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How to Restore and Fix: Chrome didn’t shut down correctly?

Although Chrome has a good feature of restoring the tabs if Chrome didn’t shut down correctly but still this error is getting quite frequent for some users. The best ways to get rid of this error include, Allowing Chrome Apps to Run in the Background, Renaming Chrome’s Default Folder, Tweak Chrome’s Preferences File, or Reset Chrome Browser.

While Chrome has managed to retain its numero uno position in the web browser domain, it does have its fair share of issues as well.

A few days back, while I was browsing the web via Chrome, the browser suddenly closed and then restarted on its own. Upon the restart, I was greeted with the Chrome didn’t shut down correctly error message.

Chrome didn't shut down correctly error

Although the error message had the Restore command option, it only restored the tabs that I had opened prior to that error and not while the error showed up. Furthermore, judging from these Google Support Forums, it turns out that I wasn’t the only one getting bugged with this issue.

Related: How to Resolve: Aw Snap! Error in Chrome?

On the bright side though, there do exist a few workarounds that managed to rectify this issue. And in this guide, we will be sharing just that. So without further ado, let’s get started —

Restore the Tabs in Chrome Browser

There are a few ways to restore the abruptly closed tabs due to force closure. While Chrome itself provides the button to Restore the tabs after relaunching the browser, we have two other ways.

  1. Chrome has a built-in restore closed tabs feature that automatically restores recently closed tabs. If the browser has crashed, then you can use this option.
  2. We can also visit the Browser History tab using keyboard shortcut Ctrl + H and reopen the sites that were closed.

Restoring the tabs only work in normal mode and not in incognito mode. If you were browsing in private mode, then restoring the sessions is technically not possible.

Allow Chrome Apps to Run in Background

By default, if Chrome isn’t up and running, then its associated apps or extensions aren’t allowed to run in the background.

However, you may disable this restrictive environment and let the apps function at their full capacity, even if the browser isn’t running in the foreground. Perhaps, this will cause the chrome to become slow and unresponsive but the error will be solved.

Here are the steps to allow chrome apps to run in the background:

  1. Launch the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Tap on vertical 3dots icon and choose the Settings menu from the list.
  3. Scroll down to the Advanced section and click System.
  4. Enable the Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed option.
    continue running background apps when the chrome is closed

This workaround is mostly a trade-off with performance, however, since it is known to fix the underlying issue, then you might probably have to sacrifice a few MBs of your RAM to get the browser up and running.

Rename the Chrome’s Default Folder

Chrome’s Default folder holds data related to Sessions, Cookies, and Cache related to your user profile. In this regard, some users were able to fix this issue by renaming this Default browser folder.

The caveat of using this method is that your user profile will be removed and you need to re-login the Google chrome.

Here are the steps to rename the user data folder of the google chrome browser:

  1. Open File Explorer and browse to the below location (replace UserName accordingly).
    C: > Users > UserName > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data.
  2. If you aren’t able to view the AppData folder, then it probably might be hidden. So click on the View menu on the top menu bar and enable the Hidden items option.
    Show Hidden Files in Windows OS
  3. The Default folder will now be visible under User Data.
  4. Right-click on the folder, and select Rename command.
    Rename Default folder in Chrome User Data
  5. Name it say Default_old and hit Enter keyboard button.

Once the renaming is complete, relaunch the browser and Chrome might now create a new environment to store its default settings and files. This in turn should fix the issue as well.

Tweak the Chrome’s Preferences File

If you get the aforementioned error after every Chrome reboot, then it could be attributed to the browser’s Preference file. Manually making the required changes to this file should make the browser launch normally at the next boot.

Here are the steps to tweak the preference files in the chrome browser:

  1. Open File Explorer and access Chrome’s Default folder via the following location:
    C: > Users > UserName > AppData > Local > Google > Chrome > User Data > Default
  2. Within that, scroll to the Preferences file and open it via text editor like, Notepad.
    Edit Chrome Preferences file in Notepad Editor
  3. Now use the Ctrl + F shortcut keys to bring up the Find dialog box.
  4. Type in exit_type and press Enter to search.
    chrome preferences file exit_type normal
  5. Change the exit_type from Crashed to Normal.
    Chrome Preference exit_type crashed
  6. Save the changes using Ctrl + S keyboard shortcut.

This process does involve quite a few steps, however, if the browser isn’t able to make the changes to its preferences on its own, then taking the manual approach is the best route forward.

Reset Chrome Browser

If you have made a few tweaks to Chrome’s settings, then they might conflict with the proper functioning of the browser. In this regard, reverting the settings to their default state might spell out success.

Here are the steps to reset the chrome browser settings:

  1. Launch the Google Chrome browser.
  2. Tap on vertical 3dots icon and choose the Settings menu from the list.
  3. Scroll down to the Advanced section and open it.
  4. Navigate to the Reset and clean up section.
  5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults command tab.
    Resetting Google Chrome Settings
  6. Hit the ResetSettings button in the confirmation dialog box.

This process will disable the third-party extension and will clear temporary data as well. But at the same time, it will bring all the Chrome Settings back to their default state. So once this is done, restart the browser and the issue would probably have been rectified.

Conclusion

So these were the various methods to fix the Chrome didn’t shut down correctly error. As is evident from this Reddit thread, a few users were able to rectify this issue via the first fix itself.

However, I had to take the nuclear route of resetting the browser. While on one hand, it disabled all my browser extensions, the efforts in re-enabling them were quite minuscule in comparison to the benefits that I was able to reap.

As I mentioned before, if you try to improve the chrome performance to avoid crashes, then it will lead to high CPU usage. One of the best ways I think is to upgrade your machine’s RAM capacity and Hard disk (at least to SSD) for better performance.

With that said, do let us know in the comments which method managed to give out desirable results in your case.

FAQs: Restore and Fix Chrome didn’t shut down correctly

Now, here we will discuss the frequently asked questions regarding how to fix Chrome that didn’t shut down correctly.

How to Allow Chrome Apps to Run in the Background?

Launch the Google Chrome browser and hit on three dots and choose the Settings menu from the list. Scroll down to the Advanced section and click System. Now, enable the Continue running background apps when Google Chrome is closed option

How to Rename the Chrome’s Default Folder?

Open File Explorer and browse C:>Users>Username>AppData>Local>Google>Chrome>User Data. If you aren’t able to view the AppData folder, then it probably might be hidden. So click on the View menu on the top menu bar and enable the Hidden items option. The Default folder will now be visible under User Data so right-click on the folder, and select Rename command. Rename the file and hit Enter keyboard button.

How to reset Chrome Browser?

Launch the Google Chrome browser and hit on the three dots and choose the Settings menu from the list. Scroll down to the Advanced section and open it. Now, Navigate to the Reset and clean up section. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults command tab and hit the ResetSettings button in the confirmation dialog box.

Lastly, here are the recommended web browsers for your computer and mobile phone that you should give a try.

WindowsMacOSiOSAndroidLinux
Chrome WindowsChrome MacChrome iOSChrome AndroidFirefox Linux
Firefox WindowsSafari MacSafari iOSEdge AndroidChrome Linux
Edge WindowsFirefox MacEdge iOSSamsung InternetEdge Linux

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4 thoughts on “How to Restore and Fix: Chrome didn’t shut down correctly?”

  1. Jason Vandeputte

    The problem with mine is that when Chrome doesn’t shut down correctly, there is no “restore” button to get my tabs back, and it is not discussed in this article how to fix that

  2. Eickel

    One recommendation to modify the current profile config files, verify the browser profile path navigating in Chrome to: “chrome://version/”.

    In that page you will see the actual profile path being used to read/write the current settings.
    Look-up for the “Preferences” file (it has no extension) and make it read-only while the browser is not displaying the restore pop-up.

    This fixed the problem for me. Although, it may bother if you later need to adjust any profile setting that would be also saved to this file. Keep that in mind.

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