If you happen to see or be redirected to random unwanted ads in Google Chrome, your computer or browser may be infected by adware or other potentially unwanted programs or extensions.
Adware can cause many problems within Google Chrome such as redirects, pop-ups or unwanted text ads and often this is due to one or more extensions (add-ons) installed within the browser.
But what is an Adware?
The Adware (short for advertising-supported software) is any software application that displays advertisements while it is running, it helps to recover development costs and to keep developers, as well as to generate profit for companies.
Some adware programs also include a code that tracks a user’s personal information and passes it to a third party without the user’s approval or knowledge. These programs are called spyware, or for most users not accustomed to a technical language, “virus“.
How to remove Adware from Chrome
On your computer or your browser you may have unwanted programs or malware if they were to view:
- Pop-up ads that do not close;
- A main page or a search engine that is not the default one;
- One or more redirects to unknown web pages;
- Extensions or toolbars installed that reappear in the browser even after hiding them without your consent;
Remove unwanted programs or extensions from Chrome (for Windows)
To detect and possibly remove unwanted programs on your PC, we can rely on Chrome cleanup tool.
It is a powerful tool (created by Google itself as you could guess from the name) that analyzes the computer and eliminates suspicious programs. The same browser, if it detects suspicious behavior (such as unwanted ads, crashes, new toolbars), may suggest downloading it.
Chrome Software Cleaner is compatible with all browsers, such as Firefox or Edge.
How to use Chrome Software Cleaner
- Once downloaded, Windows will ask you to run the file. Click on “Execute“;
- Chrome Software Cleaner will automatically scan your computer and display a list of any malicious software programs found.
- Once the scan is complete, click on “Remove suspicious programs“;
- Chrome will open a new tab and ask to reset the settings. Click on Restore.
Programs removed from Chrome cleanup tool are targeted because the software already knows which ones are modifying or using their data without consent.
Remove unwanted programs or extensions from Chrome (all computers)
- If you have an antivirus, try scanning to find and remove any malicious programs.
- In addition, we recommend installing and running MalwareBytes, an antimalware program that allows you to find other malicious programs that may not be removed by Chrome Cleanup Tool (not all software comes out with holes).
How to use Malwarebytes
Once downloaded and installed, the main Malwarebytes window has some tabs at the top, the one of our interest is “Scan“. It has three options:
- Quick scan: fast PC control, useful if you only suspect that your computer may have been infected (most of the time is sufficient);
- Full scan: in-depth control on the whole PC but very slow (it can last several hours);
- Flash scan: paid in the free version, we will not cover it in this article.
3. Restore browser settings (all computers)
- Open Chrome;
- Click on “More” (three vertical dots on the top right) and select “Settings“;
- Click on “Show advanced settings” below.
- Click on “Restore settings to their original default” in the “Reset and cleanup” section;
- Confirm by clicking on Restore.