How to Fix Google Chrome Problems

Easy fixes to get back to browsing

Like most web browsers, Google Chrome is subject to the occasional bug, but there is almost always a simple solution. Both Google and the Chrome community provide guidance and ways to address problems with Google Chrome. Here are nine of the most common problems and a solution for each issue.

The instructions in this article should work for all desktop versions of Chrome, running on any operating systems.

Reasons Why Chrome Is Not Working

There are many reasons why Chrome may not work, and some are more complicated than others. More often than not, the exact problem isn't apparent until the corresponding fix has been tried.

How to Fix It When Chrome Is Not Working

Follow these steps, in order, to troubleshoot the problem with Chrome and get the browser working again.

  1. Force-close unresponsive tabs. Sometimes, Chrome tabs lock up or freeze. In such situations, use the Chrome task manager to force-close individual tabs. Go to the More menu (three vertically aligned dots), then select More Tools > Task Manager.

  2. Close and reopen Chrome. This fix often works when Chrome runs slowly. Sometimes, the program consumes too much RAM (random access memory), causing it to slow to a crawl. A restart frees up memory.

  3. Force-close the browser. Occasionally, Chrome may look like it's frozen or not running. However, it's still operating in the background, eating up memory, and preventing you from relaunching the browser. Once you close Chrome, you can open a fresh Chrome window.

  4. Disable extensions. Turn off any extensions or plug-ins that no longer work or that you no longer use. Extensions are often the culprit when a glitch occurs.

  5. Disable Flash. The Chrome Flash plug-in has been known to crash from time to time, which can cause problems when loading certain websites. Flash isn't entirely necessary, and it comes with more security risks than it is worth. Today, most websites use HTML5 and CSS3 for animations instead of Flash.

  6. Reset to get rid of malware. Unwanted ads, pop-ups, and malware can cause problems, so resetting Chrome can help. Navigate to the More menu, then select Settings > Advanced > Reset settings.

  7. Delete the Web Data file. This is an actual file, and not an extension. This fix usually takes care of the "Profile could not be opened" error. Restart the computer after you delete the file. Here's where to find it:

    • Windows: C:\Users\your-username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default
    • Mac: /Users/your-username/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
    • Linux: /home/your-username/.config/google-chrome/Default

    If the problem appears after you reboot the computer, repeat the steps above to get back into your profile. Then, make a backup of your bookmarks and anything you saved to your profile. Close Chrome, return to and delete the entire Default folder, then relaunch Chrome and recreate your profile from your backups.

  8. Address Chrome conflicts. Chrome has a built-in tool to help you figure out where the conflict lies. Enter chrome://conflicts into the address bar, then update both Chrome and the conflicting piece of software. Failing that, disable or uninstall the offending app.

    The chrome://conflicts option is a Windows-only feature On Mac and Linux, you may need to uninstall conflicting apps.

  9. Uninstall Chrome, then re-install it. Sometimes a program breaks, and a re-install gives it a fresh start.

  10. Consult Chrome Help. If all else fails, go the customer service route to fix the problem.

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