Q&A Google Chrome is crashing worldwide on Windows 10 PCs, how to fix

silversurfer

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Google Chrome has suddenly started crashing yesterday for many Windows users worldwide making the browser unusable.

Google released Chrome 90.0.4430.212 on May 10th, and for the most part, there have been no reported issues with the release until yesterday.

As first reported by Windows Latest, starting yesterday morning, users began reporting that Google Chrome extensions and tabs suddenly began crashing while using the browser.

Due to these crashes, the Chrome subreddit and Chrome product forums have begun filling up with posts from people experiencing these issues.

"Seemingly out of nowhere ~15 minutes ago, Google Chrome stopped working for me. My extensions crashed and all pages (including Chrome pages like settings) refuse to load. The screen is completely blank, and the tab is simply labeled "Untitled" with a frowning folder next to it," a user posted yesterday to Reddit.
While BleepingComputer has not experienced these crashes, users report that Chrome is displaying a gray screen and cannot open the Settings or Extensions pages of the browser.

Furthermore, users are reporting that these crashes happen in both the regular and Incognito browsing modes.

It is believed that the crashes are caused by an issue with the Google Chrome '%UserProfile%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data' folder, which is used to store your data, extensions, and configuration settings for the browser.
A Google Product Expert recommends that users create a backup of the 'User Data' folder and then perform one of the following steps to fix the crashes:
As this only seems to be happening on Windows I will provide such instructions, but this will be operating system dependent:
  1. Ensure your Sync data is accurate at Account settings: Your browser is not supported. and passwords appear at https://passwords.google.com (If you have a passphrase they will not but they should be reflected in the sync data link)
  2. Close any open Chrome instance
  3. Open File Explorer and navigate to: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data
  4. Delete the "Local State" file from the directory (ensure you have a backup!)
  5. Re-Open Chrome
If the above steps don't resolve the problem then try the following
  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data
  2. Take a copy of everything in this directory and store it somewhere such as your desktop
  3. Rename the "User Data" folder to something other than User Data
  4. Re-Open Chrome
Some users have reported that after performing these steps, the Google Chrome crashes have stopped.

Others state that once you restart Google Chrome the issue occurs again.


It is not clear what is causing the crashes, but it is likely a change pushed out to some users by Google since the latest browser release.

It is common for Google to push out configuration changes or new features to Google Chrome users in limited tests. One of these tests or configuration changes may be causing the issues seen by so many users.

BleepingComputer has contacted Google with questions about the crashes but has not heard back at this time.
 

Stopspying

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For the type of internet user who thinks that G**gle is the internet the workarounds described above are going to mean they're on a steep learning curve and quite possibly end up deleting something else by mistake. Backup the Local State file! Eh! 🥱👎🏿

That is not meant as a patronising comment, people do access the internet via G**gle, Fakebook etc and don't have a clue how to do this type of action on their devices.

With Chrome such a dominant force in the browser market this could annoy a lot of people over this weekend when they have more time to do their own things online. Maybe some will find an alternative browser and thus encourage alternatives to keep producing their products. If as hinted at in the BC article it has been caused by G**gle pushing out a configuration change, or feature change, to selected users, it might wake up some people to how little they (the user) are in control of their device.
 

Gandalf_The_Grey

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Update: Google has reached out to confirm that a fix for the issue is now rolling out to impacted users on Windows and Linux. The company has also posted an update on its forum, which you can read here.
For impacted Windows devices follow these steps:
  1. Quit any open Chrome windows.
  2. Re-open Chrome. You will still see the broken behavior.
  3. Keep Chrome open for about 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes quit Chrome and then relaunch Chrome. The behavior should be resolved.
For impacted Linux devices follow these steps:
  • Navigate to the directory containing the Chrome user profile:
    • .config/google-chrome/
  • Delete the contents of the [Chrome user profile]\Origin Trials subdirectory
    • This should include a "1.0.0.7" directory
  • Delete the [Chrome user profile]\Local State file
  • Start Chrome, which should load as expected
 
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Gandalf_The_Grey

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Is this Chrome 90.0.4430.212 only, or affects other Chromium-based browsers on a similar or later build of 90.0.x?


  1. Uninstall Google Chrome.
  2. Buy a Mac.
From the Bleeping Computer article, it seems only a Google Chrome issue:
Google released Chrome 90.0.4430.212 on May 10th, and for the most part, there have been no reported issues with the release until yesterday.
It is not clear what is causing the crashes, but it is likely a change pushed out to some users by Google since the latest browser release.

It is common for Google to push out configuration changes or new features to Google Chrome users in limited tests. One of these tests or configuration changes may be causing the issues seen by so many users.
 

silversurfer

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Google has released a minor Google Chrome update that fixes the worldwide browser crashes occurring since Thursday on Windows 10 and Linux.

Yesterday, Google released a small update that resolves the crashes and has shared the following fix with BleepingComputer.
For impacted Windows devices follow these steps:
  1. Quit any open Chrome windows.
  2. Re-open Chrome. You will still see the broken behavior.
  3. Keep Chrome open for about 5 minutes.
  4. After 5 minutes quit Chrome and then relaunch Chrome. The behavior should be resolved.
For impacted Linux devices follow these steps:
  • Navigate to the directory containing the Chrome user profile:
    • .config/google-chrome/
  • Delete the contents of the [Chrome user profile]\Origin Trials subdirectory
    • This should include a "1.0.0.7" directory
  • Delete the [Chrome user profile]\Local State file
  • Start Chrome, which should load as expected
While Google has not officially stated what caused the crashes, based on the fix above, it appears that an Origin Trial experiment was causing the crashes pushed out to a subset of Google Chrome users.

It is not known what experiment was causing Google Chrome to crash, and we have reached out to Google for further information.
 
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