I’ve heard that Google will download links to some of its web services along with Chrome. I would think that Mac OS would not allow for apps to be downloaded without your permission. My guess is that Google wants to have as many avenues as it can so they can track you and serve you more targeted ads, and links can be even more effective than apps for tracking.
I updated Chrome recently. Google is evil, ironic since their original mission statement was don’t be evil.
Sounds like they didn’t install “apps” as much as they installed web shortcuts, as you’d get if you dragged a URL onto the desktop. So it should not break anything if you just delete them.
Well they are actual .app files and it is obnoxious. I deleted them all.
Well, I have not seen this behaviour, but it is probably /Library/Google/GoogleSoftwareUpdate/GoogleSoftwareUpdate.bundle/Contents/Helpers/GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent.app that has done it.
I like it because it updates Chrome without bothering me. Would have loved Brave to do the same. The frequent Brave updates are irritating, but probably necessary.
As an alternative to Chrome, why not give Microsoft Edge a try. It’s Chromium based without the Google junk.
FWIW, Yes, it’s from Microsoft and we’ve considered them evil in the past, but nowadays Google, Facebook/Meta and TikTok are much more evil than Microsoft ever was IMHO…
I don’t actually use Chrome unless I have to.
The Chromium project, as open source, has spawned a fairly large number of browsers based on it.
Some that may be of interest to us:
- Brave. Focuses on privacy.
- Microsoft Edge
- Ungoogled-Chromium. Removes all dependencies on Google services. For macOS, installable via Homebrew (as eloston-chromium)
And if you just want to run the core Chromium engine without anybody else’s add-ons, you can do that too. This takes the form of an unsupported developer build, but it is available. Either the Canary build (the nightly test build) or you can compile your own build.
This isn’t something I’d recommend for most people, but it is another option.
Well, I’m not quite sure how this topic slid into browser recommendations, but my little Mozilla-loving heart can’t resist putting in a plug for the only major browser built by a nonprofit, Mozilla’s Firefox. I’m the furthest thing from unbiased, I did a sabbatical at Mozilla back in 2012, but I left deeply impressed by their commitment to a free internet. I’ve been using Firefox as my only browser since then, and I’ve been very happy with it.
I recently reinstalled Google Drive, and Google surreptitiously installed those 3 trojans at the same time. I deleted them. A means to block any such non-explicitly allowed applications would be good.
This is the reason I don 't use Chrome. I recall trying it years ago and it installed several things without my knowledge (Google Earth was one) and it bothered me it did such things. On my previous machine I’ve used Chromium as a third option (behind Safari and Firefox) but only when all else fails.
I haven’t needed it yet on my M1 MBP so it’s still not installed. With its chequered history of security failures and general ‘evils’ I’m happy to keep Chrome as far away as possible.
I gave up on Chrome when its auto-update mechanism caused me no end of trouble. Vivaldi is probably the most capable, customisable Chromium-based browser, and that’s what I turn to when Firefox finds a site it doesn’t like (which is rare, but it happens).
They have apparently deleted the word “don’t” from that statement.
Here is a link to a helpful article from MacPaw on how to control or remove Google Software Update, which is responsible for re-adding software in the background: