Why does Google Chrome keep crashing in Windows?

Google Chrome crash "Aw, Snap!"

When Google Chrome chronically crashes it may tempt you to consider that degenerate browser known as Internet Explorer.

Yikes.

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.

First check out the official list of Chrome’s crashes and errors.  Then view your crash history by typing the following into the omnibar bar (address bar):

chrome://crashes

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  • Outdated software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:

%LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\

Inside this folder you’ll find a benign folder named Default.

Google Chrome User Data

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:

chrome://conflicts

Modules loaded into Google Chrome

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:

%programfiles%\safesaver\sprotector.dll

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.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware running in Windows 8.1 Update 1

Malwarebytes is the preeminent solution; however, both Comodo Cleaning Essentials and Spybot Search and Destroy are excellent contenders.

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:

chrome://extensions/

Google Chrome Extensions

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:

cmd

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:

sfc /scannow

Windows 8.1 System File Checker sfc.exe

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!

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  • Kim

    Much appreciated! My computer has been running slow for a few days then CONSTANTLY Chrome was crashing; leaving me one very unhappy person! Thanks so much, this seemed to have solved the problem.

  • Franchot Tone

    Funny! This would be incredibly useful if the Colossal POS known as Chrome opened to allow me to type things into the omnibar.

    • USAisROME

      chrome sucks… lots of ectensions means anyone can do whatever they want on thw browser… IE11 is prenomenaliay better and sandboxxd so you dont get a wrecked machine or spend days fixing it with malwarebytes….

      the firefox and chome myths are just that: myths…. they don’t work… IE11 is crazy fast and is sandboxed so nothing ever invades your machine…. hiding you head in the sand and saying that IE isn’t safe insn’t up to date… IE is the safest fastest thing around, period…. end of story

      • Franchot, 5 years ago I would have dissented with your opinion, but today I tend to agree with you. IE11 isn’t unassailable but with new features such as the WebCryptoAPI, it’s hard to argue that IE11 isn’t secure anymore.

  • Lloyd

    I went through all the steps set out above, and Chrome STILL kept freezing.
    Then I unpinned Internet Explorer from the start (this in in windows 8). Problem now appears to be solved.
    The way I see it my problem was the Internet Explorer setup, not Google Chrome.
    So if you have this Chrome freezing problem, maybe the first thing to do would be to make sure IE isn’t set up to crash Chrome.

    • tradingfool

      Hey it worked! Don’t know how you thought of doing it but you saved me from trying all the other steps above

  • johnson dell

    For Free Browser Tech Support Contact Us @ 1-800-935-0537

    http://computertechsupport.us/computer-support.html

    • John R. Johnston

      Kind of incomplete regarding the changing the default directory. After doing this bookmarks have to be imported etc.

  • Steve Bakewell

    Err.. I think i have a better solution! JUST DOWNLOAD PALEMOON!

  • JPinPhilly

    My Chrome started crashing on start up. I removed the most recent software updates and installations, but to no avail. Then I read that there could be a problem between Chrome and Cyberlink YouCam. At first I ignored that fact because I didn’t think I even had it. Turns out that it was part of the original software that came with the computer 5 years ago. No idea why it suddenly caused a problem, but uninstalling it fixed the problem.

    • Stephen Michael Fox Jr

      OMG !!!! You are a genius and a lifesaver !! Long story short, I had to wipe and reinstall Windows on my 7 year old HP. After that my Chrome had been continuously crashing immediately after start up. I have been researching online for over 5 weeks now trying to find the solution. Move Default, change name to Sandbox.exe, etc, etc… nothing worked. I had almost stopped trying and have been using Firefox for the past two weeks, when late tonight I came across your post! Sure enough, I had Cyberlink YouCam installed… after uninstalling, voila, Chrome is working again! Thank you !

    • Charlies AsianballroomAngels

      That did it! Uninstalled that CyberLink You Cam program that was part of PowerDVD and suddenly Chrome works great! It wouldn’t even finish launching before.

    • This worked for me too! Thanks.

      Chrome started playing up two days ago, but this software has been installed for years. What the hey?

    • ikeepsitfunky

      OMG!!!!!! Thank you so much. Using Firefox was driving me nuts. Life saver!!

    • Wizard

      You da man…worked a treat

    • PMVD

      OMG it worked! thank you! why doesn’t google give this as advice in a forum or problemsolver….

  • Chrome Browser crashes with Windows Vista ( only during initial launch ):

    we have to disable SUPERFETCH service from Vista services:

    – START -> RUN -> SERVICES.MSC

    – scroll down to locate SUPERFETCH service

    – double-click mouse on SUPERFETCH

    – choose STARTUP-TYPE to DISABLED

    – click APPLY

    – REBOOT the system

    It is good to delete all the files from C:WindowsPrefetch folder regularly. We can delete the Prefetch folder itself completely, after deleting the PrefetchReadyboot folder.

  • Walking_Disaster

    Attempting to change the corrupt profile, but when I go to rename the file, I keep getting “this action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program.” message. Running windows 8.1, and doing all of the other steps, but I’m gonna guess that a corrupt profile is my problem because it’s the one I can’t figure out how to fix.

    • Robert Hopkins

      I’m guessing that you had the chrome browser open when you did this. I made the same mistake. Windows will not let you rename a file or folder that is currently being used. The solution? Either copy/paste the page into a notepad or open the site up on IE…. Blecch.

  • Lisa Klein-Gunnewiek

    Chrome SUCKS on Windows 8. For some unknown reason it keeps opening in Windows 8 mode and then crashing. I have uninstalled and reinstalled a hundred times and I am done with this crap!!

  • Brandi

    I don’t know what else to try. I have done all of these things and I’m still having issues.

  • Brian Blair

    It crashes because you people are dumb enough to use a browser that spies on you! If you do not have enough sense to stay away from a browser that spies on you, Then you obviously have not the sense to use a pc! Let alone even walk proper!

  • Rick Flynn

    Yes, doing the first thing worked! I’ve had nothing but trouble using Chrome in Windows 8.1 and that absolutely cleared the problem!!
    Thanks for all you do!

  • Wawan Beneran

    About Last Update Google Chrome 2015, If you don’t find the solution, maybe you need to try this simple way “>>Simple Way to Fix Google Chrome Updated 2015”

  • John R. Johnston

    Kind of incomplete regarding the default directory strategy. After doing this bookmarks have to be imported etc.
    Also SFC has to run as Administrator.

  • Kimberly

    Hi, I am trying to run through some of your suggestions to fix issues with Chrome constantly crashing. I am now trying to run the sfc utility, but it says I have to be an administrator. Well, I am listed as the administrator for the computer, but it still will not allow me to use the utility. How can I fix this issue, please? Thanks!

    • rwells78

      On my Win 7 laptop (and my cell phone) I was also having this problem. For the laptop two things helped, remove the extension my bank recommended:
      Trusteer Rapport and then switched to the beta version (V46) of chrome.
      Both were simple suggestions I had seen elsewhere, and they worked for me. As for the phone, I deleted Chrome and the continuous reboots ended. Apparently Chrome V45 has issues, that fortunately seem to be fixed in V46. YMMV.

      • Harry Bukin

        @rwells78:disqus THANK YOU SO MUCH! Been working on this all bloody morning and couldn’t find anything why chrome just kept on crashing, removed Trusteer Rapport and it fixed it! You’re a god send, Sir.

  • The Mann

    Google Chrome not good more, I believe that is the same issue with windows edge. They has forgotten to be back compatible with main DLL and flash, java and so on. They is up to date, but lot of home page is NOT, also the WEB broser designer can´t keep up with the new “rules” therefor we as users see lot of problems.. I have used Chrome for many years now, and it is only 1-2years there is cumming serious problems. I have programs also Synology DS server that dosn´t work properly on Chrome, Synology Survivalists isn´t supported anymore by Chrome because of a DLL/CORE think, because of a old Video flash or what hell its called isn´t supported more, not even Chrome, Edge or Firefox support Synology survivalists only the old internet explore that is outdated do.. And that confirm the theory the updated browser is working to fast for the designer of product or homepage… But what i don´t understand is Microsoft and Google know this… and I have written to them about this issue.. But it still become a big and bigger problem, I forced to Use Firefox and Explore now because the other browser don´t work..