Google updates Chrome regularly and provides an online setup file for Google Chrome which installs the latest version of Google Chrome. The problem is, Google itself does not support any rollback to the previous versions of Chrome.
Updating to the new versions may result in a few issues. It may slow down your browser, remove a feature that you use most often, or as a developer you don’t like the placement of tools, or even have an annoying bug causing it to malfunction regularly.
Updates may come to fix the issues when Google released them, but downgrading to the previous version may be the better option than switching to other browsers because of the advantages the ecosystem provides.
Save Your Profile Before Downgrading Chrome
Downgrading Chrome will erase all data. If you have important data you want to keep like passwords, bookmarks, browser settings, and history, make sure you first sync everything in the Google account.
To sync your Chrome data:
- Click on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner.
- Then go to Settings.
- Next, click on Turn on sync.
- Then finally, click on the Yes, I’m in, to turn on the functionality.
This will save all the Chrome settings and data to your Google account, so you can restore them at any time.
Check Which Version of Chrome is currently installed.
Make sure you’re running the most recent version of Chrome before you consider downgrading. It is important to check whether you need an upgrade or not, as this might be the reason behind the issue at hand.
If not, try updating it and see if there are any fixes or changes.
- Click the Menu icon in the upper right corner.
- Go to “Help” then “About Google Chrome”.
However, if you are running an updated version, downgrading will be a favorable option here.
Uninstall Existing Google Chrome
You will have to uninstall the current version of Chrome to downgrade to its earlier version. Here’s how to do that:
On a Windows device, Go to settings, then open Control Panel. Then click on the Programs and Features option.
A variety of installed software programs will be listed. Search for Google Chrome and right-click on the app icon, and you will be prompted with Uninstall. Press ENTER.
To fully delete Chrome and its data, head to the location below in the “file manager”. Inside the folder, delete all the files and folders there.
%LOCALAPPDATA% > Google > Chrome > User Data
On a Mac, go to the “Applications” folder in Finder.
Look for Chrome and delete the same (Command + Delete).
To fully delete Chrome and its data on a Mac device, head to the folder below in Finder, and delete all the folders and files inside.
Library > Application Support > Google > Chrome.
The above steps will completely erase all the user information, download history, passwords, bookmarks, and other data.
Once Google Chrome is deleted, you can now downgrade it to an earlier version of your preference. Most people will choose the most recent version prior to the one they were using that had issues.
Downgrading Chrome to Its Earlier Version
Google does not support any rollback to the previous versions of Chrome. To access earlier versions of Chrome, you’ll need to download an outdated Chrome version from a trusted third-party alternative like File hippo.
Websites like File hippo share the old versions of Chrome, packed as a 7zip self-extracting executable file.
Even though Google doesn’t back third-party sites, it is safe to install files from the above two sites. Just keep in mind to never download Chrome files from non-trusted sources.
- Head to File hippo.
- Search for Chrome.
- Click on the version you intend to download.
- Install the app on your device.
Tip: You can find older versions of Chrome for Windows, Mac, Linux, you can use this site: SlimJet
Turn Off Auto-Update for Chrome
To avoid Chrome not updating to the latest version you just downgraded from, you will need to disable a few settings on your device to turn off Chrome updates. Google doesn’t provide an option to turn them off automatically.
- Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog.
- Type “msconfig” and click Ok to open System Configuration.
- Search for the Google update service options under the Services tab of the Configuration window.
- Disable both the Google Update Service (gubdate) and Google Update Service (gupdatem) options.
- Press OK to confirm the changes.
Mac provides an easier way to disable updates. Follow the path below in Finder, and erase all the files and folders.
Chrome can now only be updated manually henceforth, even if new updates are released.
Relaunch Chrome on your device(s) and check the version to make sure the downgrade was successful. If in an organization, confirm all your users relaunch Chrome on their devices after the downgrade is complete. If the users get a message that their profile is from a different version, they will simply need to create a new browser user profile.
Once the downgrade is done, open a support case to track the Chrome Downgrade. Contact support by phone or via the Google Cloud Support Center (GCSC). There, you can explain in detail why you need to downgrade Chrome to a previous version.
Google is strict about keeping its Chrome browser always up-to-date and as secure as it can be, while still maintaining its ease of use. To this end, new updates are rolled out fairly often.
But with some hick-ups hindering you from having the best experience you are used to; you can always roll back your current version of Chrome to an old one with ease.
Before uninstalling, syncing the Chrome profile is recommended. This ensures you don’t lose critical data such as your settings, bookmarks, history, and passwords. Backing them up will automatically make it easier to be restored when you sign in to the Google account on the new or the old version of Chrome once it has been installed.
If in a large organization, downgrade Chrome for a small test group before you do it for the entire organization. Make sure to check first to make sure that downgrading Chrome solves the issue.
Once a new version or update of Chrome is released, you should test to see whether the previous update issues have been fixed. It’s always important to keep Chrome updated to the latest version for better functionality and maybe to prevent malware attacks.