Completely Reset Google Chrome to Defaults

You may occasionally want to reset Chrome to the factory default settings for performance, or in the aftermath of malware attack and removal. This post tells you how to reset your Google Chrome settings and data.

Pick one of the options to reset Chrome

  1. Reset Google Chrome via Settings
  2. Reset Google Chrome completely by deleting its data folder
  3. Reset Google Chrome Using Chrome Cleanup Tool

Reset Google Chrome via Settings

Start Google Chrome and click the More icon (with three lines or dots), and click Settings.

Scroll down until you see the option named Reset settings. Click the Reset Settings button, and then click Reset.

completely reset chrome

Alternatively, paste the following URL into the Address bar to access the Reset Settings dialog.

chrome://settings/resetProfileSettings

The following settings will change back to the default:

  • Default search engine (set to Google)
  • Homepage and tabs
  • New tab page
  • Pinned Tabs
  • Content settings
  • Cookies and site data
  • Extensions
  • Themes

Src: Reset Chrome settings to default – Chrome Help

Only the settings for the Chrome profile you’re signed in to will be reset. And the new settings will be synced across all devices where you’re signed in to your active profile.

Reset Google Chrome Completely

The following procedure will completely reset Chrome for the current user account. This resets all Chrome settings to default and deletes your browser profiles, themes, extensions, bookmarks, history, cache, passwords, cookies, and web form auto-fill information.

If you decide to perform this procedure, make sure you have appropriate backups of your bookmarks, passwords and other data. You may save them locally as well as sync it online to your Google account.

Close all instances of Google Chrome. Open File Explorer, type or paste the following folder path and press ENTER:

%LocalAppData%\Google

Rename the folder “Chrome” to “Chrome-old”

Start Google Chrome. The “first run” or the “Welcome” screen appears.

completely reset chrome
Google Chrome “Welcome” page

Using the Chrome Cleanup Tool

Google also made available the Chrome Cleanup Tool which can scan for some “bad” programs and remove from your computer. It then suggests resetting Chrome by launching the built-in “resetProfileSettings” page (as seen above).

The “bad” programs are the ones which cause problems with Chrome, such as crashes, unusual startup pages or toolbars, and unexpected ads you can’t get rid of. This tool can come in handy if your browser settings or search pages get hijacked by one of the listed adware, or perhaps its variants.

chrome cleanup tool
Download Chrome Cleanup Tool

For more information about this tool, check out page Scan a Windows computer with the Chrome Cleanup Tool. The Chrome Cleanup Tool can be downloaded from here.

See also Reset Firefox Completely and Start Over from Scratch

About the author

Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.com back in 2005. He is passionate about Microsoft technologies and has a vast experience in the ITeS industry — delivering support for Microsoft's consumer products. He has been a Microsoft MVP [2003 to 2012] who contributes to various Windows support forums.

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