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Chrome bug that prevents the browsing history from clearing

Recent versions of the Google Chrome browser have a bug that prevents some users from deleting the browsing history of the browser.

All browsers come with built-in options to clear the browsing history. The term refers to certain types of data that is generated by the browser or downloaded from the Internet. Data such as the browser cache, cookies, or downloaded files fall into the category.

Chrome users may load chrome://settings/clearBrowserData, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-Del, or select Menu > More Tools > Clear browsing data to access the menu.

Chrome displays basic options at first but you may want to switch to advanced to gain more control over the functionality.

chrome browser data

Google started to notice a spike in issues related to the clearing of browsing data in Chrome with the release of Chrome 72 in January 2019.

Users reported that the clearing would run forever with no apparent option to stop or exit the process.

We’re seeing a spike in feedback related to browser history not clearing. Specifically, the behavior is that once the deletion process is started, it runs forever with no completion or ability to stop / exit. We haven’t tried to reproduce yet, but we’re seeing a large enough spike that we wanted to file. Reports are currently only from Windows and OSX.

Newer versions of Google Chrome are affected as well, and it appears that the situation got worse with the Chrome 74 release. A Google engineer confirmed that Chrome 74 was affected by the issue on April 29, 2019 and that the majority of reports came from Windows users but that the issue existed on Mac devices as well.

Google detected the issue last week; engineers found an issue in SessionStorage that would cause it to hang.

Avoid hanging deletion if SessionStorage doesn’t call its callback

For unknown reasons, SessionStorage doesn’t always finish its deletion.
Instead the callback is destroyed without being run.

The fix is already available in Chrome Canary builds but it has not been rolled out yet to stable versions of the browser. It appears, however, that it is only a matter of time before it lands in those versions.

Temporary Fix

Affected users may use third-party applications to clean the cache in the meantime. The free program BleachBit can clear Chrome’s cookies, cache, history, passwords, and other browsing data.

On Windows, you can clear the cache by opening C:UsersYOURUSERNAMEAppDataLocalGoogleChromeUser DataDEFAULT (or PROFILENAME)Cache

Please replace YOURUSERNAME with the name of the user, and DEFAULT (or PROFILENAME) with the name of the profile. The cache folder contains cached data which you may delete. Cookies are found in a file called Cookies that is in the root of the profile folder of the Chrome user. (via Softpedia)

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