Stop unwanted ads, popups, or browser malware

If you're seeing popup ads that won't go away, or the homepage you set is gone, you may have unwanted software or malware installed on your computer. Here are some steps you can take to get rid of this program and block similar ones from getting installed in the future.

Look for malware and unwanted software

Changes could be caused by bad software known as malware. You can get malware from downloading files or visiting sites that aren’t secure. Here are some clues that a suspicious program is affecting Google Chrome:

Get your browser settings back

Windows computer

Step 1: Chrome Cleanup Tool

To help find and remove unwanted software , you can download and run the Chrome Cleanup Tool. It's an application that searches your computer for suspicious programs and offers to remove them for you.

Learn more about the Chrome Cleanup Tool and what it removes.

Step 2: Remove malicious programs with your computer's anti-virus

If you've purchased or downloaded antivirus software, you can 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. It's available for Mac computers, Windows computers, and mobile devices.

Step 3: Reset browser settings

After you have removed malicious programs from your computer, reset your Chrome browser settings. Your bookmarks and passwords won't change, but you'll need to customize things like your startup page, search engine, and browser theme again.

  1. In the top-right corner of the browser window, click the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
  4. Under the section "Reset settings," click Reset settings.
  5. In the dialog that appears, click Reset.
Mac computer

Step 1: Remove malicious programs

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

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

  1. In the bottom right corner of your screen, open Finder.
  2. On the left side of the box that appears, click Applications.
  3. Look for any programs you don't recognize. Then do one of these:
    • Double-click Uninstall or Uninstaller, follow the onscreen steps.
    • If you don't see these options, drag the icon from the Applications folder into the Trash.
  4. Empty your trash when you're done.

You can also try MalwareBytes, an anti-malware program that can find other malicious software that the Chrome Cleanup Tool might not remove. It's available for Mac computers, Windows computers, and mobile devices.

Step 2: Reset browser settings

After you have removed malicious programs from your computer, reset your Chrome browser settings. Your bookmarks and passwords won’t change, but you'll need to customize things like your startup page, search engine, and browser theme again.  

  1. In the top-right corner of the browser window, click the Chrome menu Chrome menu.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. At the bottom, click Show advanced settings.
  4. Under the section "Reset settings," click Reset settings.
  5. In the dialog that appears, click Reset.

Block potentially problematic programs

Click to see some common programs that might change your settings.

Programs known to cause problems

  • BrowseFox
  • PullUpdate
  • Vitruvian
  • V-Bates
  • SearchProtect
  • SupTab
  • MySearchDial
  • SaveSense
  • Price Meter
  • Mail.ru Sputnik/Guard
  • Conduit Toolbars, Community Alerts & ValueApps
  • Wajam
  • Multiplug
  • Shopper Pro
  • Stormwatch
  • SmartBar
  • Dealply
  • SmartWeb
  • MySearch123
  • AdPea
  • Etranslator
  • CouponMarvel
  • PriceFountain
  • Techsnab
  • Colisi 
  • BrApp
  • LuckyTab
  • OneCall
  • Crossrider
  • Eorezo
  • Consumer Input
  • Content Defender
  • Movie Dea
     

If you ran Chrome Cleanup Tool and found a program that wasn't able to be removed, you can report it here.

 

These programs are targeted for removal by the Windows-only Chrome Cleanup Tool because we know they change your settings without your consent. If you're a Mac user, you can use an antivirus software to remove them.

Still not working?

If the troubleshooting steps above don't work, visit the Chrome Help Forum.

More info about malware

Click below to learn more about malware and how to fix it.

More about the Chrome Cleanup Tool (Windows computers only)

The Chrome Cleanup Tool looks for programs known to cause trouble for Chrome. Some of these programs aren't typical cases of malware, so your antivirus or security software might not pick them up. The Chrome Cleanup Tool doesn't scan for all types of computer viruses.

If the Chrome Cleanup Tool  finds programs on your computer, it asks if you want to send results back to Google. This helps Google better understand the programs that are causing issues on Chrome.

At the bottom of the window, click “information about your computer” to see details about what would be sent. If you don't want to send this info, simply uncheck the box “Help improve this tool by sending information about your computer to Google.”

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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