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I have a Google portable edition installed into the C:\ProgramData\GoogleChromePortable\ directory. It has a single - Default - user profile, customized to my needs. All works fine as far as I open Chrome myself and browse Internet as expected.

When I open an html-page from a shell or any other program which incorporates a web-link (for example, from about dialog of antiviral software), my Chrome opens a new window using a strange profile. This looks like an initial profile, without installed extensions and regular browsing history. Nevertheless, this is always the same profile, because it stores in its history all the pages I opened from such external programs.

After a short investigation I have found that this profile - another Default profile - is created automaticaly at the following location: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\. If I remove it, it gets recreated each time I try to open a web-link from an external program.

The question is: how can I configure Chrome in such a way, that it will open links from external programs using my real default profile? If the Chrome is already running when I click a link in an external program, this should ideally open a tab in the existing Chrome window, instead of a new separate window.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Don't use a portable version of Chrome, and install it properly.

C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\ is the standard location for a Chrome profile.

Portable applications are great if you want to move quickly from system to system, but they don't integrate well. If you want to integrate (shell open, etc.), then do a proper install which can integrate.

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Unfortunately, integration is not the only requirement, so I need to use the portable version. I'll try to find a solution. The most straight-forward one is to use --user-data-dir in the Chrome shortcut, but it's not ideal. Could you elaborate more on the fact, why Chrome launched from a single location looks into different profiles? How does this happen, that when I launch Chrome from the shell (without an argument) it opens using portable profile? But when it is launched with a file to open, it uses local profile - how's this possible? – Stan Oct 9 '12 at 20:16
@Stan Chrome is not really portable. Everything on is a hack to make a non-portable app, portable. Chrome by default looks in your user folder, and PortableApps tries to wrap it in a wrapper script which redirects the file access to a relative folder near the executable. If at any point you launch it without the wrapper script, it'll go back to using the default location. The shell most likely opens chrome in some way that ignores the wrapper. What do you need from chrome that requires the portable version? – Darth Android Oct 9 '12 at 20:20
I need several different Chrome versions. Currently, with portable edition, this is possible and they can even run in parallel. – Stan Oct 9 '12 at 20:24

Such links are processed by default browser of OS (I'm not sure if a portable browser can be set as default browser). Path C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome belongs to standalone Google Chrome. So it seems that you have standalone version of Google Chrome installed as well.

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You are wrong. I do not have regular version of Chrome installed. And here is what is added into the Registry for web-files' open command:"C:\ProgramData\GoogleChromePortable\App\Chrome-bin\chrome.exe" "%1". As you can see it points to the portable executable (I did not add this manually). – Stan Oct 11 '12 at 18:07
@Stan I installed portable version of Google Chrome and found that when I start PortableGoogleChrome it starts chrome.exe with --user-data-dir in order to specify where data for portable version are stored. You can see that in Windows Task Manager. If Chrome started as default web browser is started without such key and so as the default location of user profile is used. – tapkin Oct 12 '12 at 17:04
Yes, I know. This is what @DarthAndroid wrote in comments to his answer. – Stan Oct 12 '12 at 17:26

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