Notification

Planning your return to office strategy? See how ChromeOS can help.

Stop managing or delete Chrome browsers

Applies to managed Chrome browsers on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

If you have Microsoft Windows, Apple macOS, or Linux devices that are no longer being used in your organization, you might decide to repurpose and distribute them for personal use. Or, some users might purchase a second-hand Windows or macOS device, where Chrome browser was previously managed by an administrator in a school, company, or other group. 

If devices are not properly reset, an administrator might still manage Chrome browser. Before you repurpose a device, stop managing or delete the Chrome browser.

Stop managing Chrome browser

Check if Chrome browser is managed

On a Windows or macOS device:

  1. Open Chrome browser Chrome.
  2. At the top right, select More .
  3. Check the bottom of the menu. If you see Managed by your organization, your browser is managed. If you don’t, your browser isn’t managed.

Windows

To remove Chrome browser management policies from a Windows device, you need to clear the Chrome registry settings and then restart Chrome browser. For details on clearing the registry, see Microsoft’s documentation.
  1. Delete the registry keys:
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Google\Chrome
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Chrome
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Google\Update
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\WOW6432Node\Google\Enrollment
  2. Delete the value named CloudManagementEnrollmentToken from the registry key:
    • HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\WOW6432Node\Google\Update\ClientState\{430FD4D0-B729-4F61-AA34-91526481799D}
  3. Delete the directory where Google Update writes cached cloud policies:
    • %ProgramFiles(x86)%\Google\Policies
Even after the user cleans up the registry, some third-party software products might reset registry settings. Be sure to remove third-party software products and malware that might set Chrome registry values. For details about how to remove programs, see Microsoft’s documentation for Windows 7 and Windows 10.
If you complete these steps and Chrome browser still appears to be managed, you should contact a professional computer repair shop. In rare instances, you might need to reinstall Windows due to persistent malware.

macOS

On a macOS device:
  1. From the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  2. Click Profiles.
  3. Select the profiles that you want to remove.
  4. Click (minus).
  5. Click Remove to confirm that you want to remove the profile.

You also need to remove suspicious apps—ones that you don’t remember downloading or don’t sound like a genuine program.

  1. Open Finder.
  2. On the left, click Applications.
  3. Find and remove suspicious apps.

You might also need to clear user defaults. From a terminal, run this command:

defaults delete com.google.Chrome

You might also need to remove files used for configuring Chrome. You might have created these files manually or they might have been created using a Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) or mobile management tool.

  • If you created the files manually, delete:
    • /Library/Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist
    • /Library/Managed Preferences/com.google.Chrome.plist
    • ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome Cloud Enrollment/*
  • If the files were created with a UEM or mobile management tool, configure the tool to delete the relevant policies.

Linux

On a Linux device, remove files from /etc/opt/chrome/policies.

Delete Chrome browsers from the Admin console

Manually delete Chrome browsers in the Managed Browser list:

  1. Sign in to your Google Admin console.

    Sign in using your administrator account (does not end in @gmail.com).

  2. In the Admin console, go to Menu and then Devicesand thenChromeand thenManaged browsers.

    If you signed up for Chrome Browser Cloud Management, go to Menu and then Chrome browserand thenManaged browsers.

  3. From the Managed Browser list, select one or more browsers.
  4. At the top, click Moreand thenDelete.

Automatically delete Chrome browser data from Google servers

This policy will gradually roll out starting in April 2024 until May 2024; inactive browsers on all Chrome versions are eligible for deletion.

Inactive browsers that are enrolled in Chrome Browser Cloud Management are automatically deleted from the Google management servers.

Considerations

  • By default, browsers that have not contacted the Google management servers for more than 540 days are considered inactive and browser data is deleted. For details on browser data, see Monitor Chrome Browsers from your Admin console.
  • You can change the default of 540 days to a minimum of 28 or a maximum of 730 days. If you lower the value, this means browsers are considered inactive after a shorter period of time.
    Note: When lowering the inactive period value, you risk browsers being considered inactive when they are only temporarily unused. You must then re-enroll these browsers. For more details on re-enrolling browsers, see Re-enroll a device.
  • When the browser data stored in the cloud is deleted from a device that is inactive and offline, the next time the device tries to contact Google management servers, it is not recognized, and is set to unmanaged. This means the device token is invalid and there are no associated cloud policies. To remove cloud management manually, see Stop managing Chrome browser.
  • To make sure that the deleted browsers can re-enroll automatically next time they restart, select Delete token in the Device token management setting before lowering the value of this policy. The enrollment tokens on these browsers must be still valid at the time of the restart. For more details, see Device token management.
  • You can identify the enrolled browsers that are within a specific inactivity period by looking at the most recent date in either the Last activity field or the Most recent Google Update activity field in the Admin console. For details, see View Chrome browser details.
  • You can use the CSV or API services to export the data of inactive browsers before they are deleted. For details, see Export data from Chrome Browser Cloud Management and Use the Chrome Browser Cloud Management API.

Notifications

You are notified of the following events that are logged in Audit Logand thenAdmin.

  • When a browser is deleted by the Inactive period for browser deletion policy.
  • When a browser tries to connect with the server after the device has been deleted.

Policy

Policy Description and settings
Inactive period for browser deletion Specifies the number of days that represent the inactive period before the removal of the browser data.
Browsers are deleted from the server if they have not contacted the server after this period of time.

Cancel your Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription

If the Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription on your account is cancelled and the account does not have a Chrome Enterprise Premium subscription, the following applies:

  • You can still see Admin log events and Chrome log events.
  • Starting in July 2023, you can't apply settings, policies, or connector configurations to managed browsers. You also won't be able to see any data associated with managed browsers as it is deleted. The deleted data includes:
    • Data associated with managed browsers, like browser profile data and machine information.
    • All enrollment tokens.
    • All the calculated aggregate reporting data.

Delete your organization’s Google Account

You cannot remove your free Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription using the Google Admin console. You can delete any Chrome browsers that don’t need to be managed in Chrome Browser Cloud Management. See Delete Chrome browsers from the Admin console.

If you only have a free Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription and none of your users and browsers need the service anymore, you can delete your organization's Google Account.

Your Chrome Enterprise Premium subscription is cancelled

If you don't have an existing Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription and and your Chrome Enterprise Premium subscription is cancelled, or if your trial expires, any currently enrolled browsers will not continue to be managed by your organization. If you want to maintain the management of your enrolled browsers, you can add the Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription at no cost.

If the account does not have a Chrome Browser Cloud Management subscription or a Chrome Enterprise Premium subscription, the following applies:

  • You can still see Admin log events and Chrome log events.
  • Starting in July 2023, you can't apply settings, policies, or connector configurations to managed browsers. You also won't be able to see any data associated with managed browsers as it is deleted. The deleted data includes:
    • Data associated with managed browsers, like browser profile data and machine information.
    • All enrollment tokens.
    • All the calculated aggregate reporting data.
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