What to Do When Chromium Won't Uninstall on Windows 10

How to resolve issues with removing Chromium

Chromium uninstall

Google's Chromium forms the basis of many modern web browsers, from Chrome itself, to Vivaldi, Opera, and Brave. But Chromium can also be used as a stand-alone browser just like the others. Because it doesn't always behave like a typical browser, however, some users have run into problems and find that Chromium won't uninstall like normal browsers.

If that's you, don't fret. While malware and other issues can make it so Chromium won't uninstall in Windows 10, it's not impossible to remove. With a few tips, tricks, and tools, you can remove Chromium for good.

Do You Need to Uninstall Chromium?

If Chromium is behaving normally or not causing you any problems, you don't need to uninstall it. It can exist alongside other Chromium browsers, like Chrome, perfectly fine and if you don't use it, it won't do much.

That said, some builds of Chromium won't auto-update like more commercial browsers will, so Chromium can be a potential malware-infection point. It's also possible to download bugged versions which have been deliberately hijacked. And as with every application, corruption or some form of outage during an install or uninstall can make it difficult to delete Chromium as you normally would.

In those cases, getting rid of Chromium might be a good idea.

How to Uninstall Chromium

Before you dig into the more hands-on methods of uninstalling or removing Chromium from your Windows 10 PC, it's important to try the more typical route of uninstalling it as that will usually work without a hitch.

The process involves Windows 10's settings menu, which if you're familiar with it, you won't need much instruction. But if you'd like a little help with the process, we have a section in our Chromium guide for how to uninstall Chromium.

How to Remove Chromium Files Manually

The next step in your quest to rid your system of Chromium entirely, is to get hands-on and remove all mentions of it manually. Depending on whether your Chromium install is just corrupted, or actively attempted to thwart being uninstalled due to malware, your success at this may vary, but if you follow these steps you should be able to delete all mentions of Chromium from your Windows 10 PC, at which point it shouldn't be able to operate or harm your system in any way.

  1. We need to locate the folder where the main Chromium files are. If Chromium is actively running, we can use Task Manager. If it's not running, skip to Step 3. Open Task Manager by right-clicking, (or tap and hold) on the task bar and selecting Task Manager.

  2. Task Manager

    Select More Details if you're viewing the basic version of Task Manager, then look for the Chromium process. When you find it, select the arrow next to its logo to expand it. Then select Open File Location and skip on to Step 4.

  3. Chromium folder search

    Search for This PC in the Windows search bar and select the corresponding result. Then select the search bar in the top-right, and type in Chromium. When Windows finds the Chromium folder, open it by double clicking or tapping.

  4. Now that you've located the Chromium install folder, you need to close all active processes of it. Return to the Task Manager window, right-click (or tap and hold) on each Chromium process, and select End Task.

    If you find new Chromium processes continue to open without you doing so, or for any other reason Chromium refuses to close, you'll need to start your system in safe mode. For more information on that, check out our guide to Windows Safe Mode.

  5. With all processes ended, return to the Chromium install folder and delete every file within it. You can select one file and then press Ctrl+A to select them all, or use the Windows 10 address bar to move up one folder level, then select the overall folder. In either case, then press Delete to remove them. If asked for admin approval, give it.

  6. Next you need to remove the Chromium appdata folder. To do so, head to C:>Users>[YourAccoutName]>AppData>Local. Select the Chromium folder, then press Delete. If you need to give administrative approval, do so.

If you can't see the AppData folder, it may be that you have it hidden. To enable it, press Ctrl+R to launch the Run command. Then type Control.exe folders and press Enter. In the new window that appears, select the View tag, then make sure that Show hidden files, folders, and drives, is toggled on. Then press Apply.

Use Anti-Malware Scans to Get Rid of Chromium

Once you've manually removed all of the elements of Chromium you can find—or even if you haven't and you're still worried about it—then running an anti-malware scan is a great idea. If your Chromium installation has been corrupted by malware, a scan from a piece of antivirus software will usually clean it out, or at worst, quarantine it so it can no longer do any harm.

Malwarebytes

If you have antivirus installed already, running a scan with that might do the trick. It should be your first port of call. That said, if Chromium is infected, it's possible that the malware has already slipped past your antivirus software so you may want to use an alternative.

There are a number of great anti-malware tools out there, many of them free, but our favorite scanning tool, otherwise known as a remediation anti-malware solution, is Malwarebytes. Its scanning tool is entirely free.

  1. Download Malwarebytes from the official website and install it like you would any other application.

  2. When it's installed, boot it up and run a full system scan. Depending on your system's hardware and how infected it may be, this process can take between a few seconds and several minutes, but once it's complete you'll know whether your system is/was infected.

  3. Follow the on screen prompts to remove or quarantine any infected files.

If you want to be particularly thorough, you can run Malwarebytes' scans from within Safe Mode, as that will prevent any malware infected Chromium processes from deliberately dodging the scan, or copying themselves to avoid deletion.

Once you've completed the anti-malware scan, you may want to attempt to manually remove any mention of Chromium if you haven't already. Anything left over won't be harmful, but if you want to rid yourself of any mention of Chromium, that's still the best way. For tips on how to do so, refer to the section above.