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Seeing a few too many pop-up ads while browsing online on Google Chrome? Is a new tab opening up out of nowhere? Wondering why Bing is now your default search engine? You may have an unfortunate case of malware on Chrome, and you’ll want to remove it.

Google Chrome is a popular choice for many users, and it’s developed advanced security tools to keep browsers safe and remove unwanted software (UsW). This includes Google Safe Browsing, which protects and notifies users if a website they’ve stumbled upon is compromised, and Enhanced Protection, which increases protection against dangerous sites.

In fact, as of Chrome 111, Google removed its popular Chrome Cleanup Tool on Windows since its other security measures are now more effective.

Sadly, this doesn’t mean your device is safe from browser hijackers, malicious extensions or nasty viruses. From slowing down your device to leading you to malware landing pages, malware on Chrome isn’t something you want to have. The good news is there are a few ways you can get rid of it.

How to remove malware on Chrome

First and foremost, using one of the best antivirus software is the best way to detect, prevent and remove any malware on Chrome. These can detect malware hiding anywhere on your device (browsers included) and easily remove them. That said, you’ll also want to reset your browser and remove any suspicious programs lingering around.

Use antivirus software to remove malware

The best antivirus software will detect and remove malicious programs and software affecting your device – including browser hijackers. Simply installing an antivirus and performing a system scan should be able to detect the source of the issue and get rid of it. What’s more, you don’t need to pay for all the security tools an antivirus service offers, as free antivirus software from providers such as Bitdefender, Avast One or AVG offers the same detection and removal features.

Install the antivirus and perform a quick or full scan to see if any malware on Chrome is hiding in plain sight.

Perform a safety check

Previously, the Clean up computer option would see if Chrome can find any UsW affecting your browser or device. This tool has now been removed, but you can perform a safety check and turn on Enhanced Protection to stop malware on Chrome instead.

  • On Google Chrome, click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
Google Chrome Settings
  • Select Privacy and security in the right-hand toolbar.
  • Under Safety check, click Check now (or the arrow to perform it again).
Malware on Google how to remove

If Chrome finds any issues, you’ll be able to tap on the option and follow the instructions to see how to handle the it. For those who don’t want to give malware hiding on web pages any chances, you can also turn on Advanced protection.

  • In Privacy and security, click on Safe Browsing under Safety Check (or Security under Privacy and security).
Malware on CHrome how to remove
  • Select Enhanced protection to turn it on.
Google Chrome Advanced security

Turning on enhanced protection does what it says on the tin. Google states it offers “faster, proactive protection against dangerous websites, downloads and extensions,” along with warning users about password breaches. It’s important to note that enhanced protection requires browsing data to be sent to Google.

The default standard protection also protects against these, but it won’t send URLs to Google’s Safe Browsing tool to check them or send samples of pages, downloads and extension activity to help Chrome discover new threats.

Remove a malicious Chrome extension

  • On Google Chrome, click on the puzzle “Extension” icon on the located next to the address bar.
  • Select Manage extensions.
How to remove a browser extension on Chrome
  • Find the Chrome extension you wish to remove, then click Remove.
  • A small pop-up will appear. Click Remove again.
How to remove a browser extension on Chrome

Reset your default browser settings

Malware on Chrome will alter your browser’s settings right under your nose. Since it can be difficult to find out all the specific changes made, you’ll want to reset your browser’s settings.

Find out how to reset settings in Google Chrome below:

  • On Google Chrome, click on the three vertical dots in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
Google redirects to Bing fix
  • Select Reset setting in the right-hand toolbar.
  • Click Restore settings to their original defaults and then select Reset settings.
Google redirects to Bing fix

This will reset Chrome settings and Chrome shortcuts, disable extensions, and delete cookies and temporary site data. This is a good way to undo what the sneaky malware on Chrome may have changed.

Remove suspicious programs

Malware on Chrome can sneak onto your device as programs disguised as harmless services. If antivirus software doesn’t detect these malicious programs, you can remove them yourself by heading into your computer’s Control Panel.

  • Use the search tool along the taskbar and type Control Panel on your Windows PC. Click on it.
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  • In the window that pops up, select Uninstall a program under Programs.
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Darragh Murphy
Darragh Murphy is fascinated by all things bizarre, which usually leads to assorted coverage varying from the mischievous world of online security to washing machines designed for earbuds. Whether it's connecting Scar from The Lion King to two-factor authentication or turning his love for laptops into a fabricated rap battle from 8 Mile, he believes there’s always a quirky spin to be made. When he's not checking out the latest devices and all things tech, he can be found swimming laps, watching terrible shark movies, and trying to find time to game.  Previous Editor at Laptop Mag and News Editor at Time Out Dubai, specialising in food culture, nightlife events, gaming, tech and entertainment.

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