Fix Google Chrome’s ‘your preferences file is corrupt or invalid’ error

by Venkat eswarlu on November 26, 2013

in Google Chrome,Troubleshooting

Google Chrome browser sometimes gets you into trouble by showing errors that can be fixed and some can’t. You’re likely to experience most errors on development builds like Canary or dev. but thats also not true, stable users also ran into update server issues with error 3 and error 7. Its true most can be solved by reinstalling chrome which may not be solution everyone hopes for.

Fix Chrome’s error : Your preferences file is corrupt or invalid

When you try to open Google Chrome you may get an error like this: ”your preferences file is corrupt or invalid. Google Chrome is unable to recover your settings’. The Fix worked for us is Resetting Chrome settings which was introduced with Chrome 29 release.

Google Chrome preferences file is corrupt or invalid error thumb Fix Google Chromes your preferences file is corrupt or invalid error

To reset Chrome settings

From Chrome menu, select Settings>Show Advanced Settings>Click ‘Reset Browser settings’.

“Your browser settings will be restored to their original defaults. This will reset your homepage, new tab page and search engine, disable your extensions and unpin all tabs. It will also clear other temporary and cached data, such as cookies, content and site data”.

reset browser settings dialog thumb Fix Google Chromes your preferences file is corrupt or invalid error

Update Feb 28, 2014: If Resetting Chrome hasn’t helped, and you keep getting that dialog after running CCleaner, then here is a workaround that might actually work for you.

Open CCleaner, click on the Applications tab, under Google Chrome remove tick mark for ‘Internet History’ and run CCleaner again, this time Chrome’s preferences won’t be deleted. You can delete Chrome’s internet or browser history using Ctrl+Shift+Del command in the browser. (Have you got it? If you’ve any doubts, ask me in the comments.)

So if you’re using older versions prior to this, which is not recommended you may try uninstall and reinstall of Chrome. If you ran into a situation where you can’t uninstall Chrome then know how to remove it.

Hope that helps. Have you got this error? How you fixed it? Share with us in comments.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Eddy January 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

You can’t copyright images of Google dialog boxes!


Pauly January 26, 2014 at 2:47 am

Resetting, uninstalling, and deleting all the info in the appdata folder have not worked. Well, it will work temporarily, but it still shows a prefrence.bad file in the appdata folder, and running ccleaner will bring up the error again, if you thought it was fixed.


Venkat eswarlu February 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm

Updated the post, you can see it and let me know if its working for you.


Leeroy February 28, 2014 at 5:41 pm

There’s a thread on Superuser (StackExchange/Stackoverflow) about this

An answer there says that it’s because “Compact databases” was ticked, but that’s not the cause. I ran into this problem and I didn’t have “Compact databases” checked in CCleaner.

You can open the .bad file in a text editor, mine looks OK at first sight. I’ll do a diff to see if I can fix it manually by copying chunks of preferences like:

“spellcheck”: {
“dictionary”: “en-US”

Good luck!


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