How To Fix the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND Error in Google Chrome

The ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error in Google Chrome can be frustrating to deal with. This error indicates that Chrome cannot find or access the file you are trying to open or download. There are several potential causes and solutions for this error. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover the common causes of the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error and walk through the troubleshooting steps to resolve it.

Common Causes of the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND Error

Here are some of the most common reasons why you may see the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error in Chrome:

The File Has Been Moved or Deleted

If you are trying to access a file that has been moved, renamed or deleted, Chrome will be unable to find the file at its original location, resulting in the error. For example, if someone sent you a link to download a file on Google Drive or another cloud storage service, but then deleted or moved the file, you would get the error when trying to access it.

Connection Issues

Problems with your internet connection can also lead to ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND errors. An unstable or intermittent connection may prevent Chrome from accessing the server where the file is located. Network configuration issues, using a VPN, firewall settings or other connectivity problems could trigger this error.

Invalid File URL

Trying to access a file via an invalid, malformed or incomplete URL will also result in a file not found error. For example, a missing “http://” at the start of the URL, an incorrect domain name in the address, or incorrect path to the file would mean Chrome cannot find the right location for the file.

Browser Cache and Cookies

Outdated, corrupt or overloaded browser cache and cookies can sometimes interfere with Chrome’s ability to find files. Cache helps pages load faster by storing certain content locally, but too much cached data or corrupted files in the cache can cause issues.

Extension Conflicts

Chrome extensions that block, modify or redirect connections could potentially lead to ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND errors if they interfere with Chrome’s ability to access a file. For example, some ad blockers, VPN extensions or firewall extensions may block connections needed to access files.


In some cases, malware or viruses on your device may be responsible for the file not found error. Malicious software could change configurations, block access to certain sites or files, or corrupt data resulting in Chrome being unable to find files.

How To Fix the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND Error in Google Chrome 1

Step-by-Step Troubleshooting for ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND

Now that we’ve covered some potential causes, here is a step-by-step guide to troubleshooting and fixing the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error in Chrome:

1. Check the File URL

The first step is to check the URL you are trying to access and make sure it is a valid, complete file address. A simple typo in the URL could result in the error.

Try copying and pasting the URL from the original source to avoid any errors re-typing it. Look for any missing components like “http://” or the domain name. You can also try searching for the file name itself to see if it has a slightly different URL now.

If you don’t have the original URL, try searching for the file name in Google to find the current working URL.

2. Reload the Page/Retry Opening the File

A quick reload of the page or retrying to open the file can often resolve intermittent connection issues that may be causing the error. Click the reload icon in Chrome or hit Command+R on Mac or Ctrl+R in Windows to reload the page.

If reloading doesn’t work, try completely closing out of Chrome and restarting it. Then attempt to open the file again. This may clear out any temporary glitches.

3. Check Your Internet Connection

Make sure you have a stable, working internet connection. ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND errors can occur if you have limited connectivity or are offline.

Try disconnecting and reconnecting to your WiFi. If you are on a laptop, connect via a wired Ethernet connection if possible for faster speeds. Run a speed test to confirm your connection speeds are normal.

If you are using a VPN, temporarily disconnect it and attempt to access the file without VPN enabled. Certain VPN connections can interfere with file access.

4. Clear Browsing Data

Old browsing data and files cached by Chrome can sometimes get corrupted and cause issues finding files. Clearing this data forces Chrome to redownload fresh, clean copies.

Click the 3 vertical dots in the top right menu > Settings > Privacy and security > Clear browsing data. Select “Cached images and files” and the time range to “All time” then click Clear data. Now retry accessing the file.

5. Disable Extensions One by One

If you have any Chrome extensions installed, they may potentially be interfering with file access and causing ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND.

Open Chrome Extensions manager at chrome://extensions/. Now disable each extension one by one and test if you can access the file after each one. If the error goes away after disabling a particular extension, that extension needs to be removed or reconfigured to fix the issue.

6. Scan for Malware and Run Antivirus

In some instances, malware or viruses could be responsible for file access issues. Scan your computer for malware using reliable antivirus software like Malwarebytes or BitDefender. This will check for any harmful programs causing problems behind the scenes.

Also update your overall antivirus software and run a full system scan to catch any other potential infections that need to be quarantined or removed.

7. Update Chrome and Check Default Download Settings

Make sure you are running the latest version of Google Chrome. Outdated browsers can suffer from bugs and compatibility issues. Click the 3 dots in the top right and go to Help > About Google Chrome to check for updates. Download and install any pending browser updates.

Also check Chrome’s default download settings. Go to Settings > Advanced > Downloads and make sure the “Ask where to save each file before downloading” option is enabled. Having a prompt to select download locations can prevent file access issues.

8. Reset Chrome to Default Settings

If all else fails, resetting Chrome back to factory default settings will clear out any problematic configurations, cached files, cookies and extensions.

Go to Settings > Advanced > Reset and cleanup. Click “Restore settings to their original defaults” to reset Chrome. Note this will sign you out and remove saved data like bookmarks, so make sure to back up anything important first.

The nuclear option is to completely uninstall and reinstall the Chrome browser if resetting did not resolve the issue.

Preventing ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND Errors

Here are some tips to avoid ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND errors going forward:

  • Double check URLs before clicking links or download buttons to ensure they are valid and complete.
  • Maintain a fast, stable internet connection. Use wired over WiFi when possible.
  • Regularly clear browsing data and Chrome cache to avoid corrupted files.
  • Install extensions only from trusted sources and disable any that seem to cause issues.
  • Keep Google Chrome updated to the latest version.
  • Use a reliable antivirus program and scan regularly for malware.
  • Back up your bookmarks and settings in case you need to reset or reinstall Chrome.


Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error in Chrome:

Why does the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error happen?

This error occurs when Chrome is unable to find or access the file you are trying to open or download. Common causes include an invalid URL, connectivity issues, cache problems, malware, or browser configuration issues.

Try searching for the file name or relevant keywords on Google, which may surface the current URL. Check the website where it was originally hosted – they may have just moved or renamed the file. Contact the site owner or person who shared it if possible.

Does ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND always mean the file is gone?

Not necessarily. In many cases, the file still exists but the URL or path to access it is wrong. The error can also occur due to temporary network or browser issues even if the file is still there. Trying again later or troubleshooting connectivity and Chrome usually resolves it.

Why does clearing browsing data help fix ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND?

Clearing cached images, files, cookies etc. forces Chrome to freshly re-download the content from online sources rather than using potentially corrupted or outdated local copies. This retrieves clean files and often fixes access issues.

Is my computer infected if I get a file not found error in Chrome?

Not always, but it’s a possibility. Malware or viruses can sometimes cause Chrome file issues. Run a full antivirus scan to check for anything malicious, and reset Chrome to be safe. Most of the time though, it’s another less serious issue like a bad connection.

What should I do if no troubleshooting steps fix the ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND error?

A full Chrome reset or reinstall are the last resorts if no other solutions work. Make sure to backup your bookmarks first. If it still persists in the fresh browser, the file you want is likely gone or you need the correct new URL from the owner. You may have to contact the website admin if it is a site issue.

Key Takeaways on Fixing ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND

  • Common causes include invalid URLs, network issues, cache problems, malware, extensions, etc.
  • Double check the link/URL to the file and search for the current location if needed.
  • Reload the page, restart Chrome, check connections, and clear browsing data.
  • Disable extensions one by one to check for conflicts.
  • Scan for malware, update Chrome, reset settings to defaults if still not fixed.
  • Prevent issues by maintaining stable connectivity, clearing cache regularly, using trusted extensions, and keeping Chrome updated.
  • A full Chrome reset or reinstall may be required in stubborn cases.


ERR_FILE_NOT_FOUND errors in Google Chrome can quickly frustrate your browsing experience but are usually fixable. In most cases, the file itself still exists and the problem lies in accessing it. Follow the step-by-step troubleshooting guide outlined here to resolve the error. Check for invalid URLs, connectivity problems, extensions conflicts, corrupt cache and malware. Clearing browsing data, updating Chrome, disabling extensions and resetting the browser can get Chrome finding files again. With the right fixes in place, you can get back to enjoying smooth, uninterrupted browsing.

Leave a Reply