Google Chrome is dropping mysterious debug files on desktop - but just ignore them

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Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers have begun leaving a mysterious file called “debug.log” on the desktops of Windows 10 users.

Although it has been widely reported by users who have discovered the file that Windows 10 created it, new research from Windows Latest (opens in new tab) has revealed that Chromium browsers and not Microsoft are in fact responsible.

The open-source platform Chromium powers many of today's most popular web browsers (opens in new tab) including Chrome, Brave, Opera, Vivaldi and Edge. As the source code created by the open source (opens in new tab) project is used by all of these browsers, a bug in Chromium will affect all of them which appears to the be case in this instance.

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Mysterious debug file

Following a recent update to Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome and other Chromium-based browsers earlier this month, users noticed that a file called “debug.log” began appearing on their desktops along with an error message which reads: “FindFirstFile: The System cannot find the path specified”.

While the file itself appears to be harmless, manually deleting it from a user's desktop is ineffective as the file recreates itself upon deletion.

Thankfully though, there is a way in which users can prevent Chromium browsers from creating the debug.log file on their desktops.

To fix the debug.log file bug, users should first open Windows Run by pressing Win+R or typing “Run” into the the start menu in Windows 10. From there you'll need to enter %localappdata%\Microsoft\Edge\User Data\Crashpad if you're running Microsoft Edge or %localappdata%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Crashpad if you're running Chrome to locate a folder called Crashpad. 

Once you've found the folder, you'll need to delete all of the files and folders inside it before restarting your computer. This will fix the issue and prevent your browser from leaving a debug.log file on your desktop.

Via Windows Latest (opens in new tab)

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.