Google Chrome is the de facto leader in browsers. The browser keeps updating itself in the background because of which you don’t have to manually do this job. You can also visit the “About Google Chrome” tab to check if there are any pending updates for the browser. Whether you update it manually or automatically, you cannot choose if you want to update Chrome in full or not. Therefore, there is some lack of control.
Unfortunately, such updates may often lead to the browser crashing and there is no way in which you can debug the updates on your own. This is where Chrome Components become to play. When used properly, it can help you manually update different parts of the Chrome browser.
Understanding Chrome Components
If you want to enable or disable some settings on your browser, you can use Chrome Setting and Chrome Flags. However, Chrome Components are the individual components of the browser that work in the background. They also help in making various features of the browser possible. You must have come across “Adobe Flash Player.” It is also a component that allows Flash Player to run on your browser. If you don’t want the Flash Player to run on your browser, you can disable this component individually in your browser.
How to open Chrome Components?
To reach the Chrome Components, you first need to use the Chrome URL feature. Simply visit chrome://components URL page where you can see all the different components of the browser. To update either of the components, simply click on “Check for Update.” The browser will start looking for an available update and install it if available.
List of Chrome Components
For an average user, going to the Chrome Components page may lead to confusion as you may not know what each component does. Here is a list of all components available on the browser and their meaning.
#1 MEI Preload
This component is a media engagement bundle which will help in media playback on your browser. The component can preload content from websites for the users. If you have issues with Chrome unable to preload media, then updating this component will be a good idea.
#2 Intervention Policy Database
The Intervention Policy Database component is used for pushing settings and policies to the user’s devices. If your Chrome crashes frequently, then this component must be updated.
#3 Legacy TLS Deprecation Configuration
This component handles the TLS security protocol that is useful for ensuring internet connectivity on your browser. Most browsers support TLS versions 1.0 and 1.1. However, Chrome follows the newer version 1.3. Currently, the tools provide support for legacy TLS protocols as well but gives a warning- “not secure” to the user whenever he visits a website that is using legacy TLS protocols.
#4 Subresource Filter Rules
This is one of the most crucial Chrome components. It is one of the foundation stones on which the entire browser rests. The adblocking software used on the browser often uses the Subresource Filter Rules to block the websites that are not using the Better Ads Standard. This filter is also essential for blocking suspicious websites. Therefore, keeping this component updated is crucial.
#5 Crowd Deny
This component handles website permissions for the users. It can be used for block permissions like storage of cookies, sound, notifications etc. depending on the reputation data of the website. If the reputation data of the site is good, Chrome allows it. However, if it is not good, then Crowd Deny revokes all site permissions. This is applicable only to HTTPS websites for now.
#6 File Type Policies
This component manages the file handling policies of the browser.
#7 Origin Trials
This component helps developers in testing and experiment with the web platform of Google Chrome without disturbing the browser.
#8 Adobe Flash Player
The most commonly known component for Chrome is Adobe Flash Player that helps provide flash support to videos. Though many websites are moving away from providing flash support, many websites still use it. If you have problems with flash video playback on your browser, this is the component you must update.
#9 Certificate Error Assistant
This Assistant helps you in generating a signed SSL certificate if a website faces some mismatching errors. This is especially true when you are signing into a website with a third-party keychain. The component also helps in issuing SSL certificates from the self-signed certificate authority of Chrome.
CRL refers to certificate Revocation List. The component maintains a list of websites that come with bad certificates and helps protect the users from harmful websites. The revocation list is constantly updated by Google so that certificates that are no longer deemed trustworthy could be identified. It is a component designed to help users stay away from malicious websites.
#11 Safety Tips
Safety Tips component asks users to move away from websites that are considered suspicious or phishing websites. It displays a precaution to the user and asks them to go back. It is also useful in finding spoofed websites i.e. domains that are unusually similar to other domains.
This component is relatively new on Chrome and it is unclear what the component does. However, it is connected to the Omnibox suggestion box and uses the OmniboxOnDeviceHeadProvider Chrome Flag to the users. It is useful in providing better suggestions to Chrome users when they use the Omnibox search feature.
This component is meant only for Chrome OS users and allows users to interact with the Linux terminal called ‘termina’ in native command line of the operating system. If you are using a Chromebook and find any issues with Linux, then this component may demand an update.
Now you are equipped with the knowledge that will help you decide what Chrome Components are and how to update them manually to debug issues while using the browser. The process is very simple and updates are installed automatically, making it easy even for regular users who do not have much technical knowledge.