What you need to know when you remove profile from Chrome

As all of us already know, Google Chrome created a profile called “You”, when you’re using it. Unless you decide to “browse as a guest”, all of your browsing data will be tied to it. When you signed in to Gmail account, this “You” profile will be replaced with the Google account you signed in. Here’s what you need to know when you remove profile from Chrome. Read them before you do it.

Because of this, many people worried about their privacy. That includes me. Especially, after I read this news on Washington Post one week ago. It’s true that I have disabled the default setting that makes Chrome using my Google account. However, this matter still makes me worry.

So, during this weekend I tried to remove this profile from my Google Chrome. It’s been around since years ago. I can’t remember precisely how many years. Yet, I hope I have known all of these before I did it.

It is not the same as clearing browsing data

I do clear browsing data after some days or weeks. But, removing a profile from Google Chrome is not the same as clearing your browsing data. It will clear and remove many more.

Although on the final confirmation popup, you will see these: browsing history, passwords, bookmarks, and autofill form data, it actually clears many more. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this.

But I guess I am not the only one at fault. After all, as you can see on the following screenshot, there’s no mention about removing and resetting the installed extensions

It did remove all third-party extensions

This is where the disaster come to me. It removed all third-party extensions, including their data. Since the profile I delete is not tied to my Google account, it’s impossible to restore all of those wiped out extensions.

Yes, I can reinstall all the extensions I need. It’s not such a big deal for me. However, there is one important and critical extension for me: Dashlane.

The problem with Dashlane extension

At first, I just reinstall it back, just like the other ones but… it

crashed . I tried to restart my browser, uninstall that extension and reinstall it back.

This time, it did not crash but all the passwords and credentials I stored there were gone . Seriously, it’s not a joke. There are not many items there but they were all important for my work.

I tried to keep myself calm and open the Dashlane app directly. Voila! All of the passwords are still there, though one or two newer passwords for AWS Cloud9 are not here. It’s such a relief because I can ask for the client’s help to regenerate the AWS password.

Yet, when I go back to Chrome and open the Dashlane extension there, the passwords are still empty. No matter how many times I remove and reinstall the extension and restart the Chrome, they never show up.

Luckily, when I try the Dashlane extension on Safari and Firefox, it works fine. But, the extensions there are asking for re-authorization. Once I re-authorized, and I open the Chrome again, it also asks for the same thing. After re-authorizing on Chrome, it works again. All passwords sync up on Chrome as they used to be.

It still creates another profile

Once you remove all of the profiles on Chrome, it will automatically create another new profile there. I was hoping if I remove it, it will be gone for good unless I sign in to Google account or Gmail. However, I was wrong. It’s not the way it works.

It will reset all settings back to default one

This means, if you had set up the customized setting like not allowing the Chrome to use your Google account, you need to set up this customized setting again. The same thing goes for the rest of the settings.

After all of those hassles

After going through all of these, I decide these for the time being:

  • I will divide my activity into three browsers: Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Before this, I centralized all of my activities on Chrome only.

  • I set up Firefox as default browser which means removing Chrome from being the one. Earlier, Chrome was my default browser.

  • I notice Firefox is much lighter and more responsive with the same setup and same installed add-ons and extensions as my earlier Chrome settings. But, I need to confirm this with some benchmarks. I’ll post the result on a future post.