Chrome's data-deleting bug: millions could be affected, but a fix is on the way

Google Chrome
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A bug in Google Chrome has caused havoc this week by apparently deleting data in other apps, but Google is working on a fix and plans to release an update within the next few days to set things right.

The problem arose when some Android devices were updated to Chrome 79 (the M79 update). While the browser itself worked fine, web data suddenly vanished from other apps that rely on Chrome's WebView component. Google responded quickly by slamming the brakes on the update while it investigated.

"The M79 update to Chrome and WebView on Android devices was suspended after detecting an issue in WebView where some users’ app data was not visible within those apps," a Google spokesperson told TechRadar.

"This app data was not lost and will be made visible in apps when we deliver an update this week. We apologize for any inconvenience."

All is not lost...

Although the bug rendered some apps that run entirely in WebView temporarily unusable, it'll come as a huge relief that users' data hasn't actually been lost.

Google also notes that only Android users were affected by the problem, and although the M79 update was scheduled to roll out to half of the userbase, only 15% had actually received it when the company pulled the plug. That's a pretty small percentage, but Chrome has well over a billion mobile users, so millions of people could still be affected.

For now, Google's advice for both users and developers is the same: just sit tight and wait for the new update, which will be pushed out directly.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)