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How To Fix ‘Update Failed (Error 7)’ Issue on Chrome Windows

Annoying issue is annoying, but here's how to fix it

error 7 windows

Being a recent returnee to the world of Microsoft Windows I’ve only just started to become aware of some niggling issues affecting Chrome users of the platform.

Coming across such issues is, I’m pleased to say, increasingly rare. But Windows being Windows it wasn’t long before I, myself, was face to face with one the most common cause of complaint from the Microsoft faithful: the infamous Error 7. 

Egads!

Google Chrome throws an ‘Error 7′ when the built-in auto-update mechanism, tasked with quietly updating you to the latest and greatest release in the background, fails. The causes for it failing are both too varied and too context dependent to be reproducible or pinned down to any one specific issue.

Whatever the causes, the end result is that the background service that checks for and fetches updates goes a bit bananas.

I encountered the issue by chance. Having recently switched my channel from Stable to Beta, I loaded Settings > About to check if there was a more current update available. And there it was; staring back in all its un-insightful glory:

Update failed (error: 7) An error occurred while checking for updates: Egads! Installation failed. Please try again. Error code = 0×00000000.

While it tells me to ‘try again’ that, naturally, fails, throwing the same error again. So how did I go about resolving it?

Fixing Chrome Error 7

My first port of call was (naturally) to Google the entire text of the error. Nothing beats a good ol’ web search in these situations and Google duly turned up a number of solutions. Now, not all of these were immediately useful, some were obsolete or outdated, and way too many proffered the drastic solution of reinstalling my entire operating system from scratch!

Nothing quite so melodramatic is needed to solve the ‘Error 7′ issue on Windows. In fact, for some it’s as simple as rebooting the computer!

Notice I said ‘for some’ and not ‘for all’? Yeah, this doesn’t always work. If you find yourself in this situation (or, for whatever reason, you don’t want to reboot) then the steps listed below solved it for me.

Walkthrough

windows 8 task manager

Task Manager

For the purposes of this walkthrough I’m going to assume you’re running Windows 8 or 8.1. Those of you on Windows 7 can follow the same steps, but some of the wording may be different.

Having made sure that this is the error you’re experiencing (open Chrome > Settings > About to check) you need to do the following while Chrome is open.

  • Open Task Manager (Shift+Alt+Esc)
  • Find ‘GoogleUpdate.exe’, highlight, click ‘End Process’ button

Optionally, if listed, also locate:

  • Find ‘GoogleUpdateOnDemand.exe.’, highlight, click ‘End Process’ button
  • Find ‘GoogleCrashHandler.exe., highlight, click ‘End Process’ button

Chrome may have closed during this, but if not now is the time to exit it fully. Now:

  • Reopen Chrome
  • Open ‘chrome://chrome’ in a new tab
  • Update should complete (or tell you that you’re up-to-date)

That’s it; the error should now be gone. And while I hope you won’t encounter the error again, if you do at least you’ll know how to solve it.

  • kristo

    On my XP when an auto update (system internal notification I guess) comes in (Chrome open or not) ‘GoogleUpdate.exe’ has always and still does make my CPU go 100%, so I end it and (re)start Chrome, at which time the update file gets downloaded and installed with no problem. So I’v never effectively seen the ‘Error 7′ notification but I guess this is what it is.

    • iuliancalin

      OMG…dude, still using old retarded XP

      • http://www.live-craft.com/ Jonathan Alfonso

        And? I doubt someone will head out and buy the next version of Windows when their version is out of date. If my copy of XP worked (hypothetical), then why should I pay $99 to get something that works the same? I understand it’s more secure, but if it works for the user, then does it matter?

      • David Bailey

        1. At least it’s better than Vista and windows 8
        2. You can hack XP to get updates from Windows POSReady so it will still be supported
        3. GNU+Linux and OS X are much better than any version of Windows

  • Frederic MANSON

    How I love being a Windows No More User… I am free!!! Vive Chrome OS!!!