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I am reinstalling my OS and I would like to keep the list of installed extensions, bookmarks and other customizations in my Google Chrome browser.

How can I re-create the setup on the new system?

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What's your OS and do you just want to keep a list or actually copy your settings as they were? –  slhck May 5 '12 at 12:28

3 Answers 3

First, you make sure you are logged in to your Chrome Browser. You know, click the wrench, and look for where it tells you that you are signed in. If you are not, you need to do so.

Chrome will sync and backup a buttload of stuff for you.

chrome://settings/personal

Put that in your browser, or just click the wrench, settings, and Personal Stuff. The first option, Sign in... has an Advanced Button. Click that to see exactly what gets synchronized to Google. Or click that to decide what you want to sync.

So, really... anywhere you install Chrome, if you sign in as you, will give you access to all the goodies you have now.

EDIT

And yes, I tested this myself. Just now. Opened up one of the other computers, installed Chrome on it, signed into it, and watched my extensions get added before my eyes (the ones that show on the start page), and my bookmarks are there, etc.

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… which of course only works if you have a Google account && want to store your data with them :) –  slhck May 5 '12 at 14:20
    
@slhck that is a most excellent point. Granted, one could always sign up for a Google account just for this purpose, and ignore all the other services that they offer. But, that would mean just another account to keep track of. Then again, having that extra account could be considered a valid trade off for the benefit of being able to sync your Chrome settings easily across any computer you use Chrome on. –  Bon Gart May 5 '12 at 14:32
    
Couldn't agree more. I think this is one of the most convenient features they offer! I'm pretty sure though that a simple profile backup would fulfill the same purpose if it's really just about migrating to a new computer. –  slhck May 5 '12 at 14:34
    
Yes, and they do have the feature to Import bookmarks and some of those settings from another browser, but not to easily Export those settings locally. –  Bon Gart May 5 '12 at 14:35
    
Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't it suffice to just archive the Default profile in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data? –  slhck May 5 '12 at 14:36

Bon Gart's answer explains the native way to do it, which only involves signing into your Google account. However, if you don't want to sign up with Google, or store your data with them, you can easily go ahead and archive your profile folder.

It's stored in the following location:

  • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\
  • Vista, Windows 7: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\
  • Mac OS X: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/
  • Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/

All you have to do is:

  • Quit Chrome
  • Copy the User Data folder contents somewhere safe
  • After re-installing your OS, install Chrome*
  • Run it once and close it again
  • Copy the backup of your old User Data folder over the existing one in your new OS installation
  • Start Chrome again and you should be running like before.

* I'd advise to install exactly the same version of Chrome though. If you install an older version, your profile will not be readable. Also, when switching OS, this method might not work.

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I did it successfully with the entire User Data folder between two XP systems, but I'm pretty sure I copied extraneous info. –  Bon Gart May 5 '12 at 15:07

Re-Packaging as .crx: For a more compact version of your extensions (rather than the unpacked, folder version), you can use Chrome to re-package them into .crx files. I use this when I notice I still have an extension that is no longer available on the Chrome Web Store, and therefore will not sync back.

  • Open Tools > Extensions
  • Click Developer Mode
  • Click Pack extension...
  • Click Browse next to Extension Root Directory
  • Navigate your way to the User Data folder you copied (refer to slhck's answer).
  • Find the folder for the extension. There should be another folder named after the version number of your extension. Click that folder, then click OK.
    • Private File Key is optional (as it states).
  • Click Pack Extension

Voilá! Your new .crx file is in the same directory as the folder it was derived from. By the way, ever since a recent Google Chrome update, you have to open Tools > Extensions and drag your .crx file into the window to install 3rd party extensions (ie. not from Chrome Web Store).

*I just discovered this today and thought it would be helpful.

EDIT: One last piece of information is the means of identifying the extension. Somewhere within the extension folder (likely named something like: apjhdoaiejppfmijnkopdcpjcngdlfvj) you will find images that will contain the image for the extension's icon. This is the best way I know of to figure out what's what.

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