Remove search engine, homepage, and extensions
If you notice that some of your Chrome settings have changed, but you didn't intentionally change them, your computer may have malware or a program installed that caused the changes.
Malware is malicious software designed to harm your computer. You can get malware from downloading files or visiting insecure sites. If you’ve found a site that you think has malware, report the malicious site.
Common settings that are changed
- Search engine changes to an unfamiliar search engine
- Homepage or start up page changes to a site you don't recognize
- Unfamiliar extensions are added to Chrome
- Pop-up ads are not blocked
- Toolbars are added to Chrome
- The Chrome desktop shortcut opens an unfamiliar website
To undo changes, reset your Chrome browser settings. Your bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed but you'll need to customize things like your startup page, search engine, and browser theme again.
- Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
- Select Settings.
- Click Show advanced settings and find the "Reset browser settings" section.
- Click Reset browser settings.
Settings that are reset:
- Default search engine and saved search engines will be reset and to their original defaults.
- Homepage button will be hidden and the URL that you previously set will be removed.
- Default startup pages will be cleared.
- New Tab page will be empty unless you have a version of Chrome with an extension that controls it. In that case your page may be preserved.
- Pinned tabs will be unpinned.
- Content settings will be cleared and reset to their installation defaults.
- Cookies and site data will be cleared.
- Extensions will be turned off.
- Custom themes will be removed.
- Chrome desktop shortcut path will be cleared.
Get help from the Chrome Help Forum
If resetting your browser settings doesn't work, you can get more help in the Chrome Help Forum. Below is a list of programs that consistently cause changes to Chrome settings. Click a link to go the forum.
If you don't see your program listed, visit the post below for help:
More info about malware
How people get malware
Malware can sneak onto your computer in different ways. Below are some common ways people get malware.
- Downloads: Some software programs come bundled together. You may download one program and get another program along with it. The program you didn’t want can run in the background and add things like toolbars or ads to Chrome.
- Extensions: Safe extensions that you have on your computer are sometimes purchased by malicious hackers. When the extension gets updated, malware can be installed on your computer.
How to avoid malware
Keeping your computer in a good shape is like spring cleaning your house every year. To prevent malware, regularly perform the tasks below:
- When you download programs and extensions, pay attention to the fine print details and any auto-checked checkboxes. Make sure that you understand what programs are being installed.
- Routinely scan your computer for malware with antivirus software you trust.
- Uninstall programs that you don't remember installing.