Google gray box in search and Web and App Activity issues.

Old 11-22-19, 01:09 AM
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Google gray box in search and Web and App Activity issues.

Hello, it has been a while.
Does anyone know of a connection between a gray box covering my Google Search results (most, not all) and the "Web and App Activity" in the Google account management? Essentially when I search after a split second, and I do mean a split because I can see the results beforehand, a large gray square will appear and block out almost all results, yet when I turn on the "Web and App Activity" tracker the results will be normal. This only seems to happen when there is a user signed into Chrome. I can Zoom Out with Ctrl-Wheel to about 33% to get the gray box to disappear but then cannot see the results.

Not all search results will be obscured, mainly those involving Video Games, Television, Movies, and Books.

I posted in the Google forums but they are usually incredibly slow, if they are answered at all, by Google personnel.

Here are two threads from the Google Help forum that show pictures of exactly what I am trying to explain: Thread one is the best example and description though.
Thread One Example
Thread Two Example

Also, can someone explain simply what the "Web and App Activity" tracks, Google says "If Web & App Activity is turned on, your searches and activity from other Google services are saved in your Google Account, so you may get more personalized experiences, like faster searches and more helpful app and content recommendations."
But this does NOT explain why the error in searches started this week when I have always had the "Web and App" on paused.

Thank you,
Old 11-22-19, 05:24 AM
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What web browser are you using?
Old 11-22-19, 02:34 PM
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Whenever I see really odd behavior, my first guess is an extension/app that was installed and is doing something it shouldn't.

1) Open an incognito or private window and try the same thing. Private windows usually bloc extensions, so if it is an extension issue, you won't see the issue.

2) Go to More Tools > Extensions (or similar based on what browser) and review the extensions. Anything you don't recognize, either delete or disable. Quit the browser, restart, and try again.
Old 11-24-19, 07:31 PM
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So I found the workaround like I said to turn on "Web and App Activity" which was always off. In the other forum, I posted the same step and another user turned it off (paused) and his searches are now fixed.

I use both Firefox and Chrome, both up to date with the current version (according to their update check buttons).
It is not every search, only specific categories like videogames, movies, and books.
When I hold CTRL and Mousewheel to change the size the box will go away at roughly 33% zoom.
The 'pop-up' displays a wrong location and cannot obtain the correct one, it says I live in Texas when really I am over 10 States away.
It still appears with/without Adblock, Webroot security, and Grammarly.
Malware and Virus scans are clean.
Windows 10 is up to date.
It did not occur when I am in Incognito mode but now it does.
Deleted and Re-installed Chrome to no effect.

To test something, I turned off the web activity tracking again and used my adblocker to block a pop-up (another user used ublock) and I had to block this to get it to work:
class="mSAqxd" >

It definitely looks like a Google popup not working, at least to me, but who knows.

Edit: So it worked for one search and then the gray box popped up again.

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