Chrome Won’t Open? – Try These Fixes (2023 Updated)

You might have encountered an issue where Google Chrome won’t open at all. Many reasons can cause this issue, but it usually occurs when Google Chrome is already running in the background but not showing on the screen.

Chrome Won't Open Issue in Windows
Chrome Won’t Open Issue on Windows

Besides, the following problem also occurs if the Windows defender or any third-party antivirus blocks a chorme.exe file from opening. That is why some users have managed to fix this issue by renaming chrome.exe or creating a new shortcut.

Moreover, a corrupted Google Chrome user data folder, which stores data about cache, profile, and many details, can also lead you to this issue.

IssueChrome Won't Open
ReasonsFirewall blocking Chrome.exe file
Compatibility problems
The corrupted Chrome Default folder
Already running Google Chrome in the background
Methods to FixLaunch Google Chrome with new shortcut
End task all the processes related to Chrome
Configure Compatibility settings
Delete Google Chrome Default folder
Disable Antivirus

1. Close all the processes related to Chrome

Usually, when we encounter problems in which the application does not launch after trying so many times then, the most common cause that usually turns out is the application/game is already running in the background, which is why you cannot see the application, but it silently running in the background.

This can happen with any application; hence, closing all the processes related to the causing application might fix your issue.

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and select Task Manager to open.
    Launching Task Manager from taskbar context menu
    Launching Task Manager from the taskbar context menu
  2. Once the task manager is opened, find and select Google Chrome and then click End Task from the right.
    End tasking Google Chrome
    End tasking Google Chrome
  3. If you don’t see Google Chrome in the Task Manager, don’t worry; try the next method to fix your issue.
  4. Once done, open Google Chrome to check if the issue persists.

2. Launch with new Google Chrome shortcut

Another solution that works most of the time is to delete an old shortcut of causing application and create a new one. Now here is a tricky thing that you need to understand. Sometimes, Windows defender or third-party antivirus software block application exe file to reduce high memory and CPU usage.

Since Chrome uses a lot of Memory and CPU power even if it is idle, it is possible that your Windows defender or third-party antivirus is blocking the chrome.exe file. To ensure that, you need to create a new shortcut and delete the old one.

Before moving to the steps, make sure Google Chrome is not running. You can check it from the Task Manager.

  1. If you have a Google Chrome shortcut on the desktop, right-click on it and select Open file location.
    Otherwise, go to the folder where you have installed Google Chrome. The default directory of Google Chrome is as follows.

    Navigating to Google Chrome directory
    Navigating to the Google Chrome directory
  2. Now right-click Chrome and select Create Shortcut.
    Creating a Chrome shortcut
    Creating a Chrome shortcut
  3. Click Yes when you see a popup saying Windows cannot create a shortcut here to create a shortcut on the desktop.
    Clicking Yes to create a shortcut on desktop
    Clicking Yes to create a shortcut on the desktop
  4. Now delete the old shortcut and try opening Google Chrome with a newly created shortcut.

3. Try to open chrome with Compatibility Settings

Sometimes application/game does not launch with the current compatibility settings. Typically, the game/app not launching issues can be fixed by configuring the compatibility settings as it helps run the application with old versions of Windows like Windows 8, 7, and others.

  1. To do that, right-click Chrome on the desktop if you have a shortcut. Otherwise, go to the following directory, which is the default location of Google Chrome.
  2. Then, select Properties.
    Opening Google Chrome Properties
    Opening Google Chrome Properties
  3. Go to Compatibility from the top bar.
  4. Tick Run this program in compatibility for and select Windows 8 from the dropdown menu.
  5. Once done, click Apply and OK.
    Configuring a program to run with old version of Windows
    Configuring a program to run with the old version of Windows
  6. Now check if Google Chrome is opening or not.

4. Remove the User Data Default folder of Google Chrome

The Default Chrome data folder is located in the Appdata folder, which stores all the User Profile configurations, such as cookies, passwords, and other browser data like search history and cache. If you delete that folder, the application will run as if it is newly installed.

The real benefit of deleting the Default folder is removing corrupted files. If this folder contains any corrupted cache files or other types of files that prevent Google Chrome from launching, deleting the Deaful folder will fix your issue.

Before following the methods, make sure Google Chrome is not running in the background, as this solution will fail.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys on the keyboard together to open the Run Program.
  2. Enter Appdata to open the AppData folder.
    Navigating to Appdata folder
    Navigating to the Appdata folder
  3. Go to the following directory.
    Local\Google\Chrome\User Data
  4. Find and right-click the folder named Default.
  5. Then, copy that folder in case the issue does not fix.
  6. Paste it to another directory, then come back to the User Data folder.
  7. Right-click the Default folder and select Delete.
    Deleting Chrome configurations folder
    Deleting the Chrome configurations folder

    Note: It can take some time, depending on your system.

  8. Once the folder is removed, try to open Google Chrome to see if that helps or not.

5. Untick Register this program for restart from compatibility settings

In the Compatibility settings, there is an option Register this program for restart, which helps restart the application when it gets stuck or stops responding.

Even though it should not prevent Google Chrome from opening, some users have managed to fix this issue by disabling this option. Therefore, it is recommended to uncheck this option temporarily if it is checked.

  1. To do so, right-click the Google Chrome shortcut from the desktop or go to the following directory.
  2. Then, select Properties from the context menu.
    Navigating to Google Chrome Properties
    Navigating to Google Chrome Properties
  3. Go to Compatibility from the top.
  4. Uncheck Register this program for restart.
    Configuring Compatibility settings
    Configuring Compatibility settings
  5. Click Apply and then click OK.
  6. Once done, try opening Google Chrome to check whether it is opening or not.

6. Disable Windows Defender or any third-party antivirus temporarily

As we described before, changing the Google Chrome.exe file fixes this issue. For that reason, the Google Chrome.exe file may be blocked from your Windows Defender or any third-party software. So it is advised to disable the Windows Defender or third-party antivirus temporarily.

Windows Defender

  1. Open settings by pressing the Win + I simultaneously.
  2. Go to Update & Security.
    Navigating to Update and Security
    Navigating to Update and Security
  3. Select Windows Security from the left sidebar.
  4. Click Open Windows Security from the right pane. This will bring a Windows Security Window.
    Opening Windows Security Window
    Opening Windows Security Window
  5. Navigate to Virus & threat protection.
  6. Click Manage Settings under Virus & threat protection settings.
    Clicking Manage Settings
    Clicking Manage Settings
  7. Turn off the Real-time protection by Toggling off the button.
    Turning Off Real-Time Protection
    Turning Off Real-Time Protection

Third-party Antivirus

The following steps are for Avast Antivirus software. If you used any different third-party antivirus, the steps might be similar.

  1. Right-click your antivirus from the system tray
  2. Hover Avast Shield Control or your antivirus name.
  3. Click Disable for 10 minutes or a similar option to disable antivirus.
    Disabling Third-Party Antivirus
    Disabling Third-Party Antivirus
  4. Once you do that, make sure the Windows Defender is disabled.
  5. Then, try to open Google Chrome and check if your problem is resolved.

7. Reinstall Chrome

If everything fails to fix this issue, you will have to reinstall Google Chrome completely, as Google Chrome might have encountered some problems preventing Google Chrome from opening. Before uninstalling the application, you will need to delete all the data of Google Chrome from the Appdata folder, which contains the application’s configurations that might get corrupted and cause issues.

  1. Press the Win + R keys simultaneously to launch the Run Window.
  2. Enter Appwiz.CPL and click OK.
    Navigating to Uninstall Programs Window
    Navigating to Uninstall Programs Window
  3. After that, double-click Google Chrome to uninstall Google Chrome completely.
    Uninstalling Chrome Application
    Uninstalling Chrome Application
  4. Once you have uninstalled Google Chrome, open the Run Program by pressing Win + R keys.
  5. Enter Appdata and click OK to open the folder.
    Opening Appdata folder
    Opening Appdata folder
  6. Navigate to the Local folder, find and right-click the Google folder, and select Delete.
    Deleting Google folder from appdata folder
    Deleting the Google folder from AppData folder
  7. Once done, now download Google Chrome.
  8. Wait for it to download.
  9. Once done, double-click the installer and wait for Google Chrome to install.

Hamza Mohammad Anwar

Hamza Mohammad Anwar is an intermediate JavaScript web developer with a focus on developing high-performance applications using MERN technologies. His skill set includes expertise in ReactJS, MongoDB, Express NodeJS, and other related technologies. Hamza is also a Google IT Certified professional, which highlights his competence in IT support. As an avid problem-solver, he recreates errors on his computer to troubleshoot and find solutions to various technical issues.