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How Do I Make a Change to Chrome that Sticks?

Question: The Ask Tool Bar is not visible in Add/Remove programs. It was also not visible in Revo Uninstaller Professional. I’ve tried many patches to get rid of it and in fact it’s not visible anywhere except in Chrome. I’ve uninstalled Chrome many times but when I reinstall it, it just comes back in like a leech. Can you please hel me get rid of it? It’s very annoying.

I’ve heard about scenarios like this a time or two, specifically with Chrome.

I have a suspicion as to what’s going on and as a result, a couple of suggestions.

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Your Google account and Chrome

One of the unique things about Chrome is that it lets you log in to your Google account.

I’m not talking about visiting a website and logging in. This is actually in the browser; the browser itself logs into your Google account. You’ll see it in the settings on the control menu on the right of the toolbar. The purpose of that function is to allow Chrome to synchronize things like your bookmarks, your settings and more across multiple computers.

By synchronize, I mean that all of the other copies of Chrome that you might run on different PCs or different devices that you’ve logged in with will have the same settings, bookmarks and so on.

ChromeAs it turns out, add-ons are one of the things that Chrome synchronizes. This kind of surprised me too, but after living with it for a little while, I kind of like it. I install an add-on on one machine and eventually it shows up on all of the other instances of Chrome that I happen to run. So, my suspicion is that you’ve done the same thing. I further suspect that the Ask toolbar is one of those things that gets synchronized.

Removing the add-on

I would hope that going into Settings –> Extensions in Chrome on any one of your devices and removing that toolbar would remove it from all of your Chrome instances. By all means, give that a try.

However, I’ve heard this scenario often enough to suspect that just the opposite could be true: you remove the extension from a synchronized Chrome; and shortly thereafter, it reappears.

And it’s the same for reinstalling. You reinstall Chrome, you login, it synchronizes, and that add-on is back.

So, here’s my recommended approach: don’t login to your Google account in Chrome. Log out if you’re already in there; go back to the settings menu and select “Disconnect your Google Account…”. Uninstall the add-in, plug-in or whatever it is you’re trying to get rid of. Or if you like, reinstall Chrome from scratch. But do not let it automatically login to your Google account. Make sure that it stays not logged in.

Now, repeat that process for every machine where you have a Chrome install that has logged in using your Google account.

In other words, visit each one and disconnect from your Google account. Uninstall whatever it is you’re trying to uninstall and then move on to the next machine that has your Google account. Once all of your copies of Chrome have been cleaned of whatever it is you’re trying to get rid of, then and perhaps only then is it safe to start logging into Chrome again and allowing it to continue to synchronize the stuff you really do want synchronized, like your bookmarks.

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4 comments on “How Do I Make a Change to Chrome that Sticks?”

  1. Aha! As Agent 86 would say, the old Phone Home trick! I have as little to do with my Google account as possible anyway…no wonder I’m not inclined to use Chrome.

  2. Wait, Gmail account and Google Plus (Google) account have nothing to do with Google Chrome account, right? Sometimes I’m still confused about this.

    Oh, and about setting and extension. Do setting and the number of extensions we have in Google Chrome (very fresh after installed, user doesn’t change anything) that we install on PC’s Admin account automatically have the same condition (setting, extension etc.) on PC’s Guest account?



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