Chrome downgrade error

When it comes to Google Chrome I normally use one of the development builds which is generally pretty stable. Unfortunately a few weeks ago I ran into a bug with one the extensions I use a lot, and I had to roll back to a version of Chrome where the bug didn’t exist. Upon doing so Chrome started displaying the warning you see above each time it started due to the fact that my profile was previously used on a newer version of Chrome. Here is the warning message:

Your profile can not be used because it is from a newer version of Google Chrome.

Some features may be unavailable. Please specify a different profile directory or use a newer version of Chrome.

After a lot of looking around I finally found a suggestion that ended up eliminating that error message without wiping out my entire profile. The first thing you need to do to solve this issue is navigate to your Google Chrome profile folder. Here’s a list of profile locations based on your operating system:

  • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\
  • Windows 7/Vista: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default
  • Linux: ~/.config/google-chrome/

Then navigate into the name of the profile folder, which in most cases will be Default. After you make sure all instances of Chrome are closed find the file called Web Data, and rename it to something else (like Web Data OLD). Now go ahead and start Chrome. The error you were seeing before should no longer be visible.

What’s this file do? Generally this is where your passwords and site-related data are stored. So that kind of stuff may be lost, but if you use the browser syncing it should be recreated and populated the next time you launch Chrome. If there are any unexpected side affects to doing this you can always reverse the process and roll back to the original Web Data file you had renamed. Hope that helps!