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:
- Close any Chrome windows that might be open.
- Click Windows Start at left end of Task Bar, put the following in Search Box or Run, and press [Enter]:
That should open an Explorer window with folders including "Chrome".
- Right-click on the "Chrome" folder, and then click "Restore previous versions" in the pop-up menu to open the Chrome Properties window.
- Click to select the top (most recent) version, and then click "Restore...".
- That should pop up a confirmation window ("Are you sure you want to restore..."). Click Restore.
- Windows should then copy a bunch of files to restore Chrome, finishing with
"The folder has been successfully restored to the previous version."
- Click OK to close the message, then close the Properties and Explorer windows.
- Launch Chrome. If you get a "didn't shut down properly" message just close it with the "X" at the right (or ignore it).
See also How To Restore Mozilla Firefox.
- "Restore previous versions" does not exist in Windows 8. Use File History instead
- 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".
- This only works if you have System Restore enabled and/or have used Windows Backup.
- You can try restoring an earlier version if necessary.
- If this doesn't work, you can start over by closing Chrome and deleting the Chrome folder.
Thank you very much. It is working Perfectly.ReplyDelete
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
any idea on how to do it for windows xp?ReplyDelete
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
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
Thanks so much for the fix!ReplyDelete
Excellent, I'm restarting right now, thanks.ReplyDelete
Hey, just wanted to say thanks, this was the only solution that brought my extensions back.ReplyDelete
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.ReplyDelete
Google should be ashamed that this feature is not readily shown.
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
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
Thank you for this post. It work perfectly.ReplyDelete
it says ther is no previous versions on my computer !!ReplyDelete
what can i do ..
See Note 3 -- you'll have to delete the Chrome folder and start over.Delete
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.)
Hi, does this means that there will be no way of restoring the lost bookmarks, history, extensions etc?Delete
If you have no backups (or File History), and System Restore doesn't work, then I know of no way to get back your list bookmarks, history, extensions etc.Delete
Thank you so much for this!ReplyDelete
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.
As with all the others -- THANK YOU!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for the simple instructions! I've shared your tutorial on my blog:ReplyDelete
"Corrupt Google Chrome Preferences Files [SOLVED!] Win7"
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
how do you fix this in windows 8. i didn't even give me an option to restore previous versionReplyDelete
Is System Restore enabled and working? Backup?Delete
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. <3ReplyDelete
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 - BobReplyDelete
Thanks for letting us know!Delete
No - thank you for letting us know.Delete
thank you so muchReplyDelete
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
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.
I've tried to do as you said but my commputer says there are no previous versions...ReplyDelete
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???
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
Any word on how to do this on Mac? :cReplyDelete
Assuming you are using Time Machine, restore a prior version.Delete
Default location of Chrome on Mac OS X is
Let us know if that helps.
This is the first time that this happened with me and I was extremely worried.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your suggestions. Google Chrome is back for me.
I've lost google preferences and I can't find any "Restore previous versions" button...ReplyDelete
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
Thank you so much!Delete
Hi John - my name is Bob Arthur and you actually helped me out last October in restoring my old bookmarks after I downloaded a Google Chrome update. Anyway - now I really need your help again. A few days ago my brother was on my computer while I was out of town. For some reason the computer started freezing and since my brother isn't a computer guy he panicked and decided his best course of action was to delete Google Chrome and then re-install it. Of course this meant that all my recent bookmarks were gone and replaced with a bunch of older bookmarks most of which I don't use anymore. When my brother told me what had happened I wasn't really worried since I knew I could use your instructions once again to get back my bookmarks since it worked perfectly last October. But then I found out that somehow I no longer have any previous versions to restore. Can I do anything to restore my previous version or am I simply screwed and have to start over by manually adding all my lost bookmarks ???? If there is a way to still restore them can you please explain it to me as simply as possible since I'm not very tech savvy when it comes to computers. Thanks - BobReplyDelete
When a folder is deleted and a new folder created, that new folder (even if it has the same name) has no prior versions, but you may be able to solve your problem (assuming System Restore has been working) be restoring a *parent* folder. So instead of restoring the "Chrome" folder, try restoring the parent "Google" folder above "Chrome".Delete
Hi John - thanks for your quick response but it sure looks like I'm SOL here. Before I completely give up I just want to make sure I'm doing everything right:ReplyDelete
- after closing down all open Chrome pages I enter " %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google " into the Windows Start search function
- a Google folder pops up but when I try the " Restore Previous Versions " function nothing happens at all so then I just open that Google folder
- now I see 6 more folders - Chrome, Crash Reports, Drive, Toolbar Bookmarks, Toolbar History and Update
- I try the " Restore Previous Versions " function on the Chrome folder but it shows me that there are no previous versions available
So unless I made a mistake along the way it sure looks like my old bookmarks are gone for good. Can you confirm this for me - Bob
Read and follow directions more carefully.Delete
The PARENT folder of "Google" is "Local".
Navigate up from "Google", or open directly with "%LOCALAPPDATA%".
Then right click on "Google" to see if you have any Previous Versions.
p.s. Learn from this experience:
NEVER EVER let ANYONE use your User profile.
Instead, create a new User profile for them with STANDARD (not Administrative) rights.
Protect your own User profile with a STRONG PASSWORD, and don't give that password to ANYONE.
Hey John - no luck as it still shows " no previous versions available ". I know it was an accident but I'm honestly pretty upset with my brother right now. Thanks for your help.ReplyDelete
Then System Restore is probably not working properly, and needs to be FIXED. Likewise the lack of BACKUP. For which your brother is not responsible. ;)Delete
Thank you so much ... It was very helpful to me .ReplyDelete
This was a real lifesaver - Chrome just suddenly wiped all my extensions/settings, and I've got one which I use for a website to filter content I don't wanna see, so it would have been SO much fun if I had to spend the evening writing every last detail into it again.ReplyDelete
Thanks for the help!