If I install Chrome in a Windows laptop without admin access, all sync functionalities are disabled. This is unlike Firefox - which continues to sync, I suppose because it doesn't use a Windows service for sync.

Is there any way I can turn sync on without having admin access for Chrome in Windows?

5 Answers 5


Type in chrome browser:


You will see SyncDisabled value true (sync is disabled now).

To enable sync follow below steps:

Search string SyncDisabled in regedit > Edit > search and double click and set value 0.

Setting would be differ from PC to PC hence ** is mentioned here:


Go and check value change in chrome://policy (sync is now enabled). The value is changed to false.

  • 3
    If the OP doesn't have admin access it is unlikely that they will be able to use regedit.
    – Burgi
    Commented Apr 15, 2016 at 0:32

To fix this same issue on a Mac, edit these 2 files (requires admin):

/Library/Managed Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist

/Library/Managed Preferences/[USERNAME]/com.google.Chrome.plist





Then restart Chrome. You will have to re-enter your sync passphrase in Chrome's preferences.

  • Please read the question again carefully. Your answer does not answer the original question. OP is using Windows.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Jan 20, 2017 at 13:39
  • 3
    Yes, I know this is for Windows but when googling this issue, many others have asked how to do it on a Mac as well so I thought I'd post this for those users.
    – Bryan M.
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 18:57
  • Then you should ask (and self-answer) a new question specifically for the Mac.
    – DavidPostill
    Commented Jan 21, 2017 at 18:59
  • 3
    I am on a Mac. I found this QA first. I appreciate Bryan answering here. I get the point you are trying to make, but a helpful answer is helpful no matter what. Thanks, Bryan!
    – jesus.tesh
    Commented Oct 4, 2017 at 23:34

To do this you will need to make a registry hack which basically means you need to modify the registry to make this work.

To do this go to your start menu and search run. Then click on the application named run and in the box type regedit. Then you will need to navigate to the registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\

Double click on the Update default and change the value from 0 to 1. This should solve your problem.

Sources: google product forms

  • 1
    Based on what I read in that link, that registry key, might not always exist
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 2:48
  • Oh i did not realize that but it should work Commented Jul 8, 2015 at 2:49
  • Sorry... Yeah it doesn't exist. Plus even if it did, I don't think I'd be able to modify an HKLM value without admin access either.
    – KalEl
    Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 19:48
  • 1
    yes you would probably not be able to even open regedit without admin access but i do not see any other way to do this Commented Jul 13, 2015 at 23:10
  • Mine was in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome (Chrome 83, Win Server 2016 Standard).
    – Tom Hundt
    Commented Jun 5, 2020 at 7:07

What worked for me with Chrome 79 on Win 10 is changing Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome\SyncDisabled to 0


If you use a stable version of Chromium you will able to sync, because chromium do not use the same registry keys of chrome.

Good Luck.

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