Remove unwanted ads, pop-ups and 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 won't go away.
- Your Chrome homepage or search engine keeps changing without your permission.
- Unwanted Chrome extensions or toolbars keep coming back.
- You keep getting redirected to unfamiliar web pages.
Here are some steps that 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 unwanted programs from Chrome (Windows only)
If you use a Mac or Linux computer, move on to Step 2.
Chrome helps you find suspicious or unwanted programs on your Windows computer.
- When Chrome offers to remove unwanted programs, click Remove. Chrome will remove the software, set some settings to default, and turn off extensions.
- If you're asked to restart, click Restart computer.
- On the prompt, click Details.
- To see the suspicious files, click Show files to be removed.
- Click Remove. Chrome will remove the software, set some settings to default, and turn off extensions.
- On your Windows computer, visit the Chrome Clean-Up Tool website.
- Click Download now.
- Read the terms of service and click Accept and Download.
- When the file is downloaded, you'll see it at the bottom. Click the filename (chrome_cleanup_tool.exe).
- Windows will ask if you want to run the file. Click Run.
- The Chrome Clean-Up Tool will scan your computer. You'll see a list of any malicious software found.
- Click Remove suspicious programs.
- Chrome will open a new tab and ask you to reset your settings. Click Reset.
To turn extensions that you trust back on, at the top right, click More More Tools Extensions. Tick the box next to 'Enable'.
To learn more about what data is collected and how it's used, read the Google Chrome Privacy Whitepaper.
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 remove malware and other programs on your computer that you don't remember installing.
- On your Mac computer, at the bottom, open Finder.
- On the left, click Applications.
- Look for any programs that you don't recognise.
- Right-click the name of any unwanted programs.
- Click Move to Bin.
- When you're finished, at the bottom, right-click recycle bin.
- Click Empty Recycle Bin.
Step 3: Reset your browser settings (all computers)
- On your computer, open Chrome.
- At the top right, click More Settings.
- At the bottom, click Advanced.
- Under 'Reset', click Reset.
- Confirm by clicking Reset.
More info about malware
Learn what to look for when you have malware on your computer and how to stay safe online.
Watch out for things that look too good to be true. Winning a sweepstake 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.