Is Chrome’s “Clear Browsing Data” Feature Not Working?

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Google’s Chrome is the most-used browser, and one of its most popular features is “Clear Browsing Data.” However, many users are complaining that Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data feature is not working as intended.

What’s wrong with Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data feature?

As the name suggests, Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data feature removes the user’s browsing history, cookies, cached images, password autofill and more. However, users are having trouble using the feature, tech site PiunikaWeb reports.

Affected users say that although they can access the Clear Browsing Data option, it hangs midway, and the cleanup job remains unfinished. Users have been facing this issue for over two weeks now.

“I have issues with resetting chrome and clearing data it take [sic] too long to reset and clear cache data and it never stops and the blue circle going around and around and never stop [sic],” one affected user said.

Users say they face the same issue even when just deleting cookies. Some say the blue circle just keeps spinning even after waiting for an hour.

“I waited almost an hour chrome to delete 1 hours history/cookies. It just kept spinning, I canceled and closed, I can’t delete neither history nor cookies,” one user said.

Many users say they have been facing the issue with Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data feature since updating to Chrome 74.0.3729.108, which was rolled out in April. No troubleshooting tricks seem to be working either.

Users say they have tried uninstalling and then reinstalling Chrome, rebooting their PCs, uninstalling third-party extensions and more, but nothing seems to be working. A few users also tried to check for viruses by running a full scan, but that didn’t work either. This issue with Chrome’s Clear Browsing Data feature is affecting users on PCs and Macs globally.

Google aware of the issue

One user strangely notes that the issue seems to be coming and going. The person has made several posts. In some, the user says the issue disappears on its own, while in others, the user states that the issue came back.

“UPDATE: As of 5.08pm, the problem returned, somewhat. While hitting the “Clear Data” button now brings the circular loading symbol, it does actually delete everything. Again, no idea on what is causing this to happen,” the user said.

The good news is that Google developers are aware of this issue with Chrome version 74.

“Confirming that we’re seeing another spike on M74 stable with reports of users being unable to clear browsing history (it looks more cache than specifically cookies). Reports are 91% Windows, but we’re seeing reports from Mac as well,” developers said on the Chromium bug tracker.

Explaining the reason for the issue, Google engineers say the browser is not getting an acknowledgement after deleting the SessionStorage, PiunikaWeb explains.  For now, we do know that a fix for the issue has been included in Chrome’s latest canary build.

A new webpage navigation system for Chrome

In other Chrome news, Google is adding a new feature to boost the browsing experience. This new feature called “Portals” is an alternative to IFrames, or as Google puts it, Portals is an upgrade to IFrames.

In IFrame, users get a window to another website, while Portals allow users to go through to the other website without leaving the current page. In its demo of the feature, Google talked about Portals while browsing a meal planning website. The site includes recipes collected from various sites.

Normally to see a recipe, one has to click on a link to the webpage hosting that recipe. However, with Portals, users can see the recipe from the main page. To save the recipe, users must launch it in a Portal. This will open the website with  the recipe in a pop-up-like view.

Then users can easily save the recipe to a social network or pinboard. Once the recipe is saved, the user can close the Portal and return to the original meal planning site.

Another benefit of Portals is that one can easily send information from the origin site to a destination site. For instance, if a user selects a recipe, they can then to give the ist of ingredients required for that recipe to an online grocery service’s website.

Google has already launched the Portals API and is now collecting feedback from developers.

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