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Chrome Developer Tools Not Working

Recently I had to replace my Windows PC at work, and as a result, had to reinstall all of my applications, including Google Chrome. When I tried to open Chrome Developer Tools using the F12 key, nothing happened. The Inspect option seen when right-clicking on a web page was grayed out. I opened the drop-down menu to try to open DevTools from there, and that option was also grayed out.

Developer Tools is disabled

Several searches indicated that one could look at Chrome Policies (accessible at chrome://policy if you’re running Chrome) to see if it was disabled there. Sure enough, that was the case.

Chrome policy page showing DevTools disabled

Chrome Policies are not editable from this page; in Windows one must edit them via the Windows Registry.

Open the Registry using regedit.exe from a Command Prompt or a shortcut in the Start Menu, and navigate to [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome] and set the key called DeveloperToolsDisabled to 0.

Registry Editor showing [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome] branch

Close the Registry Editor, go back to the Chrome Policies tab, and click the Reload button in the upper left-hand portion of the screen.

The “true” value for the DeveloperToolsDisabled Policy Name should change to “false”.

Now you should be able to open DevTools again!

About the author: I solve problems. Solutions Architect / Senior Software Engineer / Business Analyst / Full-Stack Developer / IT Generalist