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software_reporter_tool.exe belonging to Chrome running at 100% cpu, fan full speed.

Deleting it doesn't fix anything, because it gets redownloaded again! Disabling "Protect me from bla bla" doesn't make it stop running.

Please anyone have any solutions?

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  • The top answer, is still relevant and still works. Unless you want a guide for Windows 8/10? Although I think that answer still works the same. – Kingsley Zhong Feb 27 '18 at 1:56
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    @Alex ... using chromium instead of chrome (and dis-installing the last one)? :-) Just to say if this is a recurring behaviour maybe you can use alternative approaches. If you need chrome for work (e.g to check the layout of a site you are creating...) that is another case (you can always use it in a virtual machine)... but for personal needs chromium should work fine too. – Hastur Feb 27 '18 at 6:32
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    If you hate chrome just use FireFox. Or Brave if you want something based on chromium. brave.com – HackSlash Feb 28 '18 at 0:01
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    So sick of this damn 'tool' – Simon Feb 29 '20 at 2:28
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The Software Reporter Tool is found under the following path on Windows 7 and newer versions of Windows :

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter\VERSION\software_reporter_tool.exe

While you can delete the content of the entire folder or rename this executable or destroy it in some way, this is only a temporary measure since it will return on the next update of the Chrome browser.

A better solution is to remove permissions so that no one may access the folder or run any program in it, as follows:

  • Right-click on the folder SwReporter and select Properties
  • Click on the Security tab
  • Click Advanced
  • Click on Disable inheritance and select Remove all inherited permissions from this object
  • Select Apply and when prompted click Yes.
  • Click OK and OK again

No group or user will now be able to access this folder, not even the administrators : The tool cannot be run anymore and updates cannot be applied to the folder.

If in the future you would like to undo the operation, enable inheritance again for the folder.

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  • On Windows 7 - After clicking on "Advanced" untick the "include inheritable permissions from this object's parent" checkbox, then select "Remove" on the dialog that pops up. – BornToCode Jan 5 '19 at 18:15
  • I created a simple service that checks the location you mentioned above and deletes the reporter tool. I installed the service yesterday. Today my laptop fan went to max again and I checked google chrome under processes in task manager. I found 4 Software-Reporter-tool.exe processes running, but all from this location: C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Local\Microsoft\VisualStudio\16.0_22b8d1af\WebTools\ChromeUserData_B1BEBFE6_75247F81-1740-45DF-BB1F-45B67FF3CB42\SwReporter\44.219.200. Not sure how this comes into the VS folder, strange. So the new Edge browser will be chromium based... – Legends Oct 2 '19 at 13:59
  • Looks like the collaboration already started. – Legends Oct 2 '19 at 13:59
  • I actually found 5 *.exe under this new folder, look here: i.imgur.com/PsNHMJh.png – Legends Oct 2 '19 at 14:44
  • Will Chrome break down on inaccessible SwReporter folder in the future? – jw_ Feb 20 '20 at 9:55
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Another option is to disable it via group policy for the local machine. I like this option because I don't need to know my Chrome version or username.

I found a solution here.

Note: this is only "for Windows instances that are joined to a Microsoft® Active Directory® domain. or Windows 10 Pro or Enterprise instances that enrolled for device management."

Short version:

  1. Regedit, go here, go to

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome

  2. Create ChromeCleanupEnabled and ChromeCleanupReportingEnabled as DWord 32bit options, with a value of 0

  3. Kill the Software Reporting Tool via task manager, it won't come back

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    Apparently this no longer works in recent versions of Chrome. I'm using Chrome 87.0.4280.88 on Windows and the software_reporter_tool is back despite the registry entries being in place. – ComicSansMS Dec 10 '20 at 20:52
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Sounds like group policy to the rescue.

You can use windows group policy to prevent certain applications from running.

Start -> run

gpedit.msc

In the MMC, navigate through: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > System

In the right-side pane look for "Don’t run specified Windows applications". Double click it and set it to "enabled". I'm running win10 so I don't know how much different it's going to be on win7 but once enabled on my system there's a "show" button you can click to bring up the list of disallowed apps. Double click in the "value" area to edit and then type the name of your app "software_reporter_tool.exe" (without the quotes of course). I'm not sure if the GPO is applied right away or if a logout or reboot is needed. Try it and let me know how it works for you!

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    Don’t think this’ll work: “This setting only prevents users from running programs that are started by the Windows Explorer process. It does not prevent users from running programs […] that are started […] by other processes.” – feklee Sep 22 '18 at 14:28
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According to the scans and analysis, software_reporter_tool.exe is a legit tool from Google (verified from its file properties and digital signature), so no scans will fix it.

Even-though there is/are a lot of fake/infected software_reporter_tool.exe(common infection name Sality), which lead to the strong assumption that the file is infected, the file residing on the OP's machine is clean.

Now, what's the purpose of `software_reporter_tool.exe`?<br>

This tools is probably related to resetting Chrome to factory defaults or removing the Chrome browser entirely.

You may be able to fix the problem by downloading and running the Software Removal Tool. Think of this as a “factory reset” of Chrome. It restores Chrome's original settings and removes programs that affect its behavior.

  1. You can uninstall SRT with Windows add/remove programs.
    Ref: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!topic/chrome/bFhfVkR-ENo

Check in your appwiz.cpl if the software_reporter_tool or Chrome Cleanup Tool is listed there and uninstall it. That should make the problem disappear.

Please note that the file name and program name is different!
If the uninstall didn't help to fix the issue, its probably time to migrate to other browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Opera.

Why was it causing high CPU?<br>

May be because of some programmatic bugs in the tool.

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    Yeah, a programming bug that sat at 100% CPU on a core that read 15GB of data. Mind you, they set the priority to LOW. That might have also been a bug. – Brain2000 Mar 14 '18 at 23:43
  • No, the purpose of 'software reporter tool' is NOT related to resetting Chrome to factory defaults or removing Chrome browser entirely. According to google support it is used to find malicious software. The tool can be executed manually in the settings menu of chrome. See: support.google.com/chrome/answer/… – Thorsten Albrecht Oct 3 '19 at 15:41
  • AND: The SRT cannot be removed with Windows add/remove programs anymore in the year 2019. – Thorsten Albrecht Oct 3 '19 at 15:45
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    and still there 5 years later. such a joke of a 'tool' - running even when Chrome isn't even open. what is it doing??????? – Simon Feb 29 '20 at 2:31
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This article would be help. Chrome Cleanup Tool a.k.a. Software Reporter Tool Running All the Time

Try to open software_reporter_tool.exe with text editor, then delete the contents and save it. Not delete the file itself, but the contents of the file. This will desable the function of software_reporter_tool.exe and it will never be shown up on process list.

The directory software_reporter_tool.exe located in is for my computer running Windows 7 is:

C:\Users\[USER NAME]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter\4.30.1
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  • This will not work as Chrome constantly updates itself and this tool (by chaging the content and its path). – Binar Web Jun 26 '20 at 9:48

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