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Install Google Chrome in program files

Users of the Google Chrome browser may have had trouble locating the executable program on their hard drive after installation. This can be attributed to the fact that Google’s browser is installed in the user directory. The advantage of this is that the browser does not require the installation of administrative privileges, the disadvantage is that it must be installed separately for each user on the system.

See, Firefox, for example, installs itself at a system-wide level, e.g. Eg program files in Windows. User profiles on the other hand are stored in the user directory, which makes sense considering they are directly linked to each user.

Until now, Chrome didn’t offer an option to install directly to the program files folder. The only workaround available was to install Google Chrome via the Google Pack.

This has changed with the addition of a new MSI installer. The new installer is available for download at this URL: This downloads the GoogleChromeStandaloneEnterprise.msi file to the PC.

It is obviously only available for Windows and will install the main program files in the Windows program folder and not in the user directory. Installation requires elevated rights and will install the latest Chrome developer version only. Google seems to target business environments with this new version.

It’s puzzling that Google only offers the dev version, considering most enterprise environments have strict policies regarding beta and alpha software installations.

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The developers are likely to add an option in the future to install beta and stable channel releases system-wide as well. For now, the only options available are to use Google Packs to install Chrome on a system-wide level, or the new developer-only MSI installer.

Users who have Chrome installed in the user folder and choose to install it system-wide will lose Many account-specific settings, including installed extensions, browsing history, plugin settings, and last browsing session.

Therefore, it is recommended to backup all Chrome profiles before installing the browser system-wide. Check out the Google Chrome Backup guide for a detailed walkthrough. (via Google SO)

To update: It seems that Google Pack is no longer available. You can use this version of Chrome instead to install the browser in the program files folder.

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