If you’re like me, Google Chrome is your browser of choice. I find that it is much faster than Internet Explorer, I like the interface better than IE, and it seemed to be more reliable than Firefox, which I used before I switched to Chrome.
This morning, I was greeted by a problem when I tried to launch Chrome that had me scratching my head. Basically, when I tried to launch Chrome, nothing happened. I got a brief spinning circle next to the mouse pointer on my Windows 7 desktop, but Chrome just wouldn’t start. After a short period of panic, I got down to the task of troubleshooting what was going wrong.
I wasn’t terribly concerned because I have an extensive backup scheme that I hope protects me from any system failure. With the hundreds of bookmarks that I have in Chrome, it would be a monumental task to recover them all from my backups, but at least they are backed up.
My first step, as with troubleshooting any problem, was to do a Google search for anyone else with a similar problem. I came across an article that describe this same problem, but the file directory the article described didn’t exist on my system. So, I started a search of my own and I ended up looking in the following directory.
Drive letter:\Users\User name\AppData\Local\Temp
In that subdirectory, I found a file chrome_installer.log. That file, when displayed in a text file reader, showed that Chrome was trying to make a Temp subdirectory and it was getting the error of access is denied. Between what I found in my Google search and what was displayed in this log file, it was apparent that Google Chrome was trying to install an updated version of itself and my Windows 7 was blocking it. Previously, I did not know that Chrome updates itself without any notice to the user. I imagine there are many users with the same ignorance. If any Google Chrome techs happen to read this, I wouldn’t mind a notice of some kind that an update has been installed.
The first resolution that came to mind was to run Chrome as administrator. When you run a program as administrator, this action grants access to the program that doesn’t necessarily exist during normal operation. I opened the Start Menu, clicked on All Programs, then clicked on Google Chrome. This displayed link to the program Google Chrome. Much to my delight, when I right-clicked on Google Chrome and selected Run as administrator, Google Chrome came to life.
The problem with this resolution was that no matter how many times I rebooted, Chrome wouldn’t start unless I selected it using Run as administrator. The only thing that was changed on my system recently was a home design program I loaded. So, I uninstalled the new application and rebooted. Now Google Chrome works fine. Loading the design application again, so far, does not affect Chrome. It’s a mystery what cause the problem in the first place.
So, if you ever have Google Chrome fail to start, remember Run as administrator and consider any recent changes to your system that could be causing the problem.
UPDATE: Google Chrome continued to become more unstable to the point that it was pretty much unusable. You can view my recent post here for a description of how I resolved these issues.