Google Chrome is crashing when I try to open it. I'm assuming that it's probably a bad extension that's causing the problem.

How can I start up Chrome with all extensions disabled / turned off?

  • 13
    Not really relevant to Stack Overflow, but passing the --disable-extensions flag should do it.
    – thirtydot
    Mar 7, 2011 at 22:50
  • My issue ended up NOT being a typical extension, but rather Adobe Flash. The indicator was that the crash report showing nvSCPAPI.dll_unloaded was the issue. Re-installing flash from get2.adobe.com/flashplayer/otherversions fixed the issue and I was able to start Chrome again.
    – user226795
    May 25, 2013 at 14:24
  • I've figured out wtih this question into my blog post "how to disable cors in chrome browser": alfilatov.com/posts/run-chrome-without-cors Sep 15, 2020 at 17:53

7 Answers 7


thirtydot is correct, run Chrome with the --disable-extensions command-line option to disable extensions.

Technically, it doesn’t so much disable all the extensions as much as hide them so that Chrome thinks that none are installed, so this won’t help in your particular case. t_b_b, since you cannot disable extensions in-browser and the command-line argument hides all extensions, what you want to do is to manually disable them. Open your User Data folder then open the file Preferences in a text-editor. Now scroll down to the line starting the settings blocks: "settings": { Each of the extensions will have its own block inside the settings block. To disable them, change their states to 0: "state": 1

To simplify things, just do a search for all lines containing

"state": 1

and change them to

"state": 0
  • Note that this doesn't seem to stick for me. When I edit Preferences it works fine the first time. If I then start/quit Chrome the states revert to their previous values. So I need to replace the Preferences file before each start.
    – studgeek
    Apr 27, 2014 at 20:03
  • @studgeek, then you are missing something or modifying it while Chrome is still running (it reverts the setting when you exit) because this is how Chrome determines which extensions are enabled or disabled, and if didn’t work, then you would have to re-enable/disable everything each time you run it (when running normally), but clearly you don’t; it remembers which are enabled or disabled. Also, make sure you are taking extra care with things like commas because a missing or extra one will render the JSON syntax invalid which causes Chrome to ignore the file.
    – Synetech
    May 11, 2014 at 2:19
  • 1
    Consider tacking on "--safe-plugins" for good measure.
    – Pup
    Aug 1, 2014 at 22:58
  • 14
    --disable-extensions does not work anymore
    – MightyPork
    Nov 7, 2015 at 21:13
  • 6
    --disable-extensions does still work, I just tried it. You need to make sure no "Google Chrome" processes are running in the task manager. Make sure to exit the Google Chrome service that's running in the notification area. This is for the Google Chrome apps that can run in the background even when all of the Chrome windows are closed. Aug 18, 2016 at 14:39

Open an incognito window.

"If you want to create a shortcut that opens Chrome in incognito mode, duplicate an existing Chrome shortcut, right-click on the shortcut, select "Properties" and append this flag to the target value: --incognito (don't forget to add a space to separate the flag)."

Google Chrome Safe Mode

  • 5
    Despite what the linked blog says, Incognito Mode is not a replacement for Firefox's Safe Mode.
    – dotancohen
    May 8, 2014 at 7:41
  • 1
    Yeah, but it certainly does the trick in most cases.
    – Grinn
    Mar 4, 2016 at 18:53

Run Chrome with commandline switch


This will run the plugin processes inside the sandbox and will not crash Chrome if you are sure that it is the plugins that are crashing Chrome.

  • 4
    Handy, but plugins are different from extensions.
    – Mu Mind
    Sep 22, 2012 at 19:46

Per http://peter.sh/experiments/chromium-command-line-switches/

--bwsi Indicates that the browser is in "browse without sign-in" (Guest session) mode. Should completely disable extensions, sync and bookmarks. ↪

  • My Chrome browser immediately crashed upon start and this was the only switch that actually helped me. In my case, the recently installed PureVPN Proxy extension seems to have caused the issue.
    – Semmel
    Jul 24, 2023 at 10:20

This Chrome extension disables all extensions temporarily:


I have tried it and it works well, but not sure if it disables them in the manual sense @synetech says they should for debugging...

  • 25
    An extension for disabling all extensions? Made my day
    – Ray
    Aug 23, 2016 at 21:53

I tried all the suggestions for launching Chrome with plugins, no plugins, incognito and so forth... nothing worked. Even the menus launch a Chrome page, so if Chrome gives you the "Aw Snap" message, it really means - Aw Snap! You can't even get to the tools and settings.

I did a Ctrl+Alt+Del and found chrome.exe in the task manager. Then I forced it closed, Chrome finally came up again. It has something to do with syncing your Gmail account when Chrome launches: if that is failing, then Chrome turns into Chris Rock.

  • 6
    "Chris Rock"? I'm not getting the reference.
    – ale
    Oct 22, 2012 at 17:15
  • his last name is rock, rocks are like bricks, when you brick a tech gadget it becomes useless?
    – benrifkah
    Oct 28, 2015 at 20:44

You might need to delete the locally stored user profile. Try this:

  1. Open the window of the user you want to delete. (Check the icon in the top corner to make sure you're in the right user)
  2. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. In the “Users” section, select the user that you want to delete.
  5. Click Delete.

Alternatively, you can click the X icon to the right of the user. In the confirmation dialog that appears, click Delete.

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