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How to Uninstall Google Chrome and Wipe Data Completely

The Google Chrome browser is probably one of the most used and popular browsers available. However, it often gets backlash due to unwanted updates or privacy compromises resulting in mass deletion. But, even after uninstalling chrome, the data files are still stored locally. We need to clear this residue data for a complete wipeout manually.

Among the oldest web browsers, Chrome has been the go-to choice for a lot of users. However, as of late, there have been a few other noteworthy competitors giving a formidable challenge to this offering from Google.

The likes of Microsoft Edge, Vivaldi, Brave, and Opera Browser have all managed to pull a decent number of users towards their products.

If you are also on the same boat and are planning to make a switch from Chrome to any of your other preferred browsers, then the first step calls for the removal of Chrome from your PC.

However, simply uninstalling it via the Settings menu will only do half the job. You will also have to disable its Update Task scheduler, delete its Update Service Files, Profile, and Data folder.

If you don’t do so, there are high chances of some traces of Chrome files being left behind. This, in turn, might conflict with the installation of another browser.

Therefore, we will thoroughly inform you of the steps to uninstall and delete Google Chrome files in this guide.

info iconNote: Most of the steps mentioned below are valid for Windows PC users. The Mac users can trash the Google Chrome App from the Applications folder.

We have listed the below instructions in a stepwise manner. Make sure to follow in the same sequence as mentioned to get rid of Google Chrome completely.

Step 1: Uninstall Google Chrome

Let’s start with the native method to uninstall Chrome via Settings or Control Panel, just as we do for any other app.

Here are the steps to Uninstall Google Chrome from computer:

  1. Keypress Windows + I shortcut keys to open the Windows Settings menu.
  2. Switch to Apps from the left menu bar, and select Apps & Features.
    Windows Apps and Features tab
  3. Scroll to Google Chrome within Apps & features, and click on the More vertical 3dots icon for options list.
  4. Select Uninstall command from the options list.
    Uninstall Chrome from Control Panel
  5. Enable the checkbox for Also delete your browsing data, and hit the Uninstall command button.
    Uninstall Google Chrome button in Windows PC

The process will take a few seconds, and once done, it will remove the Chrome app from your browser. However, the residue data files remain intact. Hence, proceed ahead and delete its remaining files as well.

Step 2: Stop Chrome’s Background process

Next up, you will have to kill all Chrome’s background processes. This will act as a prerequisite for the rest of the steps to deleting the browser’s data files.

If you don’t stop these processes, then it wouldn’t allow you to delete the associated Chrome files, and instead would throw in the following error message “The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file in it is open in another program.”

Here are the steps to kill the chrome background process in Windows PC:

  1. Keypress Ctrl + Shift + Esc shortcut keys to open Windows Task Manager.
  2. Under the Process tab, expand the Background Process.
  3. Select Chrome processes (if any), and hit End Task command button.
  4. Switch to the Details tab.
  5. Select the chrome.exe process, and again hit the End Task button.
    Kill all the existing chrome.exe processes using the End Task command.
    Google Chrome Task Manager Process End

That’s it. All Chrome’s background processes have been stopped. You may now proceed ahead with the manual deletion of files.

Step 3: Delete Chrome Profile Folder

Next up, you will have to delete Chrome’s profile folder that beholds all the browser data. These include the likes cookies, saved passwords, bookmarks, etc.

Here are the steps to delete the Chrome profile and saved local data from the computer:

  1. Launch Windows File Explorer (Win + E).
  2. Head over to Google’s Local App Data folder (make sure to replace UserName accordingly).

    Delete Google Chrome Local app data from Windows PC

  3. Select the Chrome folder, and right-click for the context menu.
  4. Hit the Delete command menu.

It will remove all the data related to your Google Chrome profile. The saved local data like cookies, cache, and browsing history will be also be wiped out.

Step 4: Delete Chrome Installation Folder

You will also have to manually delete the remaining Chrome installation files and folder stored under the Program Files directory.

Here are the steps to remove the residual Chrome Installation files:

  1. Launch the File Explorer from the Taskbar.
  2. Access Google Chrome Folder under Program Files from File Explorer window.
    C:\Program Files (x86)\Google

    Google Chrome Program Files Folder in Windows OS

  3. Select the Chrome folder, and right-click for the context menu.
  4. Hit the Delete command menu.

In most cases, this is all that is needed to uninstall and delete Google Chrome files completely.

But to be double sure, it is recommended to carry out the below two steps. Most of the users might not even see any setting related to Chrome.

Step 5: Delete Google Update Service Files

If a few files related to the Update service are left behind, it might reinstall the browser on your PC and update it to the latest build. Therefore, it is recommended to delete those files as well.

Here are the steps to delete Google Update service files from Windows:

  1. Head over to the Start menu and search CMD for the Command Prompt app.
  2. Launch Command Prompt as an Administrator.
    Run Command Prompt as Administrator in Windows PC
  3. Execute the following four commands to delete the Google Update service.
    sc stop gupdate
    sc delete gupdate
    sc stop gupdatem
    sc delete gupdatem
  4. Exit the Command Prompt window.

Once done, all the update services related to Google and Chrome stands deleted.

Step 6: Disable Google Update Task

Let’s now give it the final touch and disable the Google Update Task as well. We can use the Task Scheduler app from Windows PC to disable the updates.

Task Scheduler reminds the Updater to update the Chrome after a specific interval. Hence, disabling the scheduler will kill the scheduler.

Here are the steps to disable the Google Update Task from Task Scheduler:

  1. Launch the Task Scheduler via the Start Menu.
  2. Double-click on the Task Scheduler Library from the left menu bar.
  3. Select the task whose name starts with GoogleChromeUpdateTask.
  4. Right-click for the context menu and select Disable option.
    Disable Google Update Task from Task Scheduler

There might be multiple tasks starting with that name; make sure you disable all of them.

The browser’s update tasks are now disabled, and with this, the uninstallation process stands complete.

Bottom Line: Chrome Complete Wipeout

So this was all from this guide on how you could completely uninstall and delete Google Chrome files. If you uninstall the app from the Windows settings menu, there are high chances of its data files being left behind.

Therefore, it is always recommended to re-verify that those files are not present in their respective directory, and if they are, you should delete them right away.

MacOS users can trash the Chrome app from the Applications folder, which will essentially delete the files and folders.

Let us know what you think about completely deleting the chrome browser from the computer PC. Also, please share if you find any challenges while getting rid of the chrome browser.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts on How to Uninstall Google Chrome and Wipe Data Completely, then feel free to drop in below comment box.

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Sadique Hassan

Sadique is a Bachelor of Computer Application in Computer Science and an MBA professional. He became a tech writer by choice and has continued pursuing it for the last 7+ years. He is keenly interested in open-source technology like Android and also loves troubleshooting the tech. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

2 thoughts on “How to Uninstall Google Chrome and Wipe Data Completely”

  1. Thank you. I did find that the files to stop in cmd weren’t there as well as on the task scheduler but it was step by step very helpful and I only stumbled a few times but got it done. Thanks again.

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