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Uninstall and Wipe Data of Google Chrome from the Computer

Are you looking to remove Chrome app and all its data from computer? Learn how to uninstall the browser and delete associated data for complete wipeout.

Google Chrome is not a system app on a computer except for a Chromebook. Hence, we can easily uninstall and remove the application from a computer.

However, even after uninstalling the browser app, a few data files are stored locally. To complete a wipeout, we need to clear this residue data manually, turn off background tasks, and stop updating services.

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Editor’s note: The following steps apply to Windows PC users. Mac users can trash the Google Chrome App from the Applications folder to uninstall and wipe out data.

In this guide, we have shared the steps to uninstall and clear the saved data in the Google Chrome browser.

Step 1: Stop the Chrome Background Processes

We will have to kill all Chrome’s background processes. This will be a prerequisite for the rest of the steps to uninstall and delete the browser’s data files.

If you don’t stop these processes, you won’t be able to delete the associated Chrome files. Instead, it will throw the following error message: “The action can’t be completed because the folder or a file is open in another program.”

Here are the steps to kill the background process:

  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 the End Task command button.
  4. Switch to the Details tab.
  5. Select the chrome.exe process and hit the End Task button again.
    Google Chrome Task Manager Process EndKill all the existing chrome.exe processes using the End Task command.

All Chrome’s background processes have been stopped. You may now proceed with uninstalling the Chrome browser.

Step 2: Uninstall Chrome app on a Computer

All the installed applications are available on the Apps page within Windows Settings. We can look up the Chrome app and then uninstall the same. Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Keypress Windows + I shortcut keys to open the Windows Settings menu.
  2. Select 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 More vertical 3-dots icon for the options list.
  4. Select the 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.

Apart from the Apps settings, you can also use the Windows Control Panel to uninstall the Chrome app.

Step 3: Delete the Chrome Profile Folder and Files

Chrome’s profile folder holds all the browser data. These include likes, cookies, saved passwords, bookmarks, etc. Here are the steps to delete the profile data:

  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 Chrome profile. The saved local data like cookies, cache, and browsing history will also be wiped out.

Step 4: Delete the Chrome Installation Folder

You must also manually delete the remaining Chrome installation files and folder stored under the Program Files directory. Here are the steps to remove the residual installation files:

  1. Launch the File Explorer from the Taskbar.
  2. Access the Google Chrome Folder from the File Explorer window under Program Files.
    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.
    It will clear the Chrome installation files and folder from Windows.

Step 4: Stop Google Update Services

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 that those files be deleted as well.

  1. Head to the Start menu and search CMD for the Command Prompt app.
  2. Launch the 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 stand deleted.

Step 6: Disable Google Update Task Service

Task Scheduler reminds the Google Updater to update Chrome after a specific interval. Hence, disabling the scheduler will kill the remainder of the service. Here are the steps to follow:

  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 on the context menu and select the Disable option.
    Disable Google Update Task from Task Scheduler

Multiple tasks might start with that name; make sure you deactivate all of them.

Bottom Line

If you uninstall the app from the Windows settings menu, its data files are likely left behind. Therefore, verifying that those files are deleted immediately is always recommended.

If you’ve followed the steps mentioned, the browser app and its traces are entirely removed from the PC. You can consider installing a fresh Google Chrome if required.

A macOS user can trash the Chrome app from the Applications folder, essentially deleting the files and folders with the Chrome app.

Lastly, if you've any thoughts or feedback, then feel free to drop in below comment box. You can also report the outdated information.

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Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza

Kushal Azza is a Google Certified IT Professional, Digital Content Creator, and Go-To Digital Marketer with Engineering Degree. He has over a decade of experience solving tech problems, troubleshooting, and innovating digital solutions. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

3 comments and feedback

  1. Instead of worrying about the login name to find the profile folder, just type %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google
    into the address bar.

  2. 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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