Recently I have been seeing an increased incidence of this particular issue on newer Windows 8/8.1/10 machines. It occurs when the user attempts to launch Chrome via any shortcut on the Desktop, taskbar, or elsewhere, or when opening any file or protocol (URL, etc.) associated with Chrome. The only permanent “solution” is to create a direct shortcut to the Chrome.exe executable in the %PROGRAMFILES(x86)%\Google\Chrome\Application directory and then launch it from there. However, this doesn’t fix the problems with trying to open .HTML files and URL links from other applications, which still trigger the error.
Lots of suggestions abound across the internet regarding ways to temporarily correct this problem. Most of them center on the deletion of the Chrome Classes registry keys affiliated with the file/protocol associations, but these are only temporary; the problem resurfaces each and every time Chrome updates itself, which happens a lot.
Instead, there seems to be a much easier solution. Bear in mind that I have only thus far tried this on one machine, but it worked immediately, and it jives with other research I’ve done on related subjects. Please let me know in the comments if this solution also works for you.
- Uninstall Java (all versions).
- Uninstall Chrome.
- Reinstall Chrome.
This corrected the problem completely on my user’s machine. It may or may not work for you; if it doesn’t, try one of these other solutions:
- Open regedit.
- Delete (if present) the following registry keys:
- Open Default Programs and set a different browser temporarily to default (for example, IE).
- Open Chrome and choose to set it as default when automatically prompted.
Hopefully this helps someone else struggling with this problem.