Sunday, May 22, 2011

How To Restore Google Chrome

Google Chrome is an excellent web browser, fast and secure, but you might get the error message: "Your preferences file is corrupt or invalid. Google Chrome is unable to recover your settings." This unfortunate bug can normally be fixed with Windows Vista or Windows 7 using the following procedure:
  1. Close any Chrome windows that might be open.
  2. Click Windows Start at left end of Task Bar, put the following in Search Box or Run, and press [Enter]:
         %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google
    That should open an Explorer window with folders including "Chrome".
  3. Right-click on the "Chrome" folder, and then click "Restore previous versions" in the pop-up menu to open the Chrome Properties window.
  4. Click to select the top (most recent) version, and then click "Restore...".
  5. That should pop up a confirmation window ("Are you sure you want to restore..."). Click Restore.
  6. Windows should then copy a bunch of files to restore Chrome, finishing with
    "The folder has been successfully restored to the previous version."
  7. Click OK to close the message, then close the Properties and Explorer windows.
  8. Launch Chrome. If you get a "didn't shut down properly" message just close it with the "X" at the right (or ignore it).
Notes:
  1. This procedure is covered in Windows 7 Help and Support under "Recover lost or deleted files" in the section "To restore a file or folder to a previous state".
  2. You can try restoring an earlier version if necessary.
  3. If this doesn't work, you can start over by closing Chrome and deleting the Chrome folder.

36 comments:

  1. Thank you very much. It is working Perfectly.

    Saravanan
    Kazakhstan

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic! Chrome just crashed on me and threw up this error, and I was scouring the web left right and center - everyone was generally advising reinstalling Chrome, or lambasting people for not synching via the Gmail sync option (a little late for that...!). Your post is the only one that I've found that made perfect sense, and has restored everything, without ANY fuss. Bravo! Thank you very much for taking the time to post this.

    ReplyDelete
  3. any idea on how to do it for windows xp?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your best bet in Windows XP is to restore that folder from a recent backup (if you have one), which is essentially what System Restore is doing in Windows Vista/7.

      Delete
    2. I am using Windows Vista and just started having this issue with Chrome. I never had it before, I've been using Chrome for about a year. I searched online, I changed my security settings as some suggested, but it did nothing. I tried a system restore, but my computer didn't recognize the IP address. Finally, I just decided to dig around my files by running through My Computer > Local Disk > Program Files > Google > Chrome > Application. I saw that there were two Chrome icons, one called "old_chrome" (before the update) and the other just "chrome". I opened the old version and my settings were saved, I was logged in as usual, just like before I had the issue! Hopefully this helps.

      Delete
  4. Excellent, I'm restarting right now, thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hey, just wanted to say thanks, this was the only solution that brought my extensions back.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This came in so handy today after I lost everything with Chrome. I was going to leave for another browser, but I came across your simply but effective solution.

    Google should be ashamed that this feature is not readily shown.

    ReplyDelete
  7. WIN XP HOME, I DON'T HAVE A BACK UP, TRIED DELETING THE DEFAULT IN CHROME FOLDER, BUT WHEN RE-INSTALLED NEW CHROME AND SIGNING IN I GOT THE SAME ERROR, RETRACED MY STEPS AGAIN WITHOUT SINNING IN, IT WORKED. BUT WHEN I INSTALLED AN EXTENSION. BAM! THE ERROR APPEARED AGAIN. SO AS FAR AS I CAN TELL THERE IS A CORUSCATION IN THE EXTENSIONS. SO, NO MAIL, NO EXTENSIONS. NO FAVORITES. WHAT GOOD IS CHROME??? i NEED HELP PLEASE PLEASE!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Since a fresh install of Chrome did not solve your problem, you'll need to either live without the problematic extension, or switch to some other browser like Firefox or Opera.

      Delete
  8. Thank you for this post. It work perfectly.

    ReplyDelete
  9. it says ther is no previous versions on my computer !!

    what can i do ..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. See Note 3 -- you'll have to delete the Chrome folder and start over.
      p.s. Let this be a wake-up call -- make sure System Restore is enabled, and start regular backups! (CrashPlan is a good way to go.)

      Delete
  10. Thank you so much for this!
    My preferences file became corrupted for unknown reasons after I rebooted my computer. Restoring to the version I had right before shut-down fixed everything for me, even down to my session information. THANK YOU!!

    Leave it to Windows to chew on my preferences file for no apparent reason.

    ReplyDelete
  11. As with all the others -- THANK YOU!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks for the simple instructions! I've shared your tutorial on my blog:

    "Corrupt Google Chrome Preferences Files [SOLVED!] Win7"
    blog.jibqib.net/2013/07/08/corrupt-google-chrome-preferences-files-solved-win7/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks sooooooooooooooooo much, lost all of my old bookmarks after an import from Firefox and susequent Chrome closure, could not just restore the bookmarks, so I used your instructions to restore the entire Chrome, bookmarks back, thanks again soooooooooooooooooooooo much :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. how do you fix this in windows 8. i didn't even give me an option to restore previous version

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is System Restore enabled and working? Backup?

      Delete
  15. I love you so much right now. I can't even begin to thank you. I thought I'd just lost so much....I had 56 tabs saved with an extension, I had 30 more tabs open, I had a bunch of irreplaceable things & I thought it was just GONE. You saved the DAY! Thank you times a million. <3

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow - I cannot thank you enough for helping me restore my old version of Google Chrome. Yesterday I downloaded a newer version of Google Chrome but then discovered that all of my newer bookmarks had completely disappeared. I tried to import them but there isn't an option to import bookmarks from an older version of Google Chrome to a newer version. Anyway - after trying a bunch of different things yesterday and having no luck at all I saw your article today and tried your instructions. I'm going to be honest - after a complete lack of success earlier I wasn't overly optimistic but to my complete surprise it worked perfectly. Thanks again - Bob

    ReplyDelete
  17. One would think GOOGLE would fix their problem, it is their browser, and they are the smart ones, or are they? John Navas could take the place of a few dozen Googlers who are probably playing on the company gym equipment or overeating at the free Google cafeteria.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.
      What Google should have done long ago is have Chrome regularly make backup copies of the Preferences file, and offer to restore a backup copy when it gets corrupted.

      Delete
  18. I've tried to do as you said but my commputer says there are no previous versions...
    I've turned on the system protection for the drive containing the files and configured it as instucted by the windows help......but i didn't have previous versions,,,,,...
    what do i have to do???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you didn't have protection turned on or backups BEFORE the corruption occurred, then you have to start over by closing Chrome and deleting the Chrome folder.

      Delete
  19. Any word on how to do this on Mac? :c

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Assuming you are using Time Machine, restore a prior version.
      http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11103
      Default location of Chrome on Mac OS X is
      ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
      Let us know if that helps.

      Delete
  20. This is the first time that this happened with me and I was extremely worried.
    Thank you for your suggestions. Google Chrome is back for me.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've lost google preferences and I can't find any "Restore previous versions" button...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You must not have System Restore points or Windows backups. If you don't have any other backup, start over by closing Chrome and deleting the Chrome folder in AppData. And make sure System Restore is turned on to protect yourself in the future.

      Delete