So I bought this new computer with Windows 8 on it. Before I can just copy and paste the user profile folder from old computer to new computer and voila, it works. But not with Windows 8. I tried to copy and replace the "C:\Users\xyz\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data", no success. Chrome completely ignored the profile, bookmarks showed up but all extension and history gone.

Only copy and replace "C:\Users\xyz\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default", similar result, bookmarks ok but everything else gone.

Is the change really that dramatic? Anything I could do to migrate my profile? I am mainly trying to preserve all the settings for each extensions I have fine-tuned during the past few years.


  • I have migrated my Chrome machine from Windows XP, to Windows Vista, to Windows 7, to Windows 8, to Windows 8.1, to Windows 10 machines. I have never had a problem. Something else is going on and it has nothing to do with Windows 8.
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2015 at 11:18
  • How is it done? Simply copying files still works?
    – ericcire
    Jul 8, 2015 at 19:45
  • Yes? How else wpuld you do it, which is the reason I maintain something else is going on
    – Ramhound
    Jul 8, 2015 at 19:46
  • @ericcire - As a final request for help, could you please try this: Can you do me a favor? In {Settings} Can you create 2 new Users "User Profile" 's in addition to the default and try to copy + overwrite on both with one primary difference. One signed in before the copy + overwrite and other not. And see how those profiles do? That way we can be sure of what can/ does work. PS: I guess you are on Windows 8.1 with Chrome 44 ? Please share what version of chrome you were on when you did the copy.
    – Alex S
    Aug 27, 2015 at 5:45
  • Sorry at this point I am really afraid that if I touch anything I may break it. So I really don't want to mess with it any more. Sorry. That being said, if something happens that I need to reinstall Chrome, I will try and let you know. Given that I just upgraded from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10, it might not be so far away. I am already experiencing some strange behavior of Windows 10. As of now I am running Chome Version 46.0.2490.6 dev-m (64-bit) on Windows 10. I wish I could be more helpful.
    – ericcire
    Aug 28, 2015 at 3:29

1 Answer 1


Several files of Google Chrome profile are encrypted with DPAPI. Keys used to encrypt data are stored in "the user profile under RootDirectory \Documents and Settings\< username >\Application Data\Microsoft\Protect" - https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc962112.aspx; and additionally encrypted by combination of User SID and hash of his password.

There are some solutions to decrypt data: https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/chrome_cookies_view.html and https://www.nirsoft.net/utils/dpapi_data_decryptor.html (which gives more details about encryption mode and key file used). DPAPI decryptor may also work offline (reading files from the harddrive of another windows installation). But they both can't reencrypt data with newer keys or import data into new profile.

There are also some ideas to migrate all user keys to another installation of the Windows (search internet by "dpapimig.exe" for such kind of instructions):

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