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Cleaning Up After Chrome

I find Google Chrome, which I have no interest in, is continually getting installed on machines in my house, mostly due to Adobe Shockwave bringing it along as an install package. (Family members are agreeing to the download, not realizing the Chrome is getting dropped as well.) My major issue after uninstalling Chrome is that you can no longer click on links in Outlook emails. There is a lot on the web about this, and Google has not been proactive at fixing their uninstaller.

I have now added a registry file to my Win64 systems to reset the problem registry keys and clear the error. This registry file is pretty simple. It merely resets HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.htm, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.html, and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.shtml back to their default values of "htmlfile". Chrome takes over the handling of these file extensions because its default install is to make itself the default web browser. The Chrome uninstalled fails to clear/reset them.

In troubleshooting this, I looked in my registry based on the web info on the Chrome uninstall problem. Since my system had never had Chrome installed, my registry did not have the problem keys. To troubleshoot, I installed (ugh!) and uninstalled Chrome. Sure enough, Chrome left the expected debris with a value string of "ChromeHTML.PR2EPLWMBQZK3BY7Z2BFBMFERU" or something similar. Resetting these values fixed the problem.

I see that Chrome leaves quite a bit of debris behind in the registry. I guess it is creating the keys then leaving them behind, even though their presence (with bad data) subsequently affects operations.


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