By Craig Buckler

How to Disable Google Chrome Updates

By Craig Buckler

Google Chrome’s automated update is a double-edged sword. On the plus side, it ensures users have the latest version of the browser: the Chrome 4 update was rolled out to everyone within a matter of weeks. However, many businesses take a more cautious approach. Few are willing to permit large-scale untested software updates, which could cause IT support issues or intranet application failures. IE6’s perseverance within the business world proves that many companies prefer the known risk of an unstable browser over the unknown risk of a shiny modern browser.Companies that have switched to Chrome are likely to define enterprise-wide policies for updates. Google provide an administrative template for Microsoft Windows Group Policy editor.Let’s assume you’re developing a web application for a company that uses Chrome 4 throughout its workplace. The last thing you need is Chrome to magically update to version 5 halfway through the development process. Fortunately, it’s possible to disable the automatic update on all operating systems.


The Group Policy editor may not necessarily be available if you’re disconnected from the company’s network and using Windows XP/Vista Home edition. You must, therefore, tinker with the registry …

Warning:Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

The registry is a dangerous place. You know the drill — neither I or SitePoint accept any responsibility for damage to your PC or your sanity!

  1. Locate HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREPoliciesGoogleUpdate
  2. Add a new DWORD value named DisableAutoUpdateChecksCheckboxValue and set it to 1 to disable automatic updates or 0 to re-enable them.
  3. Add a new DWORD value named AutoUpdateCheckPeriodMinutes and set a number of minutes; for example, 1440 for once a day, 10080 for once a week, and so on.

Mac OS

Enter the following commands in the Terminal application.To disable automated updates:

$ defaults write checkInterval 0

Change the 0 to a 1 to re-enable updates.To set the update frequency:

$ defaults write checkInterval <frequency>

where <frequency> is the interval in seconds; for example, 86400 for once a day, 604800 for once a week, and so on.


Chrome updates occur via the standard package management system, so be careful when clicking “Yes please” to automated update notifications.

  • Rather than disabling updates, they should just make decent applications/intranets which won’t break on upgrading!

    • Absolutely. But how can you prove your web application works in Chrome 4 when you’ve got Chrome 5 installed?

      You’re unlikely to experience the issues and differences associated with IE versions, but I’d still recommend testing the app on the platform your target audience is using.

  • Jabin

    Warning: _Never_ disable updates unless you have an explicit & well-defined reason for doing so.

    The updates are being released for a multitude of reasons, and although some people may be understandably upset at having these updates “forced” upon them… please don’t disable them without checking with your IT professional first.

    If you do decide to disable these updates, let your IT professional know that you have done so & which version you ceased to download the updates at.
    They’ll be able to take this into account, to assist you better.

    Most developers have a separate testing environment setup for each client scenario, usually as a “virtual machine”.

    In a vast majority cases, you do want your development/production environment to be running the latest version of all software.

  • Disabling auto updates is very stupid, especially considering that the last Chrome update had a couple of security fixes in it.

    • Wohhh, hold on there! No one’s suggesting it’s disabled forever! Most large businesses control what updates are applied and when they occur. That’s very sensible and, like Microsoft, Google provides tools which let you configure those options.

  • jonesey

    Here’s a rational reason to disable updates: I manage 100+ public lab computers at a university. They refresh their software on every restart so that every person who sits down at a lab computer sees the exact same setup every time.

    The refreshing means that any updated version of Chrome will be reverted to an older version on restart. If auto-updating is on, my customers will be annoyed by Chrome updating itself as soon as they log in.

    We turn off auto-updates on all of our software in order to optimize the customer experience. Some software may be a few patch levels out of date, but the computers run smoothly, and we update en masse on a regular basis.

  • Andrew Golden Lee

    i need it disabled cuz i put a custom icon in it so everytime it update, the icon goes back to the ugly original. hay, this new chrome icon matches my finder icon. (it is a custom finder icon) nah i want mine back, i love it.

  • fei

    I disabled autoupdate for reasons too long to explain, anyway I noticed that when you follow this guide there’s no way to go back. I deleted the strings and chrome still can’t autoupdate, i have to install the new versions manually everytime they come out. Anyone found a fix for this? Wouldn’t want to format my hard drive.

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