Google just booted The Great Suspender off the Chrome Web Store for being malware
RIP to a great Chrome extension
People love to joke about Google Chrome eating a lot of RAM, but there’s definitely some truth to it, especially if you’re a tab hoarder. Currently, I have about 40 tabs open and 20 extensions installed, and Windows Task Manager reports that Chrome is using almost 3GB of RAM. I have plenty of RAM in my PC so that’s not a problem for me, but for those of you running Chrome with 8GB or less of RAM installed, you may run out of memory for other programs. Fortunately, there are a few solutions to this problem. You could close some tabs, but that means you won’t be able to easily pick up where you left off. Alternatively, you can use an extension like The Great Suspender to suspend tabs, freeing up some memory. If you’re one of many who loved The Great Suspender extension, then we have bad news: it’s probably malware.
For some people, this isn’t news. Since November of 2020, close followers of the extension have warned that it may be running malicious code. The old maintainer of the extension sold it to an unknown party in June of 2020, and users alleged that the unknown party quietly slipped some trackers into version 7.1.8 of the extension. Although version 7.1.9 removed the tracker, many users were understandably suspicious of the extension. Then in early January of this year, multiple media outlets picked up on the news, and many, including myself, decided to ditch it. Earlier today, however, Google pulled the plug entirely on the popular Chrome extension, forcibly removing The Great Suspender from people’s Chrome installations and removing the extension’s listing on the Chrome Web Store.
Many users on Reddit and Twitter report that The Great Suspender was removed from their PCs. Two threads on Reddit’s /r/Chrome subreddit are full of comments from people complaining about the sudden decision, as the removal resulted in the closing of all their suspended tabs. Fortunately, there’s a way to recover your suspended tabs, as pointed out by Redditor /u/avatar_ENG. Simply open your search history and search for “klbibkeccnjlkjkiokjodocebajanakg”. If that doesn’t work, you can try the other options outlined here.
If you’re looking for an alternative to The Great Suspender, community member TheMageKing — who brought the malicious changes to light back in November — recommends Tabs Outliner, Auto Tab Discard, or Session Buddy. If you enjoyed using The Great Suspender, you can also manually compile the last known safe version of the extension (7.1.6) from the GitHub repo and sideload it by enabling Chrome’s developer mode and selecting “load unpacked extension.” A precompiled version of 7.1.6 is available on the Chrome Web Store under the name “The Marvellous Suspender“, but we can’t vouch for its safety.