Tech Tuesday – Google Chrome and Facebook

google chrome extensions 

I have been having an odd problem lately – on the few occasions I have wanted to sign into a website using my Facebook account, I would just get the spinning wheel of death after clicking on the link. For example, today I was in Facebook reading a wall post by a fellow genealogist in which she shared slides on Slideshare. After viewing the slides I decided to “follow” her on Slideshare. I was given the option to sign in with my Facebook account (this actually does come in handy instead of having 1000 different logins for every social website imaginable), so I clicked on the link … and nothing happened. Just the never-ending spinning wheel.

It took me a while but I finally realized today what might have triggered this problem.

A while back I added the “Facebook Disconnect” extension to my Chrome browser. The extension is a handy one that prevents Facebook from tracking the webpages I visit. Since I trust Facebook about as much as I trust hackers and politicians, I added the extension shortly after I switched over to Chrome (which, by the way, is a fantastic browser).

So, could it be this extension that was causing the trouble? Absolutely! Here’s a temporary bypass if you have the same problem: Go into Chrome settings (click on the wrench near the top of the browser window), then to tools, then extensions. Once you are on the extensions page, deselect the checkbox next to “Facebook Disconnect.” After doing this I actually I had to close the original slideshare window, and go back to Facebook to reopen the link from the wall post (presumably so Facebook could trace my steps to establish a connection with Slideshare). Once I did that I was able to sign in with Facebook.

The decision thus remains whether or not to enable “Facebook Disconnect” again, which is an easy one for me. It is so infrequently that I want to use Facebook to sign into a new website that it should be too bothersome to have to toggle it on and off once in a while, and I prefer to hide as much as possible from Facebook.

In case you’re wondering: “Facebook Disconnect” doesn’t affect your ability to remain signed in to Facebook. Somehow it just blocks facebook from connecting with other websites. So if you like to save your password in your browser or use the ‘leave me signed in’ option, you’ll still have that option even with the “Facebook Disconnect” extension installed in Chrome.

Do you use Chrome? What do you like most about it? If you don’t use Chrome, what keeps you with the browser you use?

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  1. Lauren Mahieu

    I’m also with you on using Chrome! Love it! So much faster than Firefox or IE. Hadn’t heard about the Facebook disconnect….will check into that. Thanks for the tip!

  2. JJT

    I use a combination of Firefox and Chrome for various sites – Firefox has a couple of extensions I like that weren’t ported over to Chrome yet (at last look), so that is my main browser.

    I also find Chrome a little wonky in it’s interface and messages so I’m not 100% sold yet.

    But in addition to using Chrome as my “anonymous” un-logged-in browser, it does have my favorite genealogy extension: the Familysearch Chrome Extension uses the data from profiles in your Ancestry tree and searches for them on the Familysearch site. Has helped me uncover several records that I had no idea were out there…

    • 1ancestry2littletime

      Ooooo I didn’t know about the Family Search extension – thanks, JJT! I’m going to check it out now! I was never a Firefox convert. I was using Safari until I switched to Chrome, and only used Firefox when something wouldn’t run well in Safari. It’s so interesting how everyone has their own preferences — sometimes I think it’s just what you get used to. Thanks for the tip on the extension.

    • Leslie Lawson

      I’ll start by saying I am pretty new to Chrome, but wanted to try this extension. I downloaded it, saw it, then when I reopened Chrome it was gone… I’ve logged into Ancestry, looked someone up, and still don’t see the tree. Ideas for what I did wrong, or suggestions? Seems like such a cool extension!
      Thank you.

      • 1ancestry2littletime

        Hi Leslie – I assume you’re referring to the Ancestry-familysearch extension mentioned by John in the comments. This Chrome extension is one of those that you will not always see in your extension area in Chrome. It will only appear when you are on a page for which the extension will work, and when it does appear, it shows up in the address bar all the way to the right.

        So once you go to, make sure you select a person in your tree. I see the tree icon for the extension in both person view and pedigree/tree view, but only once a person is selected. You will not see the extension icon when you are on the home page or your main page.

        If you’re still having trouble finding it let me know and I can do an additional post with screen shots so that you can actually see what I’m trying to explain. Let us know how it goes, and if you find the extension or not.

  3. Catherine Pendleton

    Thanks for the tip on Facebook Disconnect. I just started using Chrome yesterday. The first thing I noticed was how much faster it seemed than Firefox. As another poster pointed out, not all extensions ported over, so I’ve still used Firefox for a few things since switching.

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