Chrome ‘Could Not Move Extension Directory Into Profile’ Error

Published by John on September 27, 2015 Under Computer Repair

Recently, a customer brought me two laptops that were ate up with Malware and viruses like PC Optimizer Pro. The kind that make your computer unusable and lock the computer down with scary warnings about viruses in the hope that people will pay them.

These types of viruses are essentially a mild type of Ransomeware, as they make the computer unusable, while reporting that it is infected or has a number of other hard disk/registry errors that the helpful PC Optimizer virus can fix. Of course the reality is that the Optimizer program IS the virus and is trying to get you to give them your credit card number.

Since these computers were both infected rather heavily with virus/malware and even just booting the computer took 10 minutes, a clean install of windows was the best choice and provided the customer with basically a brand new(old) computer. As part of my reinstall process when doing a factory reset, I remove bloat from the computer and install a safe set of programs for the customer, like web browsers, media players, malware and virus protection, and several other programs.

While not a huge fan of Chrome, I do typically install it alongside Firefox, ensuring the user has two good choices for a browser. This is also because that I want to ensure that they have a proper Ad-Blocker installed to help protect them online. I’ve found that due to the aggressive marketing of Chrome, through things like search promotions, ads, and software bundling, they will almost always end up with it on their computer anyway even if they don’t really want it. And rather than having them install it later without some sort of ad and malware blocking protection, I go ahead and install and configure it for them.

However, after downloading and installing Chrome and attempting to install Ad-Block, I got the following message that prevented me from being able to install the plugin:

Could Not Move Extension Directory Into Profile

Now, this is a process that I have done countless times and had even just done it just minutes ago on a different computer that I was working on. While I have had issues with viruses blocking installation of Ad-Block, as well as their remnants(like bad network/proxy settings) interfering with an installation, this was not the case here. This was the latest version of Windows 7 along with the latest version of Google Chrome.

The Problem

While preforming a re-installation of windows, installing an extension from Chrome’s Web Store failed with the error: Could Not Move Extension Directory Into Profile.

This was on a clean installation of Windows 7, which had been fully updated and the latest version of Google Chrome(Currently 45.x.) At this point, there were very few programs on the computer, although it was a factory reset.

The Fix

In this case, the fix ended up being something easy and that may be a bug or oddity with Chrome…empty the recycle bin. Thats right, there was a desktop icon in the recycle bin that I had deleted earlier. I emptied the recycle bin and Ad-Block installed immediately. I didn’t even close/restart the browser. Just tried again(after 3 concurrent failures) and it worked immediately.

Will This Work For Everyone?

Will this work for everyone? Probably not. This was a rather limited case, with a fresh install of windows and chrome, so probably isn’t a sure-fire fix, but it definitely was the issue for me!

My guess would be that clearing the recycle bin for the first time finalizes or changes something with the user profile that was causing this Chrome Bug. As stated before, I’ve done this identical process(install windows, update windows, setup browsers w/adblock) countless times and never ran into this. Fortunately, this was an easy fix.

If this doesn’t work for you, it might be worth uninstalling and reinstalling chrome, restarting computer, etc. Please leave a comment below with what worked for you!



  1. paul peers on Mar 12, 2016

    you are a genius ! you must have found the most surreal quirk in computer history !

    on a friends new laptop last night this problem struck

    found this first :-

    I manged to resolve this issue by giving my account a full access to Chrome folder located in %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\

    a bit too heavy for me ….

    found your solution and was blown away to see it work !
    computers eh ?
    love and thanks

  2. rohan on Jul 04, 2016

    worked like a charm for me. just empty the recycle bin !!!

  3. Smriti Prabhat on Aug 22, 2016

    Wow, it actually worked! I’ve been at it for an hour now, tried restarting chrome and rebooting, and creating a new profile for chrome, nothing worked but I just emptied my recycle bin and yes! Thanks for this post!

  4. Anthony Draper on Sep 04, 2016

    Unbelievable, it worked! Windows 10 (upgraded from 7), not a fresh install by any means, but I ran into that problem trying to install Google Play Music. Created and deleted a new bitmap image since my recycle bin was empty, and presto!

  5. Raka Mahendra on Oct 07, 2016

    wow amazing, now is fine chrome extension are added in my chrome browser , thanks so much , no
    Chrome ‘Could Not Move Extension Directory Into Profile’ Error again :D

  6. FAISAL on Oct 08, 2016

    still facing problem for extension….my IT department blocked it… and i tried everything to open this

  7. Maddy Goodwin on Oct 10, 2016

    I am on a school computer, a MacBook Air. I paused adblock to play a game on a website that requires you watch an ad first. It was working for a while then adblock just popped up and said “file could not be found”. So I tried to uninstall adblock out of Chrome and reinstall it and now I have this issue… Please help.

  8. john on Oct 20, 2016

    Maddy, the above was on a Windows PC, so I’m not sure what would fix it on a Mac.

    You might want to give uBlock Origin a try. It is better than Adblock in terms of performance and also(at least not at this time) doesn’t have a business model that involves white-listing advertisements like Adblock does as part of their acceptable ads program.

  9. john on Oct 20, 2016

    FAISAL, you probably need to reach out to your IT department to get it unblocked and or discuss advertisement blocking plugins. One good argument, which I am sure your tech support knows, is that using an advertisement blocker doesn’t just block ads, but it keeps your computer safe from malware and viruses that often get shown on some ad networks.

  10. Alessandro on Oct 22, 2016

    Same problem with Windows 8.1, an up to date (I guess) Chrome. I’ve just cleaned all malware via several programmes and now I got this message while simply trying to install Freshstart extension to Chrome. The cleaned Chrome had lost that extension during the process indeed. Thanks!

  11. Dennis Fowler on Nov 21, 2016

    somebody please write out the steps so I can fix this “an error occured, could not move extension directory into profile” error. I have limited hard drive use, and my files are mildly corrupted, and I think i have a TR/trashgen virus on my computer. I’ve been trying for days on end to load more extensions so that I can use them, but nothing works. I’m not too computer-savvy, I must be doing something wrong, but maybe it’s just the virus which I cannot remove which is causing this. Just write out all the steps EXACTLY AS YOU WOULD DO IT FOR LATEST VERSION OF CHROME, AND I’LL WRITE THEM DOWN AND TRY TO DO IT ONE STEP AT A TIME. I’VE GOT TO HAVE MORE EXTENSIONS FOR WORK i’M DOING ON THIS COMPUTER OR i MIGHT AS WELL THROW IT IN THE TRASH. SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME!

  12. Aisa dela Cruz on Nov 25, 2016

    Thanks! I emptied the Recycle Bin and the extensions were successfully installed after.

  13. AAA on Dec 09, 2016

    Just had the same happen to me, only thing is my recycle bin was empty!
    Deleted a file, emptied bin and works like a charm.
    Spaghetti code much?

  14. john on Dec 12, 2016

    Dennis, if you think you have a virus, I would focus on fixing that first. The steps to fix the above are just emptying your trashcan, so if that doesn’t work, it is probably a different bug. Some viruses and malware can take over your browser and prevent you from updating/changing it.

    You can try using Malwarebytes, as it often picks up a lot of stuff, but if you can’t remove the virus on your own, you may need to bring it to a computer repair specialist to look at.

  15. Lagaidh on Dec 24, 2016

    This just worked for me on a brand new acer laptop with Windows 10. The Recycle Bin had 3 paltry items in it. I cleared the Recycle Bin, and just as described, without even restarting Chrome, the Adblock Plus install worked perfectly.

    This is a weird one…

    Thanks so much for finding the fix.

  16. Ameera on Jan 09, 2017

    Emptied the Recycle Bin and voila!

  17. oli on Feb 20, 2017

    you gotta be f***ing kidding me… :D
    thank you!!!

  18. Amit on Feb 27, 2017

    Great! It worked successfully. Thanks a lot.

  19. Taequan on Apr 25, 2017

    You Could Also Try Clearing Browsing Data If That Hasn’t Already Been Established.

  20. Tejas Avinash Shetty on Apr 27, 2017

    emptied the bin still doesn’t work

  21. Karthi on May 04, 2017

    Awsome it works as told my friend.

    Thank You.

  22. Sean on Jul 05, 2017

    This did not work for me (Windows 10) Chrome is not allowing a specific extension to install..I tried installing another extension and it worked fine.

  23. BehniA on Jun 25, 2018

    Thank Man ! It Worked !!!
    I reloaded the page two times , and it installed correctly . But, how did you realize that this is the solution?

  24. Mark on Jul 11, 2018

    Yes it worked for me too with Opera (Windows 10, Opera 54.0).
    Thanks for the fix. How Bizarre !

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