Android: Chrome 79 Rollout stopped due to data loss

[German]Google has temporarily stopped the rollout of the Chrome 79 app for Android. The reason: Users may lose data due to a bug in Webview – and other apps are affected as well.


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The article on ZDNet linked in the following tweet contains the information that the Google developers in the Android app simply forgot to take over some data when upgrading from Chrome 78 to 79.

The background is, that the developers in Chrome 79 (specifically within the WebView component) have changed the directory in which the data is stored. But during upgrade Chrome app do not copy this data from the old directory used by Chrome in version 78 to the new folders used in Chrome 79 (and other apps are affected as well). This means that users can no longer access this old data in localStorage and WebSQL from any app, depending on WebView. Some users can no longer log in to their user account.

The bug was reported last week (Dec. 12. 2019) and in the meantime a Google developer has confirmed it here. Google has stopped the rollout (that has begun on Dec. 10, 2019) and started to develop and release a bug fixed version of the WebView app. But at this time is not clear, if this bug fix will be able to restore the old. The problem: The fixed app can copy the old data to the new folder. But then new data that has been saved in the new folder will be overwritten. This may not be desired. Details can be found in the ZDNet article – and in more details within xda-developers.com.


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