Question Google Chrome running unlisted and unmanageable extensions


May 19, 2011
This is a new one on me - a customer was experiencing an odd problem with web browsing, and so naturally I looked for for third party influences on Google Chrome.

To begin with there was Norton installed and its on GC extensions, and a few other browser extensions were installed. I removed Norton, then the other browser extensions in the usual way (ie. chrome://extensions, remove each one from there). However I noticed that in settings > site settings > notifications there were a few 'allowed' entries that were unremoveable from that page and said they were being controlled by an extension.

I googled the problem a bit and found out about Nirsoft's handy utility:

It listed a bunch of extensions, one of which was named in a way to make it the main suspect for these 'unremovable' allowed site notifications, however I wasn't able to find a way to specifically remove the extensions in question (deleting the folders from the Chrome profile 'extensions' folder didn't seem to make any difference). The only other suggestion I found was to nuke the Google Chrome installation from orbit and start over. I wasn't particularly impressed with this solution (sledgehammer vs nut), but as the customer had their Google profile sync'd and I backed up the bookmarks/password list beforehand, I went for that route.

Uninstalling Chrome (with the 'delete user data') setting did the trick (ie. it got rid of the extensions and unremoveable allowed notification sites). For the sake of convenience I then resync'd the Google Chrome profile which then reinstated the unmanageable extensions in the same way as they were to begin with.

So yeah, my concerns are two-fold:

1 - unmanageable extensions shouldn't really be a thing, but there must surely be some way to specifically remove extensions without nuking the profile?
2 - is there a way to nuke sync'd Google Chrome profile data?

- edit - possibly answering question 2 for myself:

Side note - I later found that one can nuke a local Google Chrome profile without having to uninstall the software: Open Chrome, click on user profile icon by the address bar, click on cog, click on three dots near profile, delete.