How to fix 'Your Preferences can not be read' error in Chrome {SOLVED}

Last updated on February 20th, 2019

If you experienced the following error in Chrome : “Your Preferences can not be read. Some Features may be unavailable and changes to preferences won't be saved” then probably your Chrome profile is corrupted or a malicious extension has compromised your Chrome settings. 

To easily fix “Your Preferences cannot be read” Chrome error follow the steps below:


How to SOLVE “Your Preferences cannot be read” error in Chrome.

Important: Before you continue, take a backup of your Chrome bookmarks. If you don't know how to do that, you can follow the instructions from this article: How to Backup & Restore Chrome Bookmarks (Favorites).

Step 1. Re-create Chrome profile folder.

Notice: You must enable the hidden files view to perform this  task. To do that go to:

    1. Start > Control Panel > Folder Options & click the "View" tab.
    2. Click "Show hidden files, folders, and drives" &
    3. Uncheck the "Hide protected operating system files"
    4. Press  "OK"

1. Close Google Chrome.

2. Navigate to the following location & Rename the “User Data” folder to "User Data.OLD" *.

Windows 10, 8, 7 or Vista

  • C:\Users\<Your_Username>\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data

Windows XP

  • C:\Documents and Settings\<Your_Username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data

* Note for Windows 10, 8 users: If you cannot rename the 'User Data' folder, then press CTRL + ALT + DEL to open task manager, and then right-click in Chrome process and select End Task (or simply restart your PC).


3. Open Google Chrome.* The “Your Preferences cannot be read” error should be gone!

Note: When Google Chrome starts, it re-creates automatically a new clean “User Data” folder.

4. Restore your bookmarks file and you ‘re done! *

* Note:  If the Chrome problem has resolved, then you can delete the "User Data.OLD" folder permanently.

Additional help: If you are still experiencing problems with your Chrome browser then install a totally fresh copy of Google Chrome by following these instructions.

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