Remove unwanted ads, pop-ups & malware

You might have unwanted software or malware installed on your computer if you experience:

  • 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


Change your default ads permissions

To prevent intrusive or misleading ads, change your site settings.
  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More and then Settings and then Privacy and security.
  3. Click Site settings and then Additional content settings and then Intrusive ads.
  4. Select the option you want as your default setting.

Remove unwanted programs on your Mac

Before you reset your browser settings on your Mac, check your computer for unwanted programs.

Manually remove malicious programs on your 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.

Reset your browser settings

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, select More More and then Settings.
  3. Select Reset settings and then Restore settings to their original defaults and then Reset settings.

If you reset your browser settings, you have to turn some extensions on. To turn extensions on, at the top right, select More More and then Extensions and then Manage extensions. Only turn on extensions you trust.

If the steps above don't work, go to the Chrome Help Forum.

Tip: If you’re a website owner, learn how to resolve malware or unwanted software issues related to your downloads.

More info about malware

How to spot malware (video, 1:42)

Three tips for spotting malware (1:42)

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
  • Beware of sites that may cause you to download unwanted software. For example, if you win a contest or get copyrighted content at no charge.
  • Beware of encrypted archives, like .zip files with a password required, that may bypass antivirus detection scans.
  • Beware of warnings about viruses or infected devices, especially if you haven’t recently used a virus scanner.
  • Avoid insecure connections when you visit sites and don’t download files from sites that don’t start with HTTPS. Learn how to check if a site's connection is secure.
  • Pay attention to Safe Browsing download warnings. To avoid antivirus detections, malicious actors may ask you to turn off or ignore warnings.
  • If a popup about a program update or download seems suspicious, don't click on it. Instead, go to the program's official website to download it.

Related resources

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