Does your Google Chrome have a virus? If you don’t know, there’s a way for you to tell. You will find out the method in this guide. If you want to find the reasons and causes for the malware infestation, you will find them below as well. But that’s not it!
This guide comprises various solutions that you can use to fix these issues. The solutions vary from Windows users to Mac, iOS, and Android users. Hence, it is a full-fledged guide.
After all, Google Chrome is quite a popular web browser but is prone to getting malware. Read this article to find out how to remove malware from Chrome browser easily. So, this is your ultimate guide to the best methods to solve the issue. Let’s remove malware from Google Chrome!
How To Know If Google Chrome Has Malware?
This section will tell you how to find out if your Google Chrome has a virus. Remember that you have to act fast if any of these points match. There won’t be enough time before it infects your entire system.
Here is a checklist that will help you tell if your browser has malware:
- Usually, the first tell is on the Chrome homepage. If you have set a specific homepage, but it has changed, there could be malware. But that’s not enough to tell. If this continues even after you reset the homepage, the probability increases. The same goes for the default search engine.
- There’s a problem loading the websites, even with cached files. This especially applies to websites you visit or use almost regularly. If that’s the case, it could be malware interference in Chrome.
- Somehow, Chrome downloads some unknown and unwanted files or programs. In some cases, they even get installed from Chrome. This goes for extensions, and applications for the device, as well.
- Do you see frequent pop-up ads on Google Chrome? It can happen even when you’re visiting authentic websites. If this is the case, there’s a strong possibility.
- Check the extensions and toolbar options. See if there are any you don’t recognize. If you uninstall them, do they reappear? If the extensions keep coming back, it means malware.
- Do you get redirected to an unknown website or gateway? You end up looking at the content that is not from your region. Either of these could hint towards virus problems.
- If Google Chrome’s performance has declined, it could be malware. Google Chrome already hogs a lot of PC’s resources. If it takes an excessive toll, responding slow, crashing, you might want to look into it. In these cases, most of the time, it is a malware problem.
Points To Take Care Of Before Removing Malware From Chrome
Before we start diagnostics and solutions, keep these points in mind. Think of these as a checklist. It can potentially help you reduce the impact or the malware’s spread. More importantly, you can solve a lot of problems if you follow this protocol:
1. Save Your Bookmarks And Data
Before proceeding with the solutions, make sure to backup your Chrome Data. It can be risky, but you can back up the bookmarks. After all, you can restore everything else. Do the same for the saved passwords and other things.
- The best way to backup is by noting them down. This will prevent the malware from getting out of Chrome. You can use Notepad or other applications, even paper and pen.
2. Stop The Sync
You might want to check if you have data sync and other similar features on. It is the latest option that gives Chrome users the same experience across any device. So, you might want to reset it.
Why would you want to do that? Because it will prevent malware from syncing, just in case:
- Go to the Settings of your web browser.
- Find the People Section. If you can’t find that, it might be ‘You and Google.’
- You will find an option: Sync and Google Services. Click on it.
- Then go to the Data from Chrome sync.
- Click on Reset Sync. You can also manually check and disable any sync-related option. This will keep your device safe.
- Sometimes, it might have a ‘Turn off’ option and not the reset Sync option. You can give it a try, as well.
3. Check Chrome’s Resources Consumption
The best thing for you is to check via the Task Manager. It can let you know about the apps and programs consuming excessive resources. As mentioned before, if Chrome is at fault, it will consume the most resources.
- Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC for Windows Users. Then go to the Task Manager monitor and check it out.
- For Mac users, you will have an activity monitor: Go to Applications > Utility > Activity Monitor.
- Android and iOS users might not have such luxuries. You will have to check the App information to see if Chrome is causing the issue. In most cases, you might have device care showing the app consuming the most resources. See if it is Google Chrome.
You will also see if the culprit is another app. If you find another app suspicious, take immediate action.
How To Remove Malware From Google Chrome
- Update Google Chrome
- Remove Suspicious Extensions
- Clear Cache And Browsing Data
- Reset Google Chrome
- Use Safe Mode
- Use Device Care
- Use Play Protect
- Use Clean-Up Option In Windows
- Remove Malware From Mac
- Use Another Browser
- Use A Third-Party Anti-Malware
How To Remove Malware From Google Chrome?
1. Update Google Chrome
Google updates the threat definitions and the database. It often updates the Apps and browsers to release security patches. These patches help safeguard your browser from various threats. Not just malware. It will protect you from hacking and such.
Thus, you should always keep your Google Chrome Browser up to date. This goes for any platform (Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, etc.) that you use. The first thing that you need to do is check for updates.
- Windows and macOS users can go to Google Chrome’s menu. In About Google Chrome, you will see an option to check for updates. You can use it there.
- For Android and iOS users, go to the App Store. See if any new app updates are available and if Google Chrome is on the list. Make sure to update if there is such an option.
As a general tip: It is ideal to always keep your devices up to date. This goes for apps, OS, and everything else. It will prevent a lot of security breaches and keep your device safe.
2. Remove Suspicious Extensions
The next thing you can do is check for the add-ons and extensions Chrome has. We all know that Google Chrome is a highly compatible browser. Various developers and companies release new extensions every day. But so does the hackers. They might have released an extension your Google Chrome has, causing the issue.
So, the best thing that you can do is:
- Go to the extensions list on your Google Chrome. See if you have more than you expected.
- Remove every extension that you have not used in a good while. You will not use them anytime soon if you’ve not used them. This will save space, performance, and a lot of other things.
- Check and see if there is any extension you don’t remember installing. Remove it immediately. Do it for the extensions you can’t recognize.
- Remember that you might have to activate the Developer Mode to change the extensions.
After removing the extensions, restart Google Chrome. You can follow this method for any device and platform.
3. Clear Cache And Browsing Data
One of the best ways to secure your Google Chrome is by deleting all the data. You will have to go to the History of your Google Chrome. Thankfully, the method is the same for all the platforms, so follow through with this:
- Go to the History (CTRL +H for Windows and Mac users). Then, find the Clear Browsing Data option. Click on it.
- Then select ‘All Time.’ Make sure to delete Browsing History, Cookies, Cached Images & Files. Everything.
- Then go ahead, let Chrome do the job. Then restart Chrome.
Check for updates, and see if Chrome is causing any more issues like it did before.
4. Reset Google Chrome
This is one of the last resort, but it often works as the best solution. Resetting Google Chrome will wipe the slate clean. It means there won’t be any extensions, login account, or anything else. Thus, you will remove any harmful content from the browser, as well.
- Go to the Menu button at the top-right corner.
- Next, find the settings in the menu.
- Once you open Settings, go to the Advanced Settings option.
- There, you will find the Reset option.
- On some devices, it might just be the ‘Reset Settings’ option. For others, it will be ‘Restore Settings To Their Original Defaults.’ Click on it and follow through with the instructions.
Resetting is like a soft reinstall. If this works, then great. Otherwise, you might want to remove Google Chrome from your device. After that, reinstall it and see if it solves the issue.
Remove Malware From Android’s Google Chrome
There are three ways to remove Google Chrome’s malware from Android. No, it doesn’t come with a built-in scanner, either.
1. Safe Mode
The first option for you would be to access Safe Mode. It will restart your Android device in the basic settings. Thus, you can go ahead and find any suspicious app and remove it. You can also use it to uninstall Google Chrome and reinstall it. It is one of the best methods to solve malware issues on Android.
- Press and hold the power button for a couple of seconds. This will show you the power button options.
- Hold the ‘Turn off’ button for a while, and see if the Safe Mode option pops up. If not, then repeat the same action with the Restart button. One of those will have the option to restart in Safe Mode.
2. Use Device Care
The built-in device care and maintenance tool in your Android often has a threat scanner. It scans for harmful content like viruses, Malware, Ransomware, etc. So, you can launch it.
- Go to the Settings of your Android Device. You will find Device Care in the options.
- You will find an option to scan the entire phone or optimize it. Use it.
Each device care might have a different option tray. So, you might have to find the one to scan for the virus.
3. Use Play Protect
Google App Store in Androids comes with a Play Protect Scan. It works much like Chrome’s built-in scanner. You can use it to detect and remove any harmful content. For that, follow through with these steps:
- Open the Google Play Store.
- Click on your Account Icon in the top-right corner.
- Select Play Protect from the list of options.
- There you will find an option to scan.
Remember that Google Play Protect will scan your entire phone. If you don’t have a service like Device Care, this should be your option. It will protect your entire device from threats.
Clean Up Tool For Windows Chrome Users
There’s a malware scanner available for Google Chrome users on Windows. It is automated and will prompt you to remove the threat if there is any. But, you can also launch it manually:
- Launch Google Chrome. Go to the Menu button (three dots) at the top-right corner. In the menu, select Settings.
- In the Settings, find the ‘Advanced’ Settings options. You will find an option to Reset and Clean up. Select the Clean up Computer option.
- Ensure to uncheck the option that says ‘Send details to Google.’ Please check it on. If any threat is found, Chrome will report it to Google. Then, they will work on providing solutions if there aren’t any. It will also keep the other users safe in the long run.
- Once you launch the scan, it will start scanning the PC. If any malicious content gets discovered, you will get an option to remove them. You can click on the Remove button.
Once done, go ahead and restart your PC. It is that simple. There’s a quarantine built inside Google Chrome for users. If you think that there are some files Chrome removed by mistake, you can restore them. All you need to do is access Quarantine. For that, follow these:
- Go to your Documents and the User profile that you use. Then, follow this path: AppData\Local\Google\Chrome Cleanup Tool\Quarantine.
- Once you access the Quarantine folder, you can select any file you wish to release. Then, right-click on it and select the Extract option.
- Next, you will have to access the Chrome Cleanup again. Provide the password, and it will restore the file.
Remove Google Chrome Malware from Mac
Mac doesn’t provide you with the luxury of using Chrome’s malware scanner. There isn’t one in Mac’s version of the Google Chrome browser. It is pretty challenging for any malware to break into a macOS, for starters.
Why’s that? Because it is an Apple product and OS. The best way to keep yourself safe in an Apple device is by keeping it up to date. It never fails to provide you with all the security you’ll need. But still, if that is not enough, you can give another solution a try.
If there’s an app, extension, or tool that you suspect, you can uninstall it:
- Launch the Finder app. It is the File Explorer of your Mac.
- In the left panel, you will find Applications in the options. Click on it.
- Now, go ahead and check the list of programs that you have. Is there any that stands out? Something that you don’t use or don’t remember installing.
- If you find any such program, right-click on it. Then select the ‘Move to Trash’ option.
- Make sure to check for any other program on the list. Do the same for it. This will automatically uninstall the program from your system, as well.
- Then, go to the Trash application. Right-click and select the ‘Empty Trash’ button to remove the program.
So, keep your macOS, applications, and Chrome up to date. Use the above-given method to remove malware in other cases. If your Chrome is infected, delete it, and reinstall it.
If Nothing Worked So Far
If none of the solutions have worked so far, there’s a possibility that the problem is in your device. It could be that the source of Malware is different. In this case, you will have to use the diagnosis and solutions for each platform. You can also try these two options before concluding:
1. Use Another Browser
If even resetting and reinstalling Chrome didn’t work, try another browser. Why should you do that? The problem could be in some compatibility between the device and Chrome.
These problems are rare but possible. In these cases, you might have to diagnose your device. That is an entirely different matter. It could also mean that your device is infected, not Chrome.
For this to check out, you can use other authentic web browsers. There are plenty of options available. Check and see if they are working fine. See if your device has malware. If not, you might want to stick to the solution and contact Google Customer Support.
2. Use A Third-Party Anti-Malware
If you genuinely want to remove the malware from Chrome, or your system, use a third-party security tool. These work to take care of your issues and grant you exceptional protection. But, take care of these things:
- Windows 10 and 11 come with built-in Windows Defender. You can use it to scan for malware.
- Mac users might have a similar tool or have to purchase one.
- Make sure to always use premium tools for all the platforms, Android, iOS, and macOS. Even for the Windows
- Don’t fall for unknown and free third-party antivirus and maintenance tools. They are most likely the culprits.
This marks the end of the ultimate guide. Now you know how to tell if your Google Chrome has malware. You can also diagnose and fix the issue. But, always keep your options open. As mentioned, the problem could be in your device or some other app. So, keep yourself aware and secure.
Remember that all the platforms have undergone significant improvements. They all offer well-versed protection. To keep them in the game, all you need to do is update them. So, keep your devices and OS up to date to avoid malware and other problems.