How to Reset Google Chrome to Its Default State

Use Chrome Advanced Settings to reset the browser

As Google's Chrome browser continues to evolve, so does the level of control you have to modify its behavior. With dozens of customizable settings available, including tweaking its homepage functionality and utilizing web and prediction services, Chrome can provide a browsing experience tailored to your liking.

With all of this virtual dominion, however, comes some inherent pitfalls. Whether the changes you've made to Chrome are causing problems or, worse yet, happened without your consent (e.g., due to malware ), a solution is in place which returns the browser to its factory state.

Instructions in this article apply to the Google Chrome and Chromium browsers for Chrome OSLinux, Mac OS X, macOS Sierra, and Windows operating systems.

Advanced Settings: Reset Google Chrome

Follow these instructions to reset the Chrome browser to the state it was in when you first installed it.

  1. First, open your Google Chrome browser.

  2. Select Chrome's main menu button in the upper-right corner of your browser window.

    A screenshot of Chrome with the More Options menu highlighted
  3. When the drop-down menu appears, select Settings.

    A screenshot of Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page and press Advanced.

    A screenshot of Chrome settings with the Advanced heading highlighted
  5. Scroll down and select Restore settings to their original defaults.

    The "restore settings" option
  6. A confirmation dialog will appear, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state, should you continue on with the reset process.

Click Reset settings to comtinue.

The Reset Settings button

What Can Happen

If resetting Chrome makes you nervous, it's with good reason. Here's what can happen if you decide to reset:

  • Extensions and themes will be go inactive.
  • If your home page button is currently visible on Chrome's main toolbar, it won't be after the reset.
  • Chrome will delete custom homepage URLs.
  • Changes made to Chrome's default search engine, and any other installed search engines, will return to their original state.
  • You will lose custom start-up tabs..
  • Chrome will clear the New Tab page.
  • The reset will delete your browsing history, cookies, cache, and other website data.

If you're okay with these changes, press Reset Settings to complete the restoration process.

When resetting Chrome's browser settings, it shares the following items with Google: locale, user agent, Chrome version, startup type, default search engine, installed extensions, and whether or not your home page is the New Tab page. If you don't feel comfortable sharing these settings, remove the checkmark next to the Help make Google Chrome/Chromium better by reporting the current settings option prior to clicking Reset.

The "Help make Chrome better" checkbox