How to remove Google’s secret update software from your Mac after a "finder freeze"

Case number:699969-2003861
Topic:General
Opened by:actiasluna
Status:Open
Type:Suggestion
Opened on:Sunday, June 11, 2017 - 10:27
Last modified:Friday, June 30, 2017 - 07:30

If your Mac suffers a hard freeze and it doesn't involve a foldit client "hanging"... foldit isn’t at fault. Read on:

Symptoms of "finder freeze"
I have been experiencing numerous random instances when nothing extraordinary is going on with my computer but all of a sudden, the only thing that works is my mouse.

The screen appears frozen but isn't (can see the mouse movement) but all else is not activatable. The only resolution is a hard reboot.

What I discovered
Today (June 10 2017) I finally located what I'd begun to call the “Mac Crash” (freeze and hang requiring reboot) culprit… GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent. This has frozen me out many times but iuntil I started monitoring the Console system.log I never saw a consistent pattern. Good news is that I was able to turn this updater off.

The latest freeze occurred after I had opened Chrome Browser to do something my Safari browser refuses to do. Don't know if that is what triggered google updater (as it has happened previously, numerous times, with only Safari running). The updater is set to occur at regular intervals.

Where I found the fix:
Searched/google (oh the irony) for “how to disable Google SoftwareUpdateAgent” and found a link to a http://applehelpwriter.com/2014/07/13/how-to-remove-googles-secret-update-software-from-your-mac/
As the article title implies, this is information about the "finder freeze" - and the author of the site, "philastokes" instructs you how to disable it.

Note
If you use the above method to remove this hang-inducing nuisance you will need to run periodic updates manually once the updater's turned off. The article also tells you how to do this.

You need a little experience using Terminal to fix the critter...but you can also search on how to do that if you don't already know. It's really dead simple, just cutting and pasting a command into terminal and it's done

That's definitely better than random hangs right in the middle of having 4 foldit clients open! This is a setting Google just foists on us and it runs in "stealth"... without notifications or asking permission.

(Sun, 06/11/2017 - 10:27  |  3 comments)


actiasluna's picture
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One kind of important note I forgot to add: It says this in the article but I'll reiterate it here...If you use Google products like gmail but don't use Chrome, you should likely only use the option to set its timing to weekly (down toward the bottom of the posted article... as disabling it may cause unexpected effects. If you remove your Google products first and don't use Gmail it should be fine to completely remove it as the article suggests.

actiasluna's picture
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Now a whole week with no weird finder freezes and no more google products (I don't log on to any google product if I use, say, search... and no longer have a google account... seems to have resolved that particular annoyance! This weekend should be the measure for sure as it happens roughly once a week.
BEST results come from completely removing google products/accounts. Back up by forwarding your important gmail if you have it to another email service (I use Kolab as they have good security, but any reliable email service will do) and changing all your online services that use a gmail contact address... It takes time. Don't forget their google cloud "Drive"....

actiasluna's picture
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Joined: 03/05/2015
Groups: Gargleblasters

Update: Still no new finder "freeze" crashes without google products so it's pretty clear that this was problematic.

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