Google Chrome changing browser settings automatically?

Martin Brinkmann
Apr 18, 2014
Google Chrome

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.

chrome automatic browser reset

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.


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  1. said on December 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    I use Chrome browser for a few days.
    At the beginning I disabled the Privacy settings.
    But each time, these settings are automatically reenabled against my will.
    I believe these settings are present for legal reasons.
    So I think, that Google implemented illegal stuff in Google Chrome, allowing Google to reset the spying settings automatically.
    If these settings are here for legal reasons, well Google Chrome browser is illegal.

  2. Someone-Unknown said on April 19, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    Blame CCleaner for the error with google chrome reset (it even effect opera) in my case anyway

  3. DKnight said on April 19, 2014 at 7:20 am

    Install SRware Iron instead it has all the google spy crap taken out, much better than chrome.

  4. Intelligencia said on April 18, 2014 at 8:50 pm

    Hi everyone!

    I LOVE Google Mail but I don’t trust/use Google Chrome!!!
    (One of my computer-savvy co-workers told me how much she LOVES Google Chrome because of its browser’s speed [compared to Mozilla Firefox’s own]).
    Well, I told her, “hun”, FORGET ABOUT IT!
    I’d rather use a safer; more secure browser than worrying about its speed!
    (she didn’t speak to me afterwards)


  5. Bobby Phoenix said on April 18, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    I had it happen too. I was able to track it to a program/extension I updated outside of Chrome that also had some third party stuff affect my browsers.

  6. Videot said on April 18, 2014 at 5:00 pm

    We have a problem with Chrome changing the proxy settings every time there is an update. We don’t use a proxy, and it checks that box.

  7. Nebulus said on April 18, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    It happened to me on Chromium as well, but just once, so I wasn’t able to pinpoint the cause either…

  8. sades said on April 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    shady as all f***

  9. Dan said on April 18, 2014 at 2:33 pm

    No longer trust google…. going public means needing to increase profits quarter after quarter and always seems to breed the “evil” that google once took a stand against.

    1. Pierre said on April 18, 2014 at 3:09 pm

      It is not the topic !!

  10. Anonymous said on April 18, 2014 at 1:48 pm

    google is spy anyway

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