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Chrome on Windows is Scanning Your PC Due to a Bug

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Google Chrome might be at the top when it comes to web browsers, but it does have its own fair share of bugs. According to a recent report from Engadget, Chrome is scanning users’ Windows PCs due to a potential bug. The report highlights that Google introduced a few antivirus capabilities to Chrome last year, which causes the browser to scan the user’s entire download history upon startup.

I was wondering why my Canarytoken (a file folder) was triggering & discovered the culprit was chrome.exe. Turns out @googlechrome quietly began performing AV scans on Windows devices last fall. Wtf m8? This isn’t a system dir, either, it’s in Documents pic.twitter.com/IQZPSVpkz7

— Kelly Shortridge (@swagitda_) March 29, 2018

Followed up with @swagitda_ and it turns out the log events weren’t CCT scans. Chrome existence-checks (code below) previously downloaded files, but a bug moved the checks into the startup path. Clearing download history stops the checks. Bug filed here: https://t.co/gLNHJRSGq2 pic.twitter.com/r0aeVAsurr

— Justin Schuh 😑 (@justinschuh) April 6, 2018


If you’re experiencing the issue, the problem has a rather simple solution. The report states that:

“If you are hitting this issue and you want a fix right now then go to chrome://downloads in your browser, go to the menu in the top right, and select Clear All. That will clear Chrome’s list of downloaded files so that it won’t have any files to existence-check at startup. If you have a large list of downloaded files then this will improve startup time slightly.”

Even though there’s a simple solution, not everyone would be willing to clear out their entire download history due to a possible bug. The report adds that the Chrome development team is currently working to skip the check entirely in a future update, but until then users will have to clear their download history if they don’t want their system to slow down.


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