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


Step 1: Remove problematic 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.
    • Confirm you want to reboot your device in Safe mode. When you restart, at the bottom, you can find "Safe mode."
  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 problematic apps

Important: Make sure Play Protect is on.

  1. On your Android device, open Google Play Store Google Play.
  2. At the top right, tap your Profile picture or Initial and then Play Protect and then Settings Settings.
  3. Turn Scan apps with Play Protect on.

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 device, open Chrome Chrome.
  2. To change notifications, go to the site that you want to stop notifications from.
  3. At the top left, tap Page info Default (Secure) and then Permissions.
    • If you don't find "Permissions," the site doesn't have notifications turned on.
  4. Tap Notifications.
  5. Turn Show notifications off.

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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