Chrome update will cause crashes on some older PCs — what you need to know

Google Chrome
(Image credit: Google)

Here is a warning to all those who have old CPUs and use Google Chrome — the browser's next update will discontinue support for x86 processors without Supplemental Streaming SIMD Extensions 3 (SSE3) support. In fact, it will crash altogether.

With the upcoming Chrome 89 browser update, Chrome will no longer be usable on computers with x86 processors that support SSE2, which means anything pre-2003 for Intel CPUs or pre-2005 for AMD CPUs, like an Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 (via PC World), won't be able to run the browser. Although, if you have a CPU from the mid-2000s, it's time for an upgrade (but good job keeping it running this long). 

As seen on the developers' public document, the team expects the Chrome 89 update "to reduce Chrome usage on Windows by a very small amount." All platforms will require SSE3 to run Chrome, including Linux, Chrome OS and Android, but Windows is the only one that still has CPUs with SSE2.

Users with older x86 processors without SSE3 will start seeing dismissible warning bars from Chrome 87, and those who try using it will find the Chrome installer will attempt to exit early and may lead to a crash.

While it is never stated why this update is being implemented, losing out on a small number of older Windows users may be the price for a better experience for more modern ones.

If your laptop or PC has an older Intel or AMD processor, and you're an avid Google Chrome user, it's about time for a much-needed upgrade with the best laptops to buy today. And, if you're after an upgrade that won't put a dent in your wallet, these best Chromebooks will do the trick. 

Darragh Murphy

Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from washing machines designed for AirPods to the mischievous world of cyberattacks. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for gadgets into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. With a Master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from The University of Sheffield, along with short stints at Kerrang! and Exposed Magazine, Darragh started his career writing about the tech industry at Time Out Dubai and ShortList Dubai, covering everything from the latest iPhone models and Huawei laptops to massive Esports events in the Middle East. Now, he can be found proudly diving into gaming, gadgets, and letting readers know the joys of docking stations for Laptop Mag.