When I opened Google Chrome today none of the tabs that were open the previous browsing session were loaded. I first though that this was due to a crash or some sort of corruption, but was able to reload all the tabs from last sessions with a click on the preferences icon in the top right and the selection of recent tabs there.
When I closed and restarted the Chrome browser again, the tabs were not loaded and I decided to investigate the matter.
When I opened the Chrome settings, the following information were displayed at the top of the page (load chrome://settings/ to get there directly, or click on preferences, and then settings).
Chrome detected that some of your browser settings were changed by another program and reset them to their original defaults.
A learn more link leads to a page listing articles that are not related to the issue that I'm experiencing. While the Chrome Help Center displays information about resetting browser settings, all seem to concentrate on user initiated resets of the browser and not automatic changes.
I went through all other preferences on the settings page and none seem to have been affected by the reset. Only the "on startup" preferences was changed from "continue where you left off" to "open the New Tab page".
I'm not sure how this was triggered. To be clear, the version of Chrome this happened in is Chrome Canary, the cutting edge version of the browser.
It can be that Google is experimenting with automatic reset options in Chrome, or that this is a bug that will be resolved eventually.
Nevertheless, it is something that users of Chrome may want to keep an eye on. There does not seem to be a flag or setting yet to block the browser from resetting features automatically.
It is not clear which settings may get reset when Chrome runs it automatically. If the reset browser settings support page is anything to go by, it can affect a lot of settings including default search engine, homepage, startup tabs, new tab page, extensions, cookies or themes.