Google withdraws syncing for browsers other than it own Chrome browser
If you have been using the password, history and bookmarking sync option offered by Google you will probably find that syncing no longer works in any browser other than Chrome. This is because Google have withdrawn the service for third-party browsers based on Chromium.
What is the Chromium browser?
Chromium is the open source browser that Google Chrome is based upon but Chromium has the Google services removed. Even though Chromium doesn’t require you to sign in with a Google account it does still have the option available to sync up your bookmarks, passwords and history across your devices using Google’s sync service. Up until now Google had been happy to let 3rd party browsers based on Chromium sync with it servers, but a lot of users reported that syncing stopped working recently. When pressed for an answer to this issue a Google developer said they had stopped supporting syncing for browsers other than Chrome for security issues.
What browsers are based on Chromium?
It is not just Google Chrome that is based on the Chromium browser. Due to its open source nature anyone can produce a browser-based on the Chromium source code any many do exist.
- Blisk is a Windows browser that is useful for web development.
- Brave web browser had a built-in adblocker and aims to stop trackers. It is available for Android, iOS, Linux, MacOS and Windows.
- Cent is a highly customisable Chromium based browser from China. It’s available for Windows
- CodeWeavers CrossOver Chromium by CodeWeavers as part of their CrossOver project.
- Comodo Dragon is a Chromium based browser for 32-bit editions of Windows from Vista upwards. It is supposed to have improved security and privacy.
- Cốc Cốc is a web browser developed for Windows PCs in the Vietnamese market,
- Dartium is a Chromium build which includes the Dart VM.
- Epic Browser a web browser developed by Hidden Reflex and focused on privacy. Its based on Chromium. It is available for MacOS and Windows operating systems.
- Inox is a build of Chromium for the Arch Linux distro with the Google tracking features removed
- Nochromo is a chrome based browser for Android phones that blocks ads without the need for a 3rd party adblocker or root access
- Opera Since version 15 of the Opera browser it has been based on the Chromium code. It is available for Windows, Macos and Android.
- Samsungs web broswer for the Galaxy S4 Android smartphone was based on Chromium.
- Sleipnir is a Windows and MacOS browser. It has built-in support for Facebook, Twitter and Dropbox.
- Slimjet: A Chrome web browser for Windows by FlashPeak that replaces some of the features usually missing from Chromium based browsers such as webpage translation, PDF viewer and a PPAPI flash plugin.
- SRWare Iron is based on Chromium and released for Windows, MacOS and Linux. It has a lot of the tracking options removed for privacy reasons. It comes as either traditional installation or as a portable version for extra privacy.
- Torch is a browser that specialises in media downloading. With built-in bit torrent client and video downloader. It is available for the Windows platform.
- UC browser like many other Chrome based browsers ad blocking is included in the browser. It also had link downloading prediction and a custom user interface.
- Vivaldi is a Chromium based browser for Windows, MacOS and Linux. The browser hopes to poach users of older versions of Opera who aren’t happy with the new direction of the Opera browser.
- Yandex browser is based on Chromium and developed by the Russian search engine Yandex to integrate with their services. It is available for Linux, MacOS, Windows.
How can I get sync back for Chromium browsers?
Not all Chromium based browsers will have lost the sync facility as Google has a security cookie which until it expires will let some 3rd party browsers continue to sync. But once this cookie expires, you clear your cookies or do a new install of your browser it will not receive a new cookie from Google’s server. Also Opera users have never used Google’s servers for their sync service so they won’t be affected. For those that use a Chromium based browser that supports add-ons there are a few available which will sync your bookmarks and password. There is Xmarks and Eversync for your bookmarks and Keepass or Lastpass for passwords. If your Chromium based browser doesn’t support add-ons and you don’t want to switch to a different one then there are third-party services and apps such as Delicious which you can use to sync up, even if they aren’t quite as seemless as the previous Google sync service.