Extensions Broke Your Browser? How to Enter ‘Safe Mode’ in Google Chrome

Now that Google Chrome has entered the world of fully-extensible browsers, with its recent addition of extensions and Greasemonkey scripts, you’ve likely found yourself perusing the libraries and tweaking until your heart’s content. With that, however, comes the inevitable – browser crashes.

While Google Chrome doesn’t have a safe mode in the same way the Firefox or Windows does, it does offer another option that provides the same functionality and can save you a whole bunch of trouble.

The folks over at the Google Operating System blog pointed out this tip today and we thought it was a worthwhile how-to for our readers.

If you’ve found yourself in the terrible position of having a broken version of Chrome and you don’t want to uninstall and start over from scratch, you can instead launch Chrome using “incognito mode”, which disables extensions and allows you to disable the bad apple extensions.

Setting up a shortcut to launch Chrome in incognito mode is a simple four-step process:

  1. We recommend first making a copy of your shortcut, that way you can access the browser normally too, once you’ve fixed whatever problem you’re experiencing.

  2. Find your copied Chrome shortcut, right click on it and select “Properties”.

  3. Select the “Target” field and append “–incognito” to the end of the command.

  4. Click “Apply” and then “Okay” to save your changes.

Now, all you have to do is double click on the edited shortcut to enter into a “Safe Mode”-style Chrome. From here, all you’ll need to do is enter “chrome://extensions/” (minus the quotes) into the browser’s navigation bar to edit the extensions.

If you’re unsure which extension broke Chrome’s back, simply disable them all and switch back and forth between incognito Chrome and regular Chrome until you break it again.

And while we’re speaking of Chrome extensions, we recommend going and getting the ReadWriteWeb extension to keep up to date with everything we post here. After all, if your Chrome shuts down from extension overload, now you know how to fix it.

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