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Google Chrome's Hidden Background Tool

Surprised to find your computer practically overheating when running just Google Chrome? Our CEO was as well. Check out the write up below that explains why.


If you run Google Chrome on a Windows PC and monitor processes that run on the machine, you may notice the Software Reporter Tool process eventually, especially if you’re sitting on the couch with your laptop doing holiday shopping and your laptop gets VERY HOT.

Software Reporter Tool, the executable file is software_reporter_tool.exe, is a tool that Google distributes with the Google Chrome web browser and I’ve done extensive research looking into WHY it’s running and consuming my CPU and SSD Hard Drive in my SUPER powerful Microsoft Surface i7 Laptop with 16 Gigs of RAM and 512G of SSD Hard Drive. There is zero reason why this laptop should be hot or slow surfing the internet. This program is part of the Google Cleanup Tool which in turn may remove software that causes issues with Chrome, and we’re pretty sure you didn’t even know it was installed. Google mentions crashes, modified startup or new tab pages, or unexpected advertisement specifically. Anything that interferes with a user's browsing experience may be removed by the tool.

Chrome Software Reporter Tool


The Software Reporter Tool scans the computer's drive and reports these scans to Google. Google Chrome uses the scan results to determine whether it should prompt the user to remove unwanted software from the computer as it impacts the browsing experience. Google Chrome users may have two main issues with the Software Reporter Tool: 1. It may cause a high system load when it scans the system. User reports range from using 30% and more CPU while running. Since it may run for as long as 20 minutes, that is something that may interfere with other activity on the computer. 2. The tool informs Google about the scan results which some users may dislike because of privacy concerns. A Google community specialist mentioned that the tool scans folders related to Chrome only, but its scope is not exposed to the user in any way so there is no way for us to substantiate that unofficial statement. You find the Software Reporter Tool under the following path on the most current versions of Windows: C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\SwReporter\VERSION\software_reporter_tool.exe The Version changes regularly, it was 36.184.200 at the time of writing.

Block the Software Reporter Tool


Note: Blocking access to the program may prevent Google from removing problematic software from the system or informing you about it. You may use other software, antivirus software for instance, to remove threats or potentially unwanted programs from the system which is what we suggest.

While you can delete the content of the entire folder or rename the executable file itself, doing so offers a temporary recourse only as Google will push the Software Reporter Tool to the system again when you update the web browser without you recognizing or even knowing it installed the tool and begin scanning your system again. A better option is to remove permissions so that no user may access the folder or run the Software Reporter Tool. Simply follow the steps below:

1. Right-click on the folder SwReporter and select Properties from the menu.
2. Switch to the Security tab.
3. Select Advanced on the page that opens.
4. Click on "Disable inheritance" and select "remove all inherited permissions from this object."
5. Select apply and in the Windows Security prompt "yes."
6. Select ok.
7. Select ok again.

No group or user should have access anymore to the Software Reporter Tool. The advantage of this method is that the tool cannot be run anymore and that updates cannot be applied to it anymore either.

Final Words
Unless you run into problematic third-party software regularly that interferes with Chrome, you may not need the Software Reporter Tool. Its disadvantages, high CPU load or privacy implications, may be reason enough to block it from running. If you have any questions, reach out to our team and we’ll be happy to provide you any support necessary.


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