Why Google Chrome Font is in Italics and How to Fix it

Problem Summary

Google Chrome font Display in ItalicsIf you suddenly find that your Google Chrome font is now displaying in italics, did you panic like I did? I must admit that I freaked out, thinking that I had a virus or have been hacked.  My worry was even heightened when I tried Internet Explorer and webpages were displaying fine.  But Chrome was my favorite browser – I use it every day, and rarely browse the web with Internet Explorer.

I tried the first steps in resolving most computer issues – reboot and cleared my temporary files , but the problem persisted.

After extensive research and trying many suggested solutions that did not work, I finally found one that worked like a charm, and that is why I am sharing the fix with you – so you do not waste your time like I did.

Cause of Problem

My Chrome browser worked perfectly well earlier in the day without any error, so it really did not give me any indication as why it started displaying in italics. I did not recall installing any software or Windows update that may have caused the display problem either.

My research however revealed that this is a known font display problem in Google Chrome, and Google is working on a solution as I write, but this temporary fix that worked for me and many others.

Update >>> The fix described below is no longer available in later versions of Chrome.  You may use Chrome extensions such as Font Rendering Enhancer to resolve the problem of Chrome displaying in Italics. The Font Rendering Enhancer has worked for many, but not for everyone.

The Fix for Google Chrome Font Displaying in Italics

The solution provided in the following steps is what worked for me, and I hope it will also resolve your problem:

1) Open Google Chrome

2) In the address bar, copy and past chrome://flags#disable-direct-write

Fix for Google Chrome font Display in Italics

3) Hit Enter

4) Click Enable shown in red above. This disables DirectWrite, the background changes to white, and indicates DirectWrite is disabled, as shown below.

Fix for Google Chrome font Display in Italics

5) Click Relaunch Now at the bottom of your screen

6) Google Chrome will restart, and your font should now display normally

Hope this fix works for you, as it worked for me like a charm!

If you have any question about this topic, please leave a comment below and I will reply. And if you find it helpful, or have any other thoughts to share, your comments are welcome.

Comments

  1. Laura Hartness says:

    Oh my word. Thank you so much for this fix. The italics were driving me nuts.

  2. Samira Ashian says:

    This is great!! That actually worked. Loads of thanks:)

  3. I already have DirectWrite Enabled. I still have a bunch of sites/extensions that are in italics.

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Ayla,

      This fix is only a workaround that may not work for everyone. Have you tried uninstalling, and re-installing Google Chrome?

      Jeff

  4. Dorthe Karin Larsen-Hopkins says:

    Apparently the ability to disable Direct Write has been removed; at least in the version of Chrome I’m using
    The same thing happened to me with Opera and I chose to uninstall it. Until now I’ve been very fond of Chrome so I’m very reluctant to uninstall that too :-(

    • Hi Dorthe,

      The “Directwrite” flag is no longer available in Chrome. You may use Chrome extensions such as Font Rendering Enhancer. This extension has resolved the italics font for some Chrome users.

      Jeff

  5. Directwrite is not an option under chrome://flags anymore, are there any other ways to fix this problem?

    • Hi Arie,

      The Directwrite flag is no longer an option in Chrome. You may use Chrome extensions such as Font Rendering Enhancer.

      Jeff

  6. It’s strange… when I follow your instructions, “DirectWrite” isn’t anywhere on that page. I don’t even have the option to enable/disable. I don’t have any helvetica fonts on my computer, I’ve changed all my default fonts for Chrome, and have tried to uninstall/reinstall Chrome. Any other thoughts? Thanks so much!

    • Hi Kevin,

      Google has removed the “DirectWrite” flag in the latest version of Chrome. You may use Chrome extensions such as Font Rendering Enhancer to see you this resolves the italics fonts. This particular extension has helped some people, but not everyone with the problem.

      Jeff

  7. SEP 2016 – Don’t bother searching for “DirectWrite” – it’s gone. After hours of sifting through all the outdated and rather techie ‘solutions’, what worked for me was very simple.

    1) Install the Microsoft European Union Expansion Font Update http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=16083
    2) Uninstall Chrome completely from your computer (google how to do it, including deleting leftover Chrome folders from your PC) and then re-install it. And Voila – back to normal.

    Side note – prior to that I did a system restore but that didn’t fix it. Hope I helped. Arron

  8. shouldn’t have to do all that Microsoft European Union Update stuff, I don;t have the time or inclination. Google Chrome looks awful in italics. I’ll just delete it entirely for now and use something else. Until they fix it themselves. Goodbye Google.

  9. I found another fix that worked for me. You see some games have the habbit to move the font from the font folder instead of copying it in its folder. On the other hand, chrome CANNOT follow shortcuts to fonts and uses its italic version.
    IN OTHER WORDS: check your Control Panel –> Fonts for any shortcuts (they have arrow, im sure you know that) ESPECIALLY Arial (the default font) and Helvetica. If you find shortcut just right click it, properties and find where the font is, and copy it back to the fonts folder. (games like AudioSurf do that)

    • Jeff Adam says:

      Thank you Gosho for sharing the fix that work for you, especially with your detailed instruction.

      Jeff

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