I have Chrome open (Yosemite 10.1) and there are 7 instances of Google Chrome Helper running. There is a single tab open in the browser. I have 3 extensions installed AND running (1Password, JSON Formatter, and Postman).

Chrome has been a big problem for a while. Different builds have been really solid or really leaky and "crashy". This build (40.0.2214.45 beta (64-bit)) seems pretty unstable. Of course, I see the (beta) tag now and am wondering how to get to a stable release. Maybe that's my issue?

  • 1
    My question is how you got onto a beta build of Chrome without knowing it. Jan 4, 2015 at 4:29
  • I'm sure I knew why I went with Beta when I installed years ago. Probably something to do with testing new features. At any rate, the mistake has been corrected. Jan 4, 2015 at 13:44

2 Answers 2


Google Chrome Helper instances are used for various plugins you may have installed. Unless a plugin is glitchy or doesn't play nice with other plugins, there is generally no problem having some or many Chrome Helper processes running.

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This Wired article explains a bit about Chrome Helper.

  • good point! I uninstalled few extensions and Chrome started working better.
    – andilabs
    Feb 28, 2015 at 22:24
  • the article explains the concepts well but it seems the layout of content setting was changed. I can't find the plug-ins section anymore. Mar 1, 2017 at 16:50

Google Chrome launches multiple instances on my machine here too, so I think that's normal.

If you have the beta or development version of Google Chrome, you can get the normal one here.

Note that because it is a different version it's format is different, you will have to either delete your profile and log in again, or set a different profile path.

  • This is what I ended up doing, switched to the final release version. Jan 3, 2015 at 19:12

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