When Google Chrome chronically crashes it may tempt you to consider that degenerate browser known as Internet Explorer.
If reading the phrase “Internet Explorer” wasn’t enough to bristle the hair on body then someone should check your pulse because you’re dead.
Internet Explorer categorically sucks.
Oka, wait – that was mean – let me qualify my vilifying remarks by saying that Internet Explorer 10 and older sucks.
IE11 is an improvement to the beleaguered league of Microsoft browsers; however, it still hasn’t usurped the browser gold from Chrome yet.
Nonetheless, when Chrome starts uttering weird things like “Aw, Snap!” or “He’s Dead, Jim!” it’s time to investigate the source of the problem.
The most common reason for Chrome crashes are:
- Corrupt profiles
- Conflicting modules
- Bad Extensions
- Outdated software
- Damaged files
Let’s run through each:
1. Corrupt Chrome Profiles
Google Chrome is chock full of hidden features and profiles is just another one of them.
Chrome actually let’s you keep browser specific settings such as themes and bookmarks separate for different Chrome users.
This is a Chrome thing and therefore has nothing to do with user accounts in Windows. For example, you can have one Windows user account but three Chrome profiles in that account for your Wife, Son, and Cat.
But sometimes Chrome profiles become awash in problems which eventually corrupts them. To work around the issue we need to rename the Windows folder that contains the profiles so Chrome can automatically create a new profile.
Click Start and enter this:
Inside this folder you’ll find a benign folder named Default.
Rename it to Backup Default then right click to cut the folder so you can paste it into the parent folder.
In other words, we need to move Backup Default to %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome. This deft move tricks Chrome into create a new profile – so go ahead and surf the digital waves of the internet to see if Chrome feels stable now.
2. Help, I’m feeling conflicted
Humans aren’t the only ones with conflicts. There are an assortment of modules that can contribute to the torpor of your browser. Fortunately we can hunt them down by typing the following into the Chrome omnibar:
Suspicious modules display a warning message in red like this:
This module is known to conflict with Google Chrome
You might see an esoteric module named BFLLR Dynamic Library. This which is a dynamic library used by Bigfoot Networks which used to make the famed Killer Gaming network cards.
The problem is that Chrome tries to circumvent the controllers network protocols so it can implement it’s own but encounters a problem in the process and vomits this error.
Or perhaps you’ll see a nefarious module by this name:
If you see this you need to immediately download a malware cleaner such as AdwCleaner or the newer more robust Malwarebytes. I say immediately, because sProtector is a well known Trojan and therefore puts your computer at risk.
And that brings me to my third point…
3. Scare the Malware
Scare the Malware with a good anti-malware program.
Malware is notorious for doing inane things to your browser such as crashing it, redirecting home pages, installing cute browser bars and generally slowing it down. A good Anti-malware program will detect and destroy all Potentially Unwanted Software (PuPs), Trojans and malicious registry keys.
Malwarebytes, Comodo Cleaning Essentials and Spybot Search and Destroy are a triumvirate of tools that will take on almost any threat. Make sure you use all three to expunge all vestiges of malware lurking on your system.
4: Pay attention to extensions
We need to make sure there aren’t any obscure extensions goobing up your browser.
The fastest way to test this problem is to simply open a new Incognito Window by pressing Ctrl + Shift + n
This fancy key combo instantly kicks open a new private window that deletes all cookies on close and refuses to save your browsing history. It also disables all extensions so if you notice Chrome is happy in incognito mode you may have one or more extensions that are crashing the browser.
If that’s the case, open the Extension Manager by typing in:
Now you can start disabling and trashing superfluous extensions.
5. You down with SFC? Yeah you know me
Finally, if the browser adamantly refuses to stay alive, slap some sense into the system with the System File Checker (affectionately known as SFC by power users)
This nimble tool checks the Windows file system for corruptions and then restores those corrupt files.
To get started, click the Start Button and type:
Windows 8 and 8.1 users can get here by pressing this slick keyboard combination: Windows Key + x + a
Now, in the command window type the following:
Once it completes, fire up your browser and give it a whirl.
Your “Aw, Snap!” woes should come to and end after doing these five things.
The Bottom Line
When Chrome says Aw Snap and abruptly quits – that can really suck. However, there are a few things you can do to fix your mercurial browser.
For starters, recreate the Google Chrome profile. If that doesn’t work, check for Conflicts and then Scan for Malware. Most Chrome crashes are a corollary of malware so this usually purges the malware and also clears any conflicts.
Next, zap extraneous extensions then run the System File Checker to finish up the job.
If this helped you please let me know in the comments below!