Google Chrome error – Your preferences can not be read

Google Chrome

Google Chrome

Sometimes Google Chrome under Linux or Ubuntu gives the following error:
Your preferences can not be read.
Some features may be unavailable and changes to preferences won’t be saved.

This is because the owner of the following files have been changed for some unknown reason:
Under /home/[user]/.config/google-chrome/ the file Locale State and under /home/[user]/.config/google-chrome/Default the file Preferences.

Where user is the supposed name of the user.

To fix the problem, run the following commands (replacing user with the actual username):

sudo chown user:user /home/user/.config/google-chrome/Locale\ State
sudo chown user:user /home/user/.config/google-chrome/Default/Preferences

InshAllah the problem will be solved!

Note: This tip is for Linux, for Windows please read the comments.

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48 thoughts on “Google Chrome error – Your preferences can not be read

    • Under Windows XP the same Preferences file is located in the following path:
      C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

      Under Windows 7 this file is located in:
      C:\Users\\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

      • Chrome more like Chromatic…….. I have had endless probs lately with Chrome. Lost all my personal toolbar extension buttons (top right corner)………….. Documents and Settings have disappeared from Vista !
        So eventually I went to Program Data then to App Data and right click it and highlight the last preference.

        Then “Download Now” disappeared, so you need to disable Pepperflash flash Type Chrome:\\plugins in searchbar
        and disable pepperflash………. still no sign……… reboot chrome if still not there reload Realplayer……then your away

    • If you are using Windows XP:
      C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

      If you are using Windows 7:
      C:\Users\[Username]\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

      If you are using Linux:
      /home/[Username]/.config/google-chrome/Default

  1. error 11 popup on screen when i try to update Google Chrome, i tried this:
    Click Start.
    Type Expand.exe in the Search box.
    Do you find this file in the search results? If yes, right click it and select Properties. Make sure its parent folder is C:\Windows\System32. For those, the parent folder is other than the one defined here, continue Step 4.
    Right click it from the search results and select Copy.
    Press Windows Key + R to launch Run box.
    Type C:Windows\System32 and press ENTER.
    Click Edit | Paste.
    problem solved…
    Source: http://backspacetab.com/2011/05/16/google-chrome-error-11/

  2. If you are using Windows XP:
    C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default

    What should i do after going to that location???

  3. I’m using XP and cannot see or find anything under my user name that says Application Data. We have a shared network and many drives and users.

  4. I just got this error message today but it seems like something that was en vogue a few months ago. I’m always the last one to get everything.

    Ok, so here’s my problem.

    I go to C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\Application Data\Google

    Problem is that when I open the Google folder, there is nothing in there. No Chrome folder, no nothing. My folder settings are set to view hidden files and folders, so I know that’s not the issue. There simply isn’t anything there. Suggestions?

  5. Another way out is to open the google-chrome folder under configuration. Rename the folder ‘Default’ to ‘Backup’. Now open Google Chrome, you will notice that the Default folder is re-created. Now close Chrome and copy the contents of ‘Backup’ to the new ‘Default’ folder.

    Open Google Chrome and everything should be fine now.

  6. the hell are you talking about?

    “To fix the problem sudo chown : should be run for both the files.”

    What is a ‘sudo chown’?????

    This the worst instructional information i’ve ever read in my life!

  7. Whoa! Google chrome has crashed. Relaunch now? i pressed ok and then it got stuck and i had to close it. i tried again and it sent me a pop up saying your preferences can not be read. some features may be unavailable and changes to preferences won’t be saved.

    now i tried your method but i dont have any of the file pathways you mention. i dont have documents and settings option at all so please help.

    i have a viao computer with a windows 7 os, cna you please help me get normal functioning chrome back.

    also i have already tried uninstalling and reinstalling chrome and it didnt work.

      • Yes i did that but still this is as far as i can go C:\Users\[Username]\
        then it just has the following folder options contacts, desktop, downloads, favorites, links, my documents my music my pictures, my videos saved games and searches. there is no app data folder once i enter my ‘username’

  8. Pingback: Will Firefox become retarded? | niltwill's blog

  9. Hi there Ahmadzz…Listen, I have Google Chrome on Windows 8 and I would like to
    remove this startup error. It keeps on saying “You’re preferences could not be read”.
    If you have any information for me, please share it if you don’t care.
    Thank you.

  10. Win XP

    CLICK START >>>>> RUN
    *copy paste this
    %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data

    window will open:
    D:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data

    Delete folder Google

    Try open google chrome

    Problem Resolved

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