23 August 2018

Bogus warnings from Chrome about Opus and other software

Some users have started seeing messages from Google Chrome saying Directory Opus (and a lot of other software) may cause problems and should be updated or removed.

These messages are a false positive from Chrome. Chrome is merely detecting anything which has caused a DLL to be loaded into one of its processes. DLLs are loaded into other processes on Windows for various reasons which do not generally cause problems: System-wide hotkeys, shell extensions (icons, overlays, columns in things like the File Open dialogs, as well as the Explorer Replacement mechanism in Opus), anti-virus, and various other functionality.

Third party DLLs certainly can cause problems (bad shell extensions installed by other software are probably the main cause of crashes in Opus!) but what Google/Chrome is doing is not the way to deal with the situation, and makes people worried about software which is not causing problems.

Chrome is not detecting a specific problem or specific software that it knows to cause problems. Chrome is simply detecting software which uses certain Windows APIs and mechanisms. Chrome even includes the anti-virus software it is partnered with — announced as a press release — in the list of potential problems, which is rather ridiculous. There is no need to update or remove any of the software that Chrome lists, at least in general.

There is more detail and discussion in this thread on our forum: Chrome reports: Directory Opus -> This application could prevent Chrome from working properly.

Please complain to Google if the message from Chrome is causing you problems or if you want their explanation for it. From our point of view (and other developers'), the message Chrome displays is completely bogus and should be ignored.

As Chrome users ourselves, we find it a shame that Google did not respond to pages and pages of criticism of this new "feature" when it was in beta, from their users and from other developers alike, and that they went ahead with it in release versions, but we have no control over what Google do.