You may know that I check the running processes of my computer regularly. This is mainly a security precaution to detect malicious processes that may be running. More often than not I catch unwanted processes that I do not need but run anyway.
GoogleCrashHandler.exe is such a process. I recently saw it running on my system and decided to find out why it was running, and how it could be disabled.
Let me start by showing you how you can find out if the process is running on your system.
Press Ctrl-Alt-Esc to open the Windows Task Manager. Switch to the processes tab on the tabbar to see a snapshot of processes that run on your computer system. I suggest you click on the Image Name column header to sort processes alphabetically. Now go down the list and see if you find GoogleCrashHandler.exe as a process there.
The path points to the Google directory under Application Data. The name alone suggests that it is linked to Google software installed on the system. Some users might think that it is caused by Google Chrome installations on the system. While that is true, it is not the only Google desktop application that installs the GoogleCrashHandler.exe on the system.
Google has the following to say about the process:
GoogleCrashHandler.exe runs continuously on your computer if you’ve selected to send anonymous usage statistics and crash reports to Google for certain Google software, like Google Chrome. It helps send crash details to Google when your Google software unexpectedly shuts down. We use this data to help determine how to prevent these errors from happening in the future.
The process runs on the system if usage statistics and crash reports are send to Google which means it is a monitoring tool that sends information from your computer to Google.
You need to disable the monitoring of your browsing and the report sending in all Google applications that support the feature to completely remove GoogleCrashHandler.exe.
An example. I run Google Chrome Canary and Google Chrome Dev on my system. If I disable the setting "Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google" in the Canary version but not the Dev version, then GoogleCrashHandler.exe keeps on running on the system.
The process is only removed from running on the system if I disable the setting in both Chrome versions.
Here is how you do that. Open Google Chrome and enter chrome://settings/ in the address bar of the browser. You can alternatively click on the menu icon on the right side of the address bar and select and select Settings here.
Update: Part of the description below is outdated, as Google changed the internal menu structure of the settings page. Skip the strike-through part for the updated description.
Locate the setting Automatically send usage statistics and crash reports to Google under Privacy and remove the checkmark from it. There is no save button, just close the page once you have removed the checkmark.
If this is your only Google desktop application then GoogleCrashHandler.exe should disappear from the process listing after a few seconds. If it is not, you need to find a similar looking setting in another Google product on your system.
I just found out that I have written about that process back in 2009 for the first time. The problem with GoogleCrashHandler.exe is that you may inadvertently install it again whenever you install a new Google application.
The option to submit anonymous usage statistics is enabled by default when you download the Google Chrome installer. It is likely that the majority of Windows Chrome users have GoogleCrashHandler.exe running on their system because of this.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.