Google Chrome’s Unexpected Growth

Google Chrome’s Unexpected Growth

I was cleaning up the drive on my MacBook Pro earlier in preparation for an overseas consulting trip and noticed that my copy of Google Chrome was taking a ridiculous amount of drive space.  I use Safari almost exclusively but keep copies of Chrome, Firefox, OmniWeb and a few other browsers around for compatibility testing.

Chrome was taking up 11.5 GB on my disk.  I checked a newly download version and it was only 127 MB.  The version on my disk was over 90 times larger than it should be.

It turns out that Google Chrome keeps copies of every old version of itself when it updates to a new one.  It also doesn’t do any housekeeping by removing older versions after a period of time.  My copy had accumulated 98 different versions of itself, going back to 8/22/2011.

The easy fix is to delete your old copy and download a new one from Google’s site here: google.com/chrome/

If you prefer, you could view the contents of the application package and delete all of the old versions but that doesn’t really save you any time.

It’s really not a great idea to allow an application that you develop to grow in size this way without letting your users know what’s happing and giving them a way to control it.  What do you think?

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