So I recently performed a clean reinstall of Windows as my system was starting to lag horribly.

I made sure to backup my Chrome user profile (C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default) to another partition before doing this, but simply copying that folder over the new install of Chrome resulted in an error message saying "Some settings were reset - Chrome detected that some of your settings were corrupted by another program and reset them to their original defaults. Learn more".

My only option from there was to click "Restore all settings to defaults", so now I have my old cache, history and bookmarks but no extensions or saved passwords from my old install. Those last two items are what I really wanted to keep the most!

I had followed this same procedure in the past to successfully transfer an entire installation, but Chrome has obviously been updated many times since then and one of those updates must have made this "security fix" (I'm sure that's what they would call it, but I call it an unnecessary nuisance!).

So does anyone know of a way to extract saved passwords and extension info from an old user profile? Even if I could just get a list of all the extensions that I had installed, so that I could manually reinstall them one by one, that would suffice. But the passwords are the most critical thing; I had username/password combos saved for ~200 sites and don't remember them all. Even if I did, I really don't like the idea of having to painstakingly log in to each site again to save the info again!

As always, MTIA :-)

EDIT: Just found this question which confirms that the ability to simply copy one profile over another has been disabled since Chrome 55 :-( Should've looked into this before reinstalling! D'oh!


Many thanks to everyone who posted answers to this question. Thanks to their insights, I was able to open the Login Data file from the old profile in ChromePass and retrieve my saved sites and passwords.

Now if only it were that simple in Chrome! All I had to provide ChromePass was my old Windows user password to decrypt all 208 passwords stored in the file. Seeing as how the process is that simple, I don't understand why Chrome doesn't have an option to do this built in. Actually yes I do: because they'd rather have everyone store their passwords on Chrome servers. God only knows what they might do with that information!


Did you think about simply enabling sync and syncing all settings and passwords? This was my favourite feature in Chrome (before I switched to Brave, I really miss it there).

You could also try to export the passwords from Chrome. See the first part of this document (I work for 1Password and we have quite a few documents about different browsers): https://support.1password.com/import-chrome/

  • 1
    Thanks for the suggestion, but how am I supposed to follow it now that my old Windows install has been replaced with a completely new one? Granted I feel incredibly foolish for not having thought of the obvious solution before it was too late, and yes it is the obvious solution if I hadn't reinstalled yet, but I have. So all I have now are the files from the old profile, which I was hoping could be extracted/imported into a new profile somehow. – Kenny83 Dec 30 '18 at 16:48
  • @Kenny83 - Install an older version of Chrome, however, having transferred my chrome profile to a new machine recently I can confirm it’s still possible to simply copy the user profile to the new machine provided EFS wasnt being used. – Ramhound Dec 30 '18 at 19:39
  • @Ramhound - What the heck is EFS?! It must be enabled by default because a) I've never heard of it and b) I certainly expected the copy/paste to work, but wouldn't have bothered you fine folks if it did! Anyway thanks for the rollback suggestion, can't believe I didn't think of it myself! I would upvote your comment if I could but for some reason I don't see the button...do you need a certain amount of rep to do that? – Kenny83 Dec 30 '18 at 21:39
  • @Ramhound - just realised what you probably meant by EFS...Encrypted File System, right? If so, then no, my file system wasn't encrypted before the reinstall – Kenny83 Dec 30 '18 at 21:42
  • @roustem: If you link to your own site you must disclose your affiliation. See: superuser.com/help/promotion – Nisse Engström Jan 13 '19 at 8:27

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