Chrome vs. Chromium

What's the Difference?

Chrome and Chromium are both web browsers developed by Google, but they have some key differences. Chrome is the commercial version of Chromium, which means it includes additional features and support from Google. It is designed for everyday users and comes with built-in Flash player, PDF viewer, and automatic updates. On the other hand, Chromium is an open-source project that serves as the foundation for Chrome. It lacks some proprietary features found in Chrome, such as the ability to play certain media formats, but it offers a more customizable and privacy-focused browsing experience. Chromium is often used by developers and tech enthusiasts who prefer to have more control over their browser's functionality.


Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash
DeveloperGoogleOpen-source community
LicenseProprietaryOpen-source (BSD License)
Release DateSeptember 2, 2008September 2, 2008
Supported PlatformsWindows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOSWindows, macOS, Linux
Default Search EngineGoogleNone (user-configurable)
Automatic UpdatesYesNo (requires manual updates)
Integration with Google ServicesDeep integrationMinimal integration
Usage TrackingYesNo
Additional FeaturesChrome Web Store, Sync across devicesNone (purely browser)
Photo by Almas Salakhov on Unsplash

Further Detail


When it comes to web browsing, Google Chrome and Chromium are two popular options that often confuse users due to their similar names and shared codebase. While both browsers are built on the open-source Chromium project, there are key differences between them that can impact user experience, privacy, and customization. In this article, we will delve into the attributes of Chrome and Chromium, highlighting their similarities and differences to help you make an informed choice.

User Interface and Features

Chrome and Chromium share a similar user interface, owing to their common codebase. Both browsers offer a clean and intuitive design, with a unified search and address bar, commonly known as the Omnibox. They also provide tabbed browsing, bookmark management, and support for extensions, allowing users to enhance their browsing experience with various add-ons and plugins.

However, one key distinction lies in the additional features that Chrome offers. As Google's proprietary browser, Chrome provides seamless integration with Google services such as Gmail, Google Drive, and Google Translate. It also includes built-in PDF viewer and Flash player, making it convenient for users who frequently access these types of content. These extra features make Chrome a compelling choice for individuals deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem.

Privacy and Data Collection

Privacy is a significant concern for many internet users, and it is important to understand how Chrome and Chromium handle data collection. Both browsers collect certain information to improve their services, but there are differences in the extent and control users have over this data.

Chrome, being a Google product, is known to collect user data for personalized advertising and other purposes. While Google has implemented various privacy controls, some users may have reservations about the amount of data collected and the potential for tracking. On the other hand, Chromium, being an open-source project, does not have the same level of data collection. It lacks the built-in Google services and tracking mechanisms found in Chrome, providing a more privacy-focused browsing experience.

It is worth noting that Chromium can be modified by third-party developers, which means that different Chromium-based browsers may have varying privacy practices. Therefore, if privacy is a top concern, it is essential to research the specific Chromium-based browser you intend to use to ensure it aligns with your privacy preferences.

Updates and Stability

Both Chrome and Chromium receive regular updates to improve performance, security, and compatibility. However, there are differences in how these updates are delivered and the stability of each browser.

Chrome, being a fully packaged browser, is updated automatically by Google. This ensures that users have the latest features and security patches without any manual intervention. Additionally, Chrome undergoes extensive testing by Google before each release, resulting in a stable and reliable browsing experience.

On the other hand, Chromium updates are managed differently. As an open-source project, updates are released more frequently, but users are responsible for manually updating their browsers. While this allows for more control over the update process, it can be less convenient for users who prefer automatic updates. Furthermore, since Chromium updates are not subject to the same rigorous testing as Chrome, there may be occasional stability issues or compatibility problems with certain websites or extensions.

Customization and Flexibility

Both Chrome and Chromium offer a range of customization options, allowing users to tailor their browsing experience to their preferences.

Chrome provides a vast collection of extensions and themes through the Chrome Web Store, enabling users to personalize their browser's functionality and appearance. Additionally, Chrome offers various settings and options to fine-tune privacy, security, and other preferences, providing a balance between simplicity and customization.

Chromium, being an open-source project, offers even greater flexibility for customization. Developers can modify the source code to create their own Chromium-based browsers with unique features and functionalities. This has led to the emergence of several alternative browsers built on Chromium, such as Brave and Microsoft Edge, each offering their own set of customization options and additional features.


While Chrome and Chromium share a common codebase, they differ in several key attributes that can influence your browsing experience. Chrome, with its seamless integration with Google services and additional features, is a compelling choice for users deeply embedded in the Google ecosystem. However, if privacy is a top concern, Chromium, with its open-source nature and reduced data collection, may be a more suitable option. Additionally, the flexibility and customization offered by both browsers allow users to tailor their browsing experience to their preferences.

Ultimately, the choice between Chrome and Chromium depends on your specific needs and priorities. Whether you prioritize privacy, additional features, or customization, understanding the attributes of each browser will help you make an informed decision that aligns with your preferences and requirements.

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