How your data stays safe when you install and update Chrome

Windows and macOS versions of Chrome and the Google Chrome Apps Launcher use GoogleUpdater to keep you up to date with the latest versions of software, including security patches. In order to provide greater transparency and to make the technology available to other applications, GoogleUpdater technology is open source.

How Chrome installs and updates work

GoogleUpdater is a service that helps keep Chrome up to date. It regularly checks for new updates, and installs them when they're available.

When GoogleUpdater checks for updates, it sends Google information about your:

  • Release channel
  • Basic hardware information
  • Current version of Chrome and the length of time it was installed
  • Whether you recently used Chrome or the Chrome Apps Launcher

Chrome also sends a non-unique 4-letter tag to Google that contains information about how you obtained Chrome. This information helps Google understand how people install Chrome. It is used to ensure that you get the correct software updates.

On mobile versions of Chrome, updates are managed through the Google Play Store on Android or Apple App Store on iOS. However, Chrome still uses Google's servers to count active installations and to notify you when your version of Chrome is out of date.

Chrome extensions and applications are also kept up to date with a similar system to the one used to update Chrome. These update requests include similar information, such as the application ID, whether the application was recently used, and how long it has been installed. Google uses this information to understand the popularity and use of applications and extensions.

How Chrome protects your privacy

Google uses aggregated data from GoogleUpdater to estimate the number of active Chrome installations and individual extensions. This is done in a way that preserves your privacy. It doesn’t require the assignment of an identifier to each installation, and doesn't allow Google to match the updates of the same Chrome installation over time. Instead, each update request contains a date of the previous one to prevent an overcount. Learn more about user counting.

You’re in control

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