If you’re seeing some of these problems with Chrome, you might have unwanted software or malware installed on your computer:

  • Pop-up ads and new tabs that won’t go away
  • Your Chrome homepage or search engine keeps changing without your permission
  • Unwanted Chrome extensions or toolbars keep coming back
  • Your browsing is hijacked, and redirects to unfamiliar pages or ads
  • Alerts about a virus or an infected device

In the future, avoid unwanted software by only downloading files or visiting sites that you know are secure.

Computer

Remove unwanted programs (Windows, Mac)

Before you reset your browser settings on a Windows or Mac, check your computer for unwanted programs.Check your computer for malware (Windows)

Chrome can help you find suspicious or unwanted programs on your computer. If Chrome finds an unwanted program, click Remove. Chrome will remove the software, change some settings to default, and turn off extensions.

You can also check for malware manually.

  1. Open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More   Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
  4. Under “Reset and clean up,” click Clean up computer.
  5. Click Find.
  6. If you’re asked to remove unwanted software, click Remove. You may be asked to reboot your computer.

Manually remove malicious programs (Mac)

You can remove malware and other programs on your computer that you don’t remember installing.

  1. Open Finder.
  2. On the left, click Applications.
  3. Look for any programs you don’t recognize.
  4. Right-click the name of any unwanted programs.
  5. Click Move to Trash.
  6. When you’re done, at the bottom, right-click Trash.
  7. Click Empty Trash.

Restore quarantined files (Windows)

Chrome can help you find suspicious or unwanted programs on your computer. If Chrome finds an unwanted program, Chrome will remove the software, change some settings to default, and turn off extensions.

If you think Chrome removed a file that’s safe or personal by mistake, you can restore the file.

  1. On your computer, open the folder %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome Cleanup Tool\Quarantine.
  2. Open the folder Quarantine.
  3. Click Continue.
  4. Right-click the file you want to restore and click Extract all.
  5. Enter the password chrome_cleanup.

To learn more about what data is collected and how it’s used, read the Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper.

Reset your browser settings

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More   Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Advanced.
    • Chromebook, Linux, and Mac: Under “Reset Settings,” click Restore settings to their original defaults  Reset Settings.
    • Windows: Under “Reset and cleanup,” click Reset Settings  Reset Settings.

If you removed unwanted programs or reset your browser settings, you might need to turn some extensions back on. To turn extensions on, at the top right, click More   More Tools  Extensions. Only turn on extensions you trust.

Still not working? If the steps above don’t work, visit the Chrome Help Forum.

More info about malware

Learn what to look for when you have malware on your computer and how to stay safe online.

How to avoid malware in the future

  • Watch out for things that look too good to be true. Winning a contest or getting expensive copyrighted content for free is sometimes a trick to get you to download malware.
  • If you haven’t recently run a virus scanner, be wary of warnings about viruses or infected devices. The site might be trying to scare you into downloading unwanted software.
  • Only download files or visit sites that you know are secure. Learn more about healthy browsing.

If a popup about updating or downloading a program looks suspicious, don’t click on it. Instead, go to the program’s official website to download it.

Android

Step 1: Remove problem apps

  1. On an Android phone or tablet, press and hold your device’s power button.
  2. On your screen, touch and hold Power off . Your device starts in safe mode. You’ll see “Safe mode” at the bottom of your screen
  3. One by one, remove recently downloaded apps. Learn how to delete apps.
    • Tip: To remember the apps that you remove so that you can add them back, make a list.
  4. After each removal, restart your device normally. See whether removing that app solved the problem.
  5. After you remove the app that caused the problem, you can add back the other apps that you removed. Learn how to reinstall apps.

Step 2: Protect your device from problem apps

  1. Make sure Play Protect is on:
    1. Open your Android device’s Google Play Store app .
    2. Tap Menu   Play Protect.
    3. Turn on Scan device for security threats.
  2. Consider purchasing and downloading an anti-malware app, like Malwarebytes.

Step 3: Stop notifications from a certain website

If you’re seeing annoying notifications from a website, turn off the permission:

  1. On your Android phone or tablet, open the Chrome app .
  2. Go to a webpage.
  3. To the right of the address bar, tap More   Info .
  4. Tap Site settings.
  5. Under “Permissions,” tap Notifications.
    • If you don’t see “Permissions” or “Notifications,” the site doesn’t have notifications turned on.
  6. Turn the setting off.

About the Author

Sande Kennedy is the founder and Editor in Chief of SandeKennedy.co.ke & Kenyans247.co.ke He is a Kenyan-based Internetprenuer,blogger Political Activist & informer who has an interest in politics, governance, corporate-fraud and human-interest. Kindly drop me a note if you feel aggrieved on any matter that you would want to be highlighted  Twitter: @nyosake , Instagram: @itssandekennedy WhatsApp: +254791890826 Read More about me here