The Chrome browser can create a fairly large number of processes that are not necessarily closed when the browser is exited. For instance, if desktop notifications are enabled, various processes corresponding to different plugins that send notifications can be kept running indefinitely.

Unfortunately, this makes switching build channels tricky, because the installer for each channel needs all processes from the channel it's replacing to be closed. (This is not generally an issue for the Canary channel, since it doesn't usually replace another channel, but I expect that it will fail when switching from 32-bit Canary to 64-bit Canary). On Windows, since Google only recently released a "stable" 64-bit build, I expect quite a few people to be switching channels fairly soon.

Is there any easy way to close all Chrome processes before (or while) switching channels? The only way I've found is to manually close all Chrome processes, which seems like something I shouldn't need to do. I thought temporarily un-checking the "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" settings box might work, but that did not appear to stop everything. (It would be nice, of course, if the channel installers provided some sort of "suspend all Chrome activity" button or something, which could simply kill the processes since they're automatically restarted once Chrome is installed...)

2 Answers 2


A taskkill /IM /F chrome.exe should kill every process from Chrome. However as far as I know, there is no need to do this when switching channels. When i switched from canary to dev and back the Installer did it all itself and I didnt do anything and it just worked.

  • That's fortunate for you, I guess, but I've switched multiple times now and run into this problem each time. Are you sure you have the "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" setting turned on, and do you have many background apps? In any case, I know kill makes killing processes more convenient, but I still count that as a "manual" solution. Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 15:53
  • Yes, I had. Last time I got a notification just before switching. Different machine, different behaviour I think..
    – Kimmax
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 16:26
  • 1
    I think you mean taskkill. Commented Oct 8, 2014 at 17:34
  • Sure, were working on a Linux machine so I mixed the commands up. Thanks for pointing out :)
    – Kimmax
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 16:59

My solution of temporarily un-checking the "Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed" settings box does work, but it takes a few seconds for all running processes to close. Of course, this setting must be changed back in order to use desktop notifications and so on.

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