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I fired up the computer today just to be met by a message saying that the Google Chrome settings file is corrupt.

Oh well, I thought, and googled it. And to my surprise nobody seems to be getting this error, I only found one forum thread about it, with no real solution.

So, does anybody know why this happened? I've never seen anything like it before. All of my settings, extensions, login-data etc are gone! Everything... The only things left are my bookmarks, although, some of them are gone too.

Any ideas how to fix it? Why did it happen?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

For the why: because you're unlucky. More seriously, many things can cause a file corruption. It may come from a power failure during a write (even if you didn't notice it, you computer may not even rebooted), or a software bug in google chrome causing it to write garbage to its files.

It could also be an NMR Spectrometer operating too close to your computer (well, depending on where you work, but it happened to a friend of mine and I couldn't resist) .

For the how to fix it:

  • You should make backups of everything is important to you before this kind of things happens. This includes your mail directory, browser settings, cat pictures, etc.

    I'm sorry because this is probably not what you want to hear. But remember that you only lost one file. Next time it may be your entire hard disk.

  • If you are very (I mean very) motivated, you could still save your corrupted file before overwriting it (maybe it's too late), then look at google chromium source code to learn things about the file format, and then try to extract as much information as you can from your damaged file.

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If you sign in via Chrome and sync everything, it doesn't really matter.

If this happens again, just sign back in and your bookmarks, cookies, extensions, etc. will all reappear.

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Try this

  1. Close any Chrome windows that might be open.
  2. Click Windows Start at left end of Task Bar, put the following in Search Box or Run, and press [Enter]: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google
  3. That should open an Explorer window with folders including "Chrome".
  4. Right-click on the "Chrome" folder, and then click "Restore previous versions" in the pop-up menu to open the Chrome Properties window.
  5. Click to select the top (most recent) version, and then click "Restore...". That should pop up a confirmation window ("Are you sure you want to restore..."). Click Restore.
  6. Windows should then copy a bunch of files to restore Chrome, finishing with "The folder has been successfully restored to the previous version."
  7. Click OK to close the message, then close the Properties and Explorer windows.
  8. Launch Chrome. If you get a "didn't shut down properly" message just close it with the "X" at the right (or ignore it).

Notes: This procedure is covered in Windows 7 Help and Support under "Recover lost or deleted files" in the section "To restore a file or folder to a previous state". You can try restoring an earlier version if necessary. If all of this doesn't work, you can start over by closing Chrome and deleting the Chrome folder.


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Are you using "CCleaner" program? If so, then that error might happen again UNLESS you UNCHECK these under CCleaner's application tab, under Google Chrome "Internet History" and "Last Download Location". I did every combination in CCleaner's settings (trial and error) and checking other options will not cause that error. Only those two I mentioned.

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