Remove unwanted ads, pop-ups & malware

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.

Here are some steps you can take to get rid of unwanted software. In the future, avoid unwanted software by only downloading files or visiting sites that you know are secure.

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 Power. 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 Google Play.
    2. Tap Menu Menu and then 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 Chrome.
  2. Go to a webpage.
  3. To the right of the address bar, tap More More and then Info Information.
  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.

More info about malware

How to spot malware (video, 2:30)

Three tips for spotting malware (2:30)

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 sweepstakes 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.

Megan is a Google Chrome expert and the author of this help page. Help her improve this article by leaving feedback below.

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