In the last few years, Google Chrome has become the browser of choice for millions of users around the world. While Internet Explorer still boasts the most users as a result of legacy installations, Chrome has been closing the gap relentlessly since its launch in 2008.
It began life as a minimalist and lightweight browser, but as it’s grown more and more issues have crept in.
If you are experiencing problems, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we take a look at some of the most common flaws and provide guidance on how to fix them.
Computers seem to have a life of their own; all too often they freeze or stop functioning for no apparent reason. Chrome is no different, sometimes a tab or even an entire window will stop responding.
Thankfully, there is an easy fix.
Press Shift + Esc top open the Chrome Task Manager. It will give you a list of all the running tabs and extensions. Just highlight the one you want to close, and click on End Process.
If you’re finding that Chrome keeps crashing, refuses to open, or fails to load webpages, there is a chance that you have malware on your system. Getting rid of it is normally a straightforward process, but you might need to work through a few solutions.
The first of these is the Chrome Clean-Up Tool. Unfortunately, it is only available to Windows users, if you’re on a Mac, Google recommends using the highly-popular MalwareBytes.
The tool will scan and remove software that may cause problems for Chrome; that includes malware, but also other suspicious programs, extensions, and plug-ins.
If neither the clean-up tool nor a scan with your standard anti-virus has failed to solve the problem, you should try resetting your browser’s settings.
To do so, click on the Chrome menu (hamburger icon) and follow Settings > Show advanced settings. Then scroll down to the section labelled Reset Settings and click Reset Settings > Reset.
The feature is activated from the Command Prompt. Right-click on the Start menu and select Command Prompt (Admin), then type SFC.EXE /SCANNOW. The scan could take a while, but Windows will let you know when it’s finished and give you the results.
Sometimes you’ll be presented with an on-screen message that reads “Your profile could not be opened correctly”. As per the message, some features may become unavailable – this could include anything from bookmarks to browser settings.
Once again, there are a few fixes you can try.
Now, close and reopen Chrome, and sign in again. If you have Chrome Sync enabled, all your data will reload.
If re-adding your profile doesn’t fix the issue, you should try deleting Chrome’s Web Data file.
Note: Do not do this unless you are absolutely certain that it’s required and you know what you’re doing.
On Windows, open Explorer and navigate to C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\ (replacing [Username] with your credentials). Scroll down to the bottom of the list and delete the file called “Web Data”.
On Mac, open the terminal and type cd /Users/[user]/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default (once again, replacing [user] with your own details). Next, type rm -rf History*; rm -rf Web\ Data;.
On both operating systems, restart your machine, reopen Chrome, and see if your problem is solved.
Naturally, Google has no real control over these third-party add-ins. If you find Chrome is running slowly, they are often the culprit.
Start by removing any that you don’t use regularly – they could be hogging memory. If the problem persists, try disabling all your extensions and re-enabling them one-by-one.
Click on Menu > More Tools > Extensions. Click the checkbox to temporarily disable them, or the rubbish bin to delete them permanently.
If your browser’s speed is still poor, there is a chance that you’ll need to edit the “Flags”. These are experimental settings offered by Google, so proceed with caution.
Adobe keeps trying to kill Flash Player, but it refuses to go away – lots of sites still implement the technology.
If you keep getting a message saying Flash has crashed, you might need to disable it permanently. Aside from the obvious security benefits, it will stop you getting those annoying pop-ups.
To turn it off, type chrome://plugins/ into Chrome’s Omnibox. Navigate to the setting for Adobe Flash Player and click Disable.
Doing so can fix issues with Flash, your plug-ins, your search engines, annoying pop-ups, failed updates, and a host of other things.
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