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"Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall."

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"Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." EJ the DJ 11/16/11 10:21 AM
Google Chrome version (type about:version into the address bar):Operating System:Error Message:Extensions installed:
Please describe your question/comment in detail (for example, steps to reproduce the problem):
Received this message after "restore" funtion of 'Windos XP Home': "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall."2011-11-16

I found this problem numerous times on the Google Forum, but no one seems to have a solution to it!

Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." algernon33331 11/17/11 10:15 PM
i haved same pb....reinstall google chrome
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." jdf12 11/20/11 12:27 AM
I went into the chrome directory in 'C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application'.
I found two folders that were named with numbers.  I tried copying the exe file into them and voila, the program worked again when lauched within one of the two folders (it didn't work in the other one).  I created a new shortcut at that point and was good to go.
Good luck!
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." cwwees 11/24/11 2:47 PM
I got this message after some corruption of my laptop system.  Not sure which combination "fixed" the machine, I re-installed Chrome and the new shortcuts work, but the old ones don't.  

The annoying thing is that email and other applications that have URL references that open a new page and display it still give the same error in Chrome.  I've tried switching the default browser to IE, and everything works.  I load Chrome and re-set it to default, I get the same "missing locale files" message.
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." jingu7 11/27/11 1:27 AM
i got its answer ................i can help u follow me........they tell u to reinstall it so download the version that u have installd and that is not to see which version u r on control panel then programs and features and the see the version of google chrome    onthe right side of it..................then download that version and install it will automatically start new and best google chrome to install it if u r using internet download manager.........first download it then click on it after opening its will see 'chrome installer' something and double click on it and then open it will have google chrome back ............thanxxxxxxxxxxx
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." Sie_Deen 1/9/12 5:02 PM
Hi folks,

Thanks for your reports. Please try uninstalling (Ref[1]) and re-installing Chrome. 
If you had previously enabled syncing via signing in to Chrome (wrench -> Options -> Personal Stuff ->Sign in), you can Sign in to Chrome again in your new Chrome installation to retrieve all your bookmarks, extensions, etc.
If you had not signed in to Chrome before, you can still choose to keep your profile information on your local computer. In the uninstall process, make sure not to select "Also delete browser data"

To help us understand what may have caused the issue (Chrome cannot locate the locale data files it needs), please let us know if you remember what may have changed on your computer/operating system around the time when the issue started. Some of you indicated that the system restore/corruption may have triggered this issue. 

I'm also going to merge this thread with another that also discusses this issue. (Ref[2] below)
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." EdGreen 3/14/12 2:12 AM
Same problem here. My laptop wasn't able to start normally so it asked to do it a safe way and that it would try to repair programs and remove any recently installed programs. It said it couldn't repair any damaged programs. But I finally managed to turn it on normally again. Everything seems to work fine except Google Chrome (and my Kaspersky which i had to reinstall as well): "No locale found". I tried to uninstall it, same message. I reinstalled it, which it said it did but then it didn't start automatically. And when i double click the icon still the same no locale message. In my programs list i only find my previously installed version. (and i can't uninstall it or make it work)
So, for now, no google chrome anymore... help!
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." Cetkat 3/14/12 10:36 PM
The problem for me was a system restore.  I had someone hack my system and change important files.  I had to do the restore in Safe Mode and although it worked, Chrome no longer did.  I do however have the answer to the problem.  I just managed to get mine back exactly how it was, down to the last tab.

First, Install does not work.  It seems to, but doesn't overwrite the program files.

Second, Uninstall does not work.  It cannot access the locale data files either and says so.

The Solution (In Windows):

Open the Start Menu and navigate to Chrome.  Right-click and open the properties.  Under the Shortcut tab, click on the "Open File Location" button.  This will take you to where Chrome is installed.

You will see a directory structure as follows (for Win 7):

Navigate backwards to the "Chrome" directory.  You will see two folders: Application & User Data.  Copy User Data to the Desktop.

Now, you need to delete the Application folder.  To do this you need to take ownership of the file:

The easiest way is to use the security tabs to give yourself the permissions you need to have full control over the file.  However, in Windows 7, I've found that this is often unsuccessful.  When that is the case, the icacls command must be used.  This is a DOS command.  You go to Start->Run: type the word "cmd" without quotations and hit enter to get to the DOS interface.  There is however an easier way to do this, and that is by using the process in the second link to simply add "Take Ownership" to the right-click menu.  As I have this already there, that was my approach & I do not know if the menu way works.

Now, you need to end all instances of Chrome.  Hit Ctrl+Alt+Del and go into the Task Manager.  Go to the Processes tab, click the name title to re-order the list alphabetically.  Select every chrome.exe individually and End Process them.

You should now be able to delete the Application folder.

Download the Chrome install file and install it.  It should now work.

You should still have your User Info available to you.  Your tabs will be gone.  Go to your basic settings under Options and tell it to Reopen the last pages on startup.  Quit Chrome.

Open the Chrome directory and the User folder you copied to the desktop.  Copy and replace the following into the similar location.

User Data->Default: "Current Session/Current Tabs" & "Last Session/Last Tabs"

Now you should be able to re-open Chrome and find it exactly the way it was when you last used it.  Check you personal user info and copy over anything else that may be missing.

Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." jwool814 4/8/12 1:35 AM
Hi! I'm Jeff. I just went through this nightmare myself. It's scary! Thank god I was synced and stayed calm.

I went through the issue of not being able to open Chrome or uninstall or install or anything and receiving the "Missing file error- Unable to find locale data file. Reinstall" statement. I even lost my Device Manager and my AUDIO! I'm running XPSP3. I have no idea what caused it. My security software (AVG and Lavasoft) report no issues.

After my crash course this evening I have what I consider to be the easiest solution for now.

This is what I did to make it all better:

First I opened Task Mangler (I mean Manager), clicked on Processes and stopped all instances of Chrome. (Right click each one and kill the entire Process Tree for each instance). Then close Task Mangler.

Then, navigate to the directory where Google is and locate the Chrome folder. Mine was in -

"C:\Documents and Settings\yourusername\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\"

Open the Chrome file and then locate and copy the "User Data" file to your desktop. This is the file you will use later to reestablish your Chrome Profiles and general Chrome Dominion.  Next...

(The following I copied from Chrome's Manual Uninstall page, except for the XP notes)

"Make sure extensions ARE displayed for your files. Here's how:
Go to the Start menu > Control Panel.
Double-click Folder Options.
(For XP select Tools>Folder Options
Click View.
Make sure the "Hide extensions for known file types" checkbox is Deselected.
Right-click this link. ( or go here:


Click Save Link as and save the file name as remove.reg. (Select "All files" as your file type.)

Again verify that all instances of Chrome are stopped.
(Exit Google Chrome completely.)

Double-click remove.reg on your desktop.
In the confirmation window, click Yes.
Then Click OK.

Go to the Start menu > Run.
Enter one of the following commands in the text field, depending on your operating system:

Windows XP:%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google

Windows Vista: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google

Delete the Chrome folder in the directory that opens.
Google Chrome should now be uninstalled."

Next, simply navigate to Chrome's Download page and reinstall Chrome.

When your finished installing Chrome. Close Chrome.
Navigate to the new Chrome directory and locate the Default Profile inside the new User Data file and delete it. Then open the User Data file you copied to your desktop and copy and paste the old Default Profile file into the New User Data file. Wuala! : ) Your Done. Chrome is back... : )

Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." Cloud9168 4/15/12 4:07 PM
what .exe file?
Re: "Missing file error. - Unable to find locale data files - Please reinstall." us3south 4/16/12 8:36 AM
You are a life saver, Jeff!!!  Thank you so much!!!