Keep data during version rollback

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

As an admin, you can temporarily roll back Chrome Browser to a previous version. You might need to roll back if your users are having problems with Chrome after a version update. During rollback, users with Chrome Sync turned on retain their browsing information. However, for users who don’t use Chrome Sync, browsing data is automatically deleted.

Starting in Chrome version 84, Chrome Browser stores a snapshot of user information locally on devices after each major version update. By default, the three most recent snapshots are retained. You can use the UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit policy to override the default or stop keeping snapshots altogether (by setting the policy to zero). When you roll back to Chrome version 83 or newer and a snapshot has been stored, user data such as bookmarks and autofill data are restored from the snapshot.

Considerations

  • Data saved in snapshots includes bookmarks, browsing history, session restore data, passwords, autofill, cookies, and browser sign-in state.
  • Users who don’t use Chrome Sync lose data that they stored locally on devices during the time between the latest version update and rollback. 
  • Each snapshot is approximately 10 MB but might be larger if the user has a large number of history entries or bookmarks.

Step 1: Review the policy

Policy Description

UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit

Specifies how many snapshots are saved on users’ devices. To prevent Chrome from taking snapshots, set the policy to 0.

Unset: By default, 3 snapshots are stored locally on users’ devices.

Step 2: Set the policy

Click below for the steps, based on how you want to manage these policies.

Windows

Applies to Windows users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.

Using Group Policy

In your Group Policy Management Editor (Computer or User Configuration folder):

  1. Go to Policiesand thenAdministrative Templatesand thenGoogleand thenGoogle Chrome.
  2. For Limits the number of user data snapshots retained for use in case of emergency rollback, set the number of snapshots that you want to keep. 
  3. Deploy the update to your users.

macOS

Applies to Mac users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.
In your Chrome configuration profile, add or update the following key and then deploy the change to your users.
Set the UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit key to <integer>value</integer>, where <value> is the number of snapshots that you want to keep.
Example code:
<key>UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit</key>
  <dict>
  <integer>3</integer>
</dict>

Linux

Applies to Linux users who sign in to a managed account on Chrome Browser.
In your preferred JSON file editor, add or update a JSON file and then deploy the change to your users.
  1. Go to your etc/opt/chrome/policies/managed folder.
  2. Set the UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit key to the number of snapshots that you want to keep.
Example code:
{
"UserDataSnapshotRetentionLimit": "1"
}

Verify policies are applied

After you apply any Chrome policies, users need to restart Chrome Browser for the settings to take effect. Check users’ devices to make sure the policy was applied correctly.

  1. On a managed device, go to chrome://policy.
  2. Click Reload policies.
  3. Check the Show policies with no value set box.
  4. For the ​User​Data​Snapshot​Retention​Limit policy, make sure that:
    1. Status is set to OK.
    2. Policy value matches what you set in the policy.

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