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Clean Chrome of unwanted ads, pop-ups, & malware

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

  • Pop-up ads won't go away.
  • Your Chrome homepage or search engine keeps changing or is not set to Google anymore.
  • Unwanted Chrome extensions or toolbars keep coming back.
  • You keep getting redirected to unfamiliar webpages.

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

Step 1: Remove unwanted programs from Chrome (Windows only)

If you use a Windows computer, the Chrome Cleanup Tool searches your computer for suspicious programs and offers to remove them for you. Learn more about what programs are removed.

If you use a Mac or Linux computer, move on to Step 2.

  1. On your Windows computer, visit the Chrome Cleanup Tool website.
  2. Click Download now.
  3. Read the terms of service, and click Accept and Download.
  4. When the file is downloaded, you'll see it at the bottom. Click the filename (chrome_cleanup_tool.exe).
  5. Windows will ask if you want to run the file. Click Run.
  6. The Chrome Cleanup Tool will scan your computer. You'll see a list of any malicious software found.
  7. Click Remove suspicious programs.
  8. Chrome will open a new tab, and ask you to reset your settings. Click Reset.

Step 2: Remove unwanted programs (all computers)

If you've bought or downloaded antivirus software, run the program to find and remove harmful programs.

You can also try MalwareBytes, an anti-malware program that can find other malicious software that the Chrome Cleanup Tool might not remove.

Manually remove malicious programs (Mac only)

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

  1. On your Mac computer, at the bottom, 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.

Step 3: Reset your browser settings (all computers)

  1. On your computer, open Chrome.
  2. At the top right, click More More.
  3. Select Settings.
  4. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
  5. Under the "Reset settings" section, click Reset settings.
  6. Confirm by clicking Reset.

Still not working? If the troubleshooting steps above don't work, visit the Chrome Help Forum. You can also report malicious software.

More info about malware

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.

To avoid malware in the future, only download files or visit sites that you know are secure. Learn more about healthy browsing.

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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