If your computer won’t open Google Chrome


My Google Chrome completely crashed. It wouldn’t open at all. There wasn’t even an error message. After much thrashing about, I found a solution. You might want to bookmark this.

Google reports that if Google Chrome does not open or stay open, and no error message appears, that you may have a broken browser user profile. You must create a new one in order for Google Chrome to work properly. Exit Google Chrome and open a new Windows Explorer window.

Type “%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\” into the Window Explorer address bar. Browse the open directory window for a folder called “Default.” Right-click its icon and rename the folder to “Backup default.” Reopen Google Chrome and a new “Default” folder will be created automatically.

Update: Win 10, use C:/Users/[username]/AppData/Local/. To find your username, click Windows icon bottom left, type CMD in search box. Type SET. Look for USERNAME. Type EXIT to exit. Use File Explorer not IE. Look for the Default folder and rename it as described above.

Earlier versions of Windows:
The percent signs are crucial. Yes, it is %LOCALAPPDATA%. Also, to insure this works, reboot your computer, then immediately rename the folder. If you try to run Chrome first you won’t be able to rename the folder because Chrome will have partly loaded and will be accessing some of the files in it.

All versions:
If you sync your settings in Chrome, and you should, once the new Chrome opens and you login to Google, it’ll synch everything. All your bookmarks and extensions will be restored. This is the beauty of the cloud. I’ll be saving this post to Evernote, another cloud service, so I can easily remember what to do should this happen again.

20 Responses to If your computer won’t open Google Chrome

  1. Chris Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks for the fix, got chrome up and running again ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Becky Avril Blomberg Sun, Feb 16, 2014 at 7:42 pm #

    I did this, but lost all of my tabs, bookmarks, and my history was wiped. Why?

    • Bob Morris Tue, Feb 18, 2014 at 9:30 pm #

      Did you log in to Chrome? If so, it should restore all your settings. Hope so.

  3. anonymous Sat, Feb 22, 2014 at 3:31 am #

    cannot rename default write protected?

  4. Ash Wed, Mar 05, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    still wont open :/

  5. May Sat, Mar 08, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    It’s running but keeps freezing after a few minutes… Won’t start properly until I do this over and over again.

    • Worried Sat, Apr 19, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

      same here…

  6. Bob Morris Sat, Mar 08, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    If you back up Chrome to the Google Cloud, you can deinstall Chrome, then log back into Google in the new version and all your settings should be restored. Maybe this will fix the problems many of you are having.

  7. paul Tue, Mar 11, 2014 at 1:36 pm #

    i did this but it says google chrome is still open and cannot change the default folder name

    • Nick Dyson Wed, Apr 09, 2014 at 7:38 am #

      ctr alt del to task manager and close it. Thats what I did, unfortunately it still didnt work for me, maybe u will have better luck

  8. austin brown Sun, Mar 30, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    I tried this but it won’t work for me. When I tried to reinstall Chrome, and attempted to open it for the first time again, it shows an error, “The application failed to initialize properly”. I searched on the web and the 3rd solution from the site below worked for me:

  9. Louie Guertin Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 3:59 pm #

    Had the problem. After ALL different trials. Was able to open as administrator. Cleared history, cookies,etc. Chrome works. Last reinstall of chrome was preferred by windows reinstall. Files were noted as missing trying to repair. Good luck. Lots of solutions, few work as I tried

  10. Shweta Thu, May 01, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    Thanks a lot Bob. It worked.

  11. Ribkah Thu, May 08, 2014 at 5:44 pm #

    Thanks for the article, it helped

  12. Linda Swift McDonald Mon, May 12, 2014 at 7:06 pm #

    Do you mean ‘Internet Explorer’ ?

  13. Vinay Sat, May 17, 2014 at 6:26 pm #

    Thanks Bob for the neat trick ๐Ÿ™‚ Now my Chrome is up and running . Just copied my Bookmarks and History from the old Default folder to the new one and was back to business as usual . Appreciate your help…

  14. Amy Fri, Jun 06, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

    When I enter that line into a windows explorer address bar I get the error message that windows can’t find it, check the spelling and try again. It auto corrects to C:UsersusernameAppDataLocalGoggleChromeUserData if that makes a difference. Any ideas? I started directly after a reboot, no open
    Chrome window. Thanks.

  15. Wawan Beneran Wed, Sep 02, 2015 at 9:12 pm #

    About Last Update Google Chrome 2015, If you don’t find the solution, maybe you need to try this simple way “>>Simple Way to Fix Google Chrome Updated 2015”

  16. Dianne Sat, Apr 23, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    This one worked! Thanks a lot! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. King Troll Wed, May 18, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Upon start up opening chrome it will crash.

    Making chrome not reopen.

    Then I have to restart it to work fine.