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Google Toolbar 100% CPU bug...

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In general, I'm a pretty big fan of the Google Toolbar for IE. I use IE6 SP2 for pretty much all of my web surfing needs. I have Opera and Firefox installed too with plugins/extensions for the latter, but I just like IE better (although some sites are starting to be IE6-unfriendly). But this isn't about starting a "which browser is better" debate/flamewar.

Instead, it is about a little bug I found today while minding my own business. Actually, I found three bugs, but only one of them is a critical issue that should never have left Google's QA department.

So I was minding my own business and responding to e-mails and other such things. For many of the groups I'm on, I tend to do web searches just so I can paste a link or whatever into the e-mail. I run into an e-mail that I had indirectly answered on another mailing list several weeks ago and didn't bother pasting links so I could search the archives. But I left myself enough clues that I could figure it out again if I needed to later.

It was a pretty obscure topic so finding the links again was difficult. So, I decided to look through the Google Toolbar search history. The complete history. Google Toolbar saves every search you ever do...and I've never bothered to clear my history - so it is really lengthy.

Anyway, here are the three bugs in increasing order of how critical it is. I assume using a new browser session to make things easier for each test case:

1) Make the combobox dropdown window huge by grabbing the gripper and dragging. Now scroll through the history using the weird down arrow. The entire display flickers. This is a repainting issue.

2) Select a previous search item. Now use the down arrow button on the combobox to open the dropdown window. Scroll down a ways using the weird down arrow. Now move the mouse up but don't click anything. Move the mouse back over the weird down arrow. The history scroll starts over at the top of the history instead of continuing from where it left off.

3) Close all open browsers. Open Task Manager (trust me, you'll want it). Open a single IE session. Click the down arrow button on the combobox to open the dropdown window. Move the mouse over the weird down arrow and let it scroll through the history. As it scrolls, the current 'iexplore.exe' will slowly increase how much CPU it is using until 100% CPU is being used. Closing 'iexplore.exe' will close the window but the process will have to be manually terminated. If the end of the history is reached before maxxing out the CPU, use the bug from #2 to start at the top and continue (or use the weird up arrow).

Heh. I caught three bugs QA at Google didn't. [Sigh] Why is it I run into all the bugs no one else finds? Every last piece of software.


  1. why dont you go work as a QA?

    anyway, i also discovered that bug and went to look for a solution for this issue and found your blog as the only one discussing about it.
    i found out about this when i was typing in the search box of google toolbar; after 15 times when i let the suggestion box open up (without doing the actual search) i noticed iexplore.exe consumes cpu for no reason.
    this is caused when the history list is very long so i guess google's QA didnt bother filling the history to 200+ entries..


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