Disable Chrome’s Software Reporter Tool

There are at least three reasons why you might want to stop Chrome’s Software Reporter tool from having its way with your system:

  • It is a resource hog
  • It might try to remove desired enhancements/extensions to Chrome
  • It compromises your privacy by reporting its findings to Google

ClouseauGoogle don’t make a fuss about Chrome’s software reporter tool. They simply install it when you install Chrome and run it – when they feel like it and without your say-so. Its purpose is to scour your system to find software and browser extensions that are harmful to the running of Chrome, but I defy you to find out how much of your system it pokes its nose into and how it decides what is, and what is not, harmful to Chrome. It then reports its findings back to Google and, if it has found anything it doesn’t like, it suggests you remove the offending item(s) using the Chrome “cleanup tool”.

I came across it in the same way that I think a lot of people do. My system was unaccountably running slowly so I opened Task Manager and noticed the entry for “software-reporter-tool” and the fact that it seemed to be using a large part of the system’s CPU (the Central Processing Unit – ie the actual “performing work” part of the computer). A bit of research informed me that it can swallow up to 60% of the CPU’s capacity at any one time and that the process can take 20 minutes to run.

The fact that it’s a resource hog is bad enough, but I decided I definitely wanted rid of it when I found that it reports backs to Google on what it finds and seems to base its decisions on what is best for Chrome rather than what I want.

So how do you get rid of it?

Chrome - listeningWell, you could try just deleting the actual program file that is involved, but any update to Chrome is almost certain to bring it back. A better way is to change the “permissions” of the folder that contains all the relevant files so that nobody is allowed to run it. Since all the updated versions of Software Reporter are also installed inside this folder, all new versions should also be incapacitated.

The folder in question is called C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter

If you can not see the folder called “AppData” after negotiating to c:\users\username in File Explorer, then this is because you currently have “system folders” hidden. See below for how to reveal system folders.

Once you have located the folder called SwReporter, proceed as follows:

  • Right-click on the folder called SwReporter and left-click on Properties
  • Click on the “Security” tab
  • Click on “Advanced”
  • Click on “Disable inheritance” and then “remove all inherited permissions from this object”
  • Click on “OK”, then “yes, you want to continue”, and then “OK” again

HogThat’s it. Chrome’s Software Reporter Tool should now be unable to run.

To display (hidden) system folders in Windows 10:

  • Open File Explorer
  • Click on the “View” tab
  • Click on “Options”
  • Click on the “View” tab
  • Click on the circle against “Show hidden files, folders, or drives”
  • Click on “OK”

To display (hidden) system folders in Windows 7:

  • Open File Explorer
  • Click on the “Tools” option
  • Click on “Folder Options”
  • Click on the “View” tab
  • Click on the circle against “Show hidden files, folders, or drives”
  • Click on “OK”