Update Sync and other features may stop working in some Chromium browsers in March 2021


Level 76
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
Aug 17, 2014
Third-party Chromium web browsers will lose Sync functionality and other functionality as Google will limit access to "private Chrome APIs" starting on March 15, 2021.

Google announced the plan to limit access to APIs on January 15, 2021 on the official Chromium blog. According to the provided information, certain, unnamed, third-party Chromium-based browsers use features that were not intended for use outside of Google Chrome.

Google mentions Sync and Click to Call specifically in the blog post, but those two appear to be not the only ones. There is no full list of APIs that Google considers for internal use only. A developer page on the Chromium web page lists more than 20 different APIs that are not available by default when creating a Chromium-based browser.

Besides Sync, APIs listed on the page include the Translate element, Safe Browsing, or spelling.

All of the listed APIs are not intended for use in distributions, according to the page.
"Many of the Google APIs used by Chromium code are specific to Google Chrome and not intended for use in derived products."

Google discovered the use of these APIs in a recent audit. The company notes that it discovered that some third-party Chromium-based browsers integrated Google features into their browsers, so that "a small fraction of users could sign into their Google Account and store their personal Chrome sync data, such as bookmarks, not just with Google Chrome, but also with some third-party Chromium-based browsers". Google will limit access to private Chrome APIs on March 15, 2021.

The company does not mention the names of the browser's that it discovered during the audit. It seems unlikely that major Chromium-based browsers use this. Browsers like Microsoft Edge or Vivaldi use their own sync infrastructure and functionality.
Google's announcement is vague as it lacks vital information. A likely explanation of what is going on is the following: some browser makers found a way to use certain APIs, the ones mentioned on the developer page linked above, that were not intended by Google for use in distributed third-party browsers; this allowed the makers of the browsers to use Google infrastructure, e.g. storage space and servers, to provide the functionality. Major Chromium-based browsers are likely not affected by the change.


Level 59
Content Creator
Oct 9, 2016
Lucky Ungoogled Chromium by Eloston don't come with sync and Safe Browsing

As regards to Safe Browsing those browsers with Safe Browsing will have problem if Google blocks it or makes things difficult to use it. Ungoogled Chromium at woolyss is one which uses Safe Browsing. Brave is another who proxied Safe Browsing through its server


Level 10
Aug 19, 2019
I still use chromium edge at the moment and although I used Gmail and look at places on google maps, I just go to those pages rather than using any built-in API. I wonder if this will affect chromium edge users and chrome store extensions and doesn't Firefox use google's safe browsing? I bet Opera will be affected. /shrug.


Level 85
Content Creator
Jul 3, 2015
This affects Chromium for Linux. It was pretty popular on Linux as a replacement for Google Chrome, but this is a big setback.