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How to Backup and Restore Google Chrome Profile On Linux

Backup and Restore Google Chrome Profile On Linux
Written by Martins D. Okoi

If you haven’t been following our Google Chrome category, my last article concerning the browser was an article on the 12 Chrome Extensions for Developers and Designers so check it out if you haven’t – you are sure to find new extensions to boost your productivity.

Today, I’ll go over the steps you need to follow in order to backup and restore your Google Chrome profile and interestingly, they are straight forward. You can just copy and paste the commands in your terminal and you don’t need root access. As a matter of fact, don’t give the commands root access.

Backing up your Google Chrome will save all of your settings, extensions, history, etc. to your local machine after which you can transfer and restore them to even a new installation of the app in order to feel at home. So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Google Chrome Profile Backup

1. Launch your terminal and navigate to the ~/.config directory from your home folder with the following command.

$ cd ~/.config

2. Use tar command to compress your entire Chrome directory into a GZip archive with the following command.

$ tar -jcvf google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2 google-chrome

3. Once the compression is complete, you can move the archive file into any folder of your choice. For now, let’s move the archive to the home folder.

$ mv google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2 ~/

That’s it. You can now back the profile archive to secondary storage devices or your preferred cloud service to restore it whenever.

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Google Chrome Profile Restore

1. Move the archived profile to the .config folder in your home directory with the following command:

$ mv google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2 ~/.config

2. Navigate into the .config folder and then unzip the file with the following commands respectively:

# cd ~/.config
# tar -xvf google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2

3. Now you can run Google Chrome and you’ll see that all your data is as intact as it was in your profile that you backed up.

Encrypt Chrome Profile Backup

Backing up your profile with encryption is vital because it eliminates the chances of a security or privacy bridge as no one would be able to access the content of your backed up profile without the password.

Encrypting your archive file requires a few more steps and we would use GnuPG to complete the process, so install the app if it isn’t already installed.

$ sudo apt install gnupg  [On Debian/Ubuntu]
$ sudo yum install gnupg  [On CentOS/RHEL]
$ sudo dnf install gnupg  [On Fedora]

Next, navigate to the folder containing your archived profile and run the command:

$ gpg -c google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2

The command gpg -c will prompt you for a password so make sure you use a secure entry.

On completion, delete the unprotected profile archive (i.e. google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2) and save the google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2.gpg file.

When you are ready to use the file, decrypt it using the command:

$ gpg google-chrome-profile.tar.bz2.gpg

I hope this guide is useful to you. Feel free to drop your questions and comments in the section below.

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About the author

Martins D. Okoi

Martins Divine Okoi is a graduate of Computer Science with a passion for Linux and the Open Source community. He works as a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and programmer.