Troubleshooting Issues in Chrome

It's a browser world.  Much of what we do is online and rendered through a web browser; from checking weather and shopping to working with secure banking or line of business apps.  This means that when things don't work correctly you need to know how to do some troubleshooting.

This article specifically relates to Google Chrome as this is the browser that most people use and also is the one that we support at work.

Updating Chrome

Chrome usually updates itself.  However, there are times when you'll want to check to make sure that you have the latest version installed (usually when things aren't working well...specifically printing and print previews).

Go to Chrome > Settings

Go to About on the left and check the version of Chrome.  If Chrome needs an update this will prompt it to download and install it.  You'll have to relaunch chrome after the update to complete it.

If you need an update, the About menu will prompt Chrome to update.

If you need an update, the About menu will prompt Chrome to update.

Clearing History and Cache

Browsers "cache" data from web pages so that in subsequent visits the browser doesn't have to go request site content again (like images, etc).  Instead, it pulls them from local cache.  Over time this can create an increasing amount of junk that is stored locally on your computer, takes up space, and can make the browser perform poorly.

To clear history and cache, open Chrome and hit CTRL+H on your keyboard to access the History menu.

Use CTRL+H on your keyboard with Chrome open to access the History menu.

Next, hit the link on the left that says "Clear browsing data".  Make sure you select "beginning of time" from the drop-down menu.

If you have the browser save passwords you may want to deselect that option while selecting all the others options.

Clear Downloads

Chrome stores files you download (in Windows) to your local profile's "Downloads" folder.  It never gets rid of them and clearing history and cache also does not remove them.  You should periodically review them and remove them yourself.

** If you download files from Chrome you should be certain that you know what they contain.  Cached or downloaded files that include Social Security Numbers or other Personally Identifiable Information (whether your or someone else's) should NOT be left on your local computer's hard drive as they increase your exposure to a data breech.

Go to Chrome > Settings


Look for Downloads and see where Chrome is set to put your files.  In the example below I have Chrome save my files to a "B:\" drive which is actually a RAM Disk and not my local hard drive so that when I reboot my computer the downloads are automaticlally purged from memory.


Now you can browse to that location and review/delete the files in there. Don't forget to empty your Recycle Bin (if you use Windows) after deleting files.

Reset Chrome Settings

WARNING - This option removes cache, settings, bookmarks, cookies, auto-fill, extensions, sign-ins, etc.  Before you do this:

  1. Make sure that if you have two-factor authentication set up that you have your mobile device with you so that you can authenticate again afterwards.
  2. If you have the browser save passwords make sure you know them or know how to reset them.  

Go to Chrome > Settings

Settings is found under the menu in Chrome.

Settings is found under the menu in Chrome.

Click on "Show advanced settings".


Scroll to the bottom and choose the "Reset" button.


Read the disclaimer and hit Reset.


When you launch Chrome again it will feel like you're setting it up for the first time.