Google Chrome History Mystery

posted in: Free Software, Linux | 2

Google Chrome History

Lately, I have encountered a strange problem with Google Chrome that rendered the history inoperable.  The problem began when I cleared the browsing history one day and expected it to return to normal use.

Instead, Chrome stopped recording the history altogether, and the “most visited” screenshots on the new tab layout would not refresh, displaying gray empty thumbnails instead.

As it turns out, there are numerous people who have experienced this problem.   I am not sure what causes it or why Google has not found a way to fix it, but a quick and easy workaround is to delete your history files.  To do this, navigate to your local Chrome settings folder.

On my Linux machine, it was in:


On Windows it should be:

C:Users[YourUserName]AppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser DataDefault

or on XP:

C:Documents and Settings[YourUserName]Local SettingsApplication DataGoogleChromeUser DataDefault

For Chromium on Linux, it should be in:


On Mac OS X, you should find it at:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default

Once there, I just moved any files with the word “history” in them to a backup location.  The next time you start Chrome, the history should start working again.  The only thing I have not tried is clearing the history again to see if the problem returns.  One possible explanation for the problem is that the method of storing history has changed from one version to another, and removing the history files allowed Chrome to create a new SQLite database with the correct settings.  But that is just a theory.

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