Chrome to Move Sync Away from Android Master Sync

Google Chrome for Android will soon move its sync settings from Android’s auto-sync settings. This way, Chrome can sync your profile data even when the master Android sync is disabled.

Auto-sync decoupling

At present, you can control sync for Chrome from two different places. Chrome is an option under the Settings > Accounts > Google account. This is a list of Google services including your contacts, and calendar, etc.

If you disable sync here, Chrome cannot sync your bookmarks and history etc even if you enable Sync within Chrome settings.

Google is changing this.

The Canary version of Chrome has a new flag named “Enable Chrome Sync decoupling from Android auto-sync”. Here is the description of this feature:

“Causes Chrome to disappear from the list of auto-sync apps in Android settings. Sync will no longer be disabled when master sync is disabled, provided that Chrome is run at least once with master sync enabled.”

When this flag enabled, Chrome disappears from the list of services to sync. Here are before and after images for you to compare. See how Chrome Canary disappears from the list:

The latest version of Chrome for Android, Canary, gives Sync a prominent space under settings. It is now separated from Google Services:


As the flag description notes, the advantage here is that Chrome can sync your browsing data even when the master sync is disabled.

Now, I would love to hear your comments on this feature. I am curious to know how you this see this feature. Would this be a concern for security and privacy?

Should Chrome, as a Google service, get disabled when you disable the master sync?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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