Google Chrome – "Missing File Error – Unable to Find Locale Data Files – Please Reinstall"

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The error you’re seeing is simple – Google Chrome cannot load because it doesn’t have access to files required to get it running.

Whilst this can be caused by a number of potential issues, the core of the problem is that your chrome.exe application is either missing or incorrectly named, preventing Chrome from being able to load.

To fix the problem, you need to ensure you are able to either recover the lost file, or repair any of the damaged references it may have. There are a number of potential ways to do this, which I will detail in this article.


  • Corrupted Files
  • Incompatible Version
  • Duplicate Files With Incorrect Names
  • Damaged Plugins etc

The primary cause of the error is that chrome.exe is inaccessible.

This will either be caused by the file being renamed (probably due to a recent system restore), or the file being corrupted. In either instance, there are two ways to resolve it – either rename the file or re-install Chrome (which will automatically rename it).

There are also other potential causes, such as Windows not having particular DLL files available, or your computer suffering from viruses amongst other problems. The steps to resolve the problem are to work through the various potential solutions, ensuring that each potential problem is resolved.

Here’s how…

Step 1 – Rename Chrome.exe

The first step is to rename chrome.exe to ensure Windows can read it.

To do this, you need to browse to the following folder:

  • C:Users<name>AppDataLocalGoogleChromeApplication

Inside here – especially if you’ve done a recent System Restore – you should find a reference to chrome.exe. If this file exists, there may be another called new_chrome.exe.

If there is another chrome file in the folder, you’ll need to remove it by selecting it and pressing delete. This will send it to the recycle bin, where it will be able to be restored if its removal does not fix the Chrome error.

After doing this, restart your PC and see if Chrome will work again. If not, proceed onto the next step.

Step 2 – Reinstall Chrome

The most reliable way to solve this problem is to reinstall Chrome.

This not only ensures that Windows has all the correct settings in order, but also replaces any damaged or corrupted Chrome files which may be leading to potential errors.

To do this, you should follow the steps outlined below:

  • Click onto “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Add / Remove Programs” (Windows 7)
  • Right-Click “Start” > select “Apps and Features” (Windows 10)

From here, you’ll need to scroll through the list of applications until you find Google Chrome. After right-clicking the icon, select “Uninstall”. This will remove the application, after which you should restart your computer.

After restart, you’ll be able to download a fresh version of Chrome by using the default Microsoft web browser (Internet Explorer or Edge) which will allow you to install the most up to date version of the application.

If, after this process, Chrome does not work, it suggests you have a deeper problem with Windows. The fix for this could be to use a registry cleaner to repair any potentially damaged/missing registry errors (unlikely), or ensure that Windows is running correctly by updating it.

Step 3 – Update Windows

If the error persists, you should update your system.

To do this, you need to follow these steps:

  • In Windows 7, click on “Start” > “Control Panel” > “System And Security” > “Windows Update” > “Check for Updates”

  • In Windows 10, click on the “Start” button, select the “Settings” cog from the left “charms” menu and then click on “Update & Security”

  • On both systems, you then need to click “Check for Updates”

If the errors persist after following the above steps, you’ll want to look at resolving any potential problems that Windows may have with its core settings. To do this, you should really gain the opinion of an experienced expert, who’ll be in a much better position to give a one-to-one diagnostic of the system.

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