How-To

How to Fix Links Not Working in Chrome

Web browsing

If links aren’t working in Chrome, it could be anything from a rogue extension to corrupt cache files. Try these fixes to resolve the problem on your PC or Mac.

The internet is built on links. Links on web pages (like this one) direct you to different web pages. Without them, you’ve lost the very foundations of what makes the internet work.

Unfortunately, issues with links in your browser can pop up from time to time—even in a browser like Google Chrome. The good news is that you should be able to fix the problem in Chrome.

If you’re having problems with links not working in Chrome, follow the steps below.

Open the Links in Incognito Mode

One of the first things to try if links aren’t opening in Chrome is opening a new window in incognito mode. If the same links open in incognito mode, then the problem is most likely to do with another area of Chrome (such as a rogue Chrome extension).

To test links in incognito mode on Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. To open a new window in incognito mode, p
  3. Press the three-dots menu icon and press New Incognito Window.
  4. Alternatively, use the Ctrl+Shift+N keyboard shortcut.
    chrome new incognito window
  5. Open the webpage containing the links that you were unable to open.

If this doesn’t work, try the steps below instead.

Disable Chrome Extensions

A likely cause of links not working in Google Chrome is a rogue Chrome extension that’s blocking them.

To disable Chrome extensions:

  1. Open Google Chrome.
  2. Press the three-dots menu icon.
    chrome three dots
  3. Select More Tools > Extensions.
    chrome extensions
  4. Toggle off one of the extensions and try opening the links again.
    chrome toggle extension off
  5. Repeat this for all of your extensions until either you find the culprit or until you’ve disabled all of the extensions.
  6. If an extension is causing your problem, leave it toggled off, or click Remove to remove it from Chrome completely.
    chrome remove extension

Update Google Chrome

If an extension isn’t the cause of your problems, it may be that there is a bug in the version of Chrome that you’re running. Updating Chrome may fix the issue.

To update Chrome:

  1. Click the three-dots menu icon.
    chrome three dots
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. At the bottom of the menu, click About Chrome.
    about chrome
  4. Chrome will automatically search for and install any available updates.
    chrome updates
  5. If an update is installed, click Relaunch to restart Chrome.
    chrome relaunch
  6. When Chrome has restarted, try opening the links again to see if the update has fixed your issue.

Clear Cache and Cookies

Clearing your Chrome cache is also worth a try. A problem with the cache may be the reason that your links aren’t working in Chrome.

To clear the cache and cookies in Chrome:

  1. Click the three-dots menu icon in the top-right.
    chrome three dots
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. From the menu, select Privacy and Security.chrome privacy and security
  4. Click Clear Browsing Data.
    chrome clear browsing data
  5. Click the drop-down for the Time Range and select All Time.
    chrome time range
  6. Ensure that Cookies and Other Site Data and Cached Images and Files are both checked and click Clear Data.
    chrome clear cookies
  7. Try opening the links again.

Reset Browser Settings

If you still can’t get links to open in Chrome, you can try restoring the browser settings to their original defaults. This will reset any settings that you’ve set up in Chrome since installing the browser.

To reset Chrome settings:

  1. Click the three-dots menu icon.
    chrome three dots
  2. Select Settings.
    chrome settings
  3. From the left-hand menu, choose Reset and Clean Up.
    chrome reset
  4. Click Restore Settings to Their Original Defaults.
    chrome restore settings
  5. Click Reset Settings to confirm your decision.
    chrome reset settings
  6. Try opening the links again to see if resetting the browser settings has worked.

Reinstall Chrome

If none of the fixes above have worked, you can try deleting and reinstalling the Chrome application as a last resort. The methods for doing so differ depending on whether you’re using a Windows PC or a Mac.

How to Reinstall Chrome on Windows

To reinstall Chrome on Windows:

  1. Click the Start menu.
    windows start menu
  2. Select the Settings app.
    windows settings
  3. In the side menu, click Apps.
    windows apps
  4. Select Apps & Features.
    windows apps and features
  5. Scroll through the App List until you find Google Chrome.
    windows chrome app
  6. Click the three-dots icon and select Uninstall.
    uninstall chrome app
  7. Click Uninstall to confirm your decision.
    confirm uninstall chrome
  8. Select Yes to allow the Chrome installer to remove the app.
    chrome installer
  9. Click Uninstall again to start the uninstaller. Leave the box unchecked if you want to keep your browsing history intact.
    uninstall chrome
  10. Chrome will now disappear from your app list. Visit the Google Chrome website and download and reinstall the app.
  11. Once the app is reinstalled, try opening links again.

How to Reinstall Chrome on Mac

To reinstall Chrome on Mac:

  1. Launch Finder.
  2. Open the Applications folder.
    mac applications
  3. Right-click on Google Chrome and select Move to Trash (or Move to Bin in the UK).
    move chrome to trash
  4. To remove your profile information, click Go in the Finder menu.
    finder go menu
  5. Select Go To Folder.
    go to folder mac
  6. Enter ~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome and click Go.
    application support mac
  7. Press Cmd+A to select everything, right-click and select Move to Trash/Move to Bin.
  8. Now that Chrome has been uninstalled, visit the Google Chrome website in your browser, download the app, and reinstall it.
  9. Try opening links again to see if the problem is fixed.

Using Google Chrome

Hopefully, one of the fixes above will help you to solve any issues with links not working in Chrome.

Once you’ve fixed Chrome, you can start using some of its more intriguing features. For example, if you’re having issues with your graphics card, did you know that you can enable or disable smooth scrolling in Chrome to make it work better?

You can also block incognito mode in Chrome to stop others from hiding their browsing history (which is great for a family).

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. dan

    My browsers (Chrome,FF,and Edge) all seem to work fine. However, there is one site where I get this error message: “Hmm. We’re having trouble finding that site.” And sure enough, the site it cannot find (cdn.filestackcontent.com) does not exist! However, on another PC it does not look for ‘cdn.filestackcontent.com’ and so the browser is able to connect to the actual site I am looking for! (which is not ‘cdn.filestackcontent.com’). I have no idea why my first PC is requesting ‘cdn.filestackcontent.com’ and my other PC is not?!? (BTW, the request of ‘cdn.filestackcontent.com’ is a result of clicking on a request button). So it’s clear to me ‘cdn.filestackcontent.com’ is hiding out somewhere on my first PC and is causing this problem…but where?!?
    Any thoughts on why I’m having this problem would be greatly appreciated.
    Dan

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