Solved: WordPress Admin Menu Broken in Chrome 45

Uh oh.
Uh oh.

When Google released Chrome 45 on September 1st, many WordPress users started noticing some odd behavior in the back-end sections / dashboards of their sites: hovering over the left side admin menu sometimes causes unexpected behavior, including disappearing text and strange junk floating where it ought not be (see the image on the left).

As someone who actively maintains around 40 Wordpress sites (and happens to use the Chrome browser quite a lot), I immediately recognized the annoyance, but my first thought was that a recent plugin update must have caused the issue. After disabling all of my plugins and switching my theme back to the default twentyfifteen WordPress theme, however, the problem persisted.

As it turns out, the problem is not caused by WordPress, nor a plugin or theme, but by a bug in the latest release of the Google Chrome browser, which is (at the time of writing) Chrome 45. The issue stems from a project called Slimming Paint, which is supposed to improve the performance of painting and compositing; Google is aware of the issue and plans on fixing it in an upcoming release (Chrome 47). Nevertheless, until then, the only solution is to disable the slimming paint feature. So, without further ado, here’s the fix:

  1. 1. Visit chrome://flags/#disable-slimming-paint in your browser. Go ahead. Paste it into your URL bar.
  2. 2. Find the Disable slimming paint option (should be at the top). Click Enable (yes, I know it seems counterintuitive to click “enable” to disable something).
  3. 3. Relaunch Chrome.

Or, you know, you could just sit around and put up with it until the Chrome 47 release. Your call.