This week, I ran into a problem when I moved a solution from our DEV environment to QA. A PAD flow I was calling from Power Automate started failing with the error ‘Failed to Assume Control of Chrome’. When I ran only the desktop flow, it worked fine. When calling PAD from Power Automate, it didn’t work. Based on the reviews of the Power Automate extension in the Chrome store, this has recently become a common problem. Read on to find the solution that worked for me.
My Use Case
I always like to lead with my specific use case. So, we use Power Automate and Power Automate desktop to perform the following actions.
- On a schedule, grab an Excel file from Teams and save it to a network drive.
- Run a PAD flow (details below).
Power Automate Desktop
- Look at a specific worksheet in the Excel file. For each row, enter the data in the row into a SharePoint form.
- Repeat until all rows have been processed.
- If anything goes wrong, send an email.
- Once PAD is done, get the file content from the network drive and update the file in Teams.
- Delete the file off the network drive.
- Notify owners via Teams that the process has taken place.
- Send an email if anything we wrong.
After moving from DEV to QA, I started to get the following error in PAD.
Problem while executing action 'AttachToForegroundChrome'. Failed to assume control of Chrome (Communication with browser failed. Try reloading extension).
The error occurred at the step shown below. Note, if I just ran PAD, it worked fine. It did not work when calling PAD from Power Automate.
My preliminary troubleshooting involved the following…
- Compared versions of Chrome between DEV and QA environments. They were the same.
- Compared versions of the Power Automate Extension between DEV and QA. They were the same.
- Uninstalled and re-installed the Power Automate Extension.
In the process of uninstalling and reinstalling the extension, I noticed a lot of recent negative reviews with this exact error.
I eventually found this link, which listed 6 possible causes…
- Automatic updates
- Multiple extensions installed
- Robot permissions
- Chrome’s default preferences
- Machine’s ComSpec environment variable setting
I went thru each one. What I found in Task Manager were Google processes running (Google Crash Handler). After killing these processes and adding the following steps, my PAD flow was able to run from Power Automate. I don’t know if these are going to be sufficient. I expect I’ll have to make modifications, but I was at least able to get moving again.
This error – failed to assume control of Chrome – was a big pain for me. I hope I helped you solve it with minimal pain and suffering.