If your Chrome browser is constantly being redirected to unwanted sites or advertisements are popping up while you browse the Internet, then it is possible that you have malware installed on your computer.
Is my Chrome browser infected with malware?
When the Chrome browser is infected with malware, your homepage or search engine might change without your consent, or you’ll see pop-up ads and unwanted advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. The most common types of browser infections are: browser hijackers, malicious extensions and adware. Let’s take a look at each of these threats:
- Browser hijackers are not something new and malware developers have been using this technique for years to generate traffic to their sites, gathering search terms and redirect users to websites from where they’ll receive a commission or some sort of revenue. In most cases, the browser hijacker will change your browser search provider to generate advertising revenue by using Yahoo Search, Bing Search, or Google Search for its search results.
- Adware is unwanted software designed to throw advertisements up on your screen, most often within a web browser.
The above images are examples of unwanted advertisements within the browser that are usually caused by adware installed on your computer. These ads will overlay the content on the page and when you click on a link, it will just open a pop-up to another advertisement. When a malicious program displays advertisements it will either display them in pop-up windows, directly on a web page you are visiting, or will appear as videos, banners, moving ads, or like folded down the page in the top right corner of the web site. Also, you might experience new tabs opening, a change in your home page, findings from a search engine you never heard of, or even a redirect to an NSFW website.
- Malicious browser extensions are offered through advertisements and once installed can collect private data about your browsing habits, or change your browser settings. If you see a new browser extension that you don’t remember installing, there’s a good chance there’s malware on your system.
Here are a few typical signs that your Chrome browser is infected with malware:
- Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
- Your browser search engine is changed without your consent
- Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
- Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
- Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
- Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
- Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.
Why am I seeing pop-up ads and redirects in Chrome?
You are seeing pop-up ads in your Chrome browser because you are either infected with a malicious program or another web site is redirecting you to them.
This guide was written to help Windows users remove malware from their devices, so if you’re just looking for a way to block redirects or pop-up ads on a specific site, then you can use a free Chrome browser extension like Adblock.
The malicious programs that target Chrome users are being distributed using advertisements or are bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.
To check your computer for malware and remove it for free, please use the guide below.
Remove Malware, Redirects and Pop-up Ads from Chrome (Free Guide)
This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, stop and ask for our assistance.
To remove malware, redirects and pop-ups from Chrome, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
- STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes Free to remove adware and browser hijackers
- STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
- STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with AdwCleaner
- STEP 5: Reset Chrome browser settings to remove malicious extensions and adware
STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.
Go to “Programs and Features”.
- On the Start menu, type Control Panel in the search box and select “Control Panel” from the results.
- When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under the “Programs” category.
Windows 8Right-click on the Start button in the lower-left corner and select “Programs and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
- If you can’t find the Programs and Features in the Start menu, type “programs and features” into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Programs and Features” result.
- If you don’t have a Start button, you are likely running Windows 8 instead of Windows 8.1. Press the Windows key + X to open the menu instead and select “Programs and Features”.
- Click on Start, then select “Control Panel”.Start by clicking on the Start button, then click on “Control Panel”.
If you don’t see “Control Panel” here, type control panel into the search bar at the bottom of the Start window, then click the “Control Panel” result.
- When the “Control Panel” appears, click on “Uninstall a Program” from the Programs category.
- On the Start menu, type Control Panel in the search box and select “Control Panel” from the results.
Find the malicious program and uninstall it.
The “Programs and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button that appears on the top toolbar.
Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.
Here are some known malicious programs: PDFPoof, BatBitRst, MessengerNow, SearchAd, MyPrintableCoupons, Reading Cursors, ProMediaConverter, PDFOnline-express, See Scenic Elf, Clickware, Easy Speedtest, or WebDiscover.
The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. If you cannot find any malicious programs on your computer, you can continue with STEP 2.
Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.
In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Yes, then follow the prompts to uninstall the program.
Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.
STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes Free to remove adware and browser hijackers
Malwarebytes Free is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes Free.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the Malwarebytes installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you on what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.
Select “Use Malwarebytes Free”.
After installing Malwarebytes, you’ll be prompted to select between the Free and the Premium version. The Malwarebytes Premium edition includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and ransomware protection, however, we will use the Free version to clean up the computer.
Click on “Use Malwarebytes Free“.
Click on “Scan”.
To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware and other malicious programs. This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for malware and unwanted programs
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to the their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30-day trial to enable the cleanup.
You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts.
When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
Click on “Activate free license”.
Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with AdwCleaner
AdwCleaner is a free popular on-demand scanner which can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending AdwCleaner to users who still have malware related issues or just want to make sure their computer is 100% clean.
You can download AdwCleaner by clicking the link below.ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download AdwCleaner)
Double-click on the setup file.
Double-click on the file named “adwcleaner_7.x.x.exe” to start AdwCleaner. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Click on “Scan Now”.
When AdwCleaner will start, click on the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the AdwCleaner scan to complete.
AdwCleaner will now scan your PC for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
Click on “Clean & Repair”.
When AdwCleaner has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Clean & Repair” button to remove the malicious files from your computer.
Click on “Clean & Restart Now”
When the malware removal process is complete, AdwCleaner may need to restart your device. Click on the “Clean & Restart Now” button to finish the removal process.
When the process is complete, you can close Adwcleaner and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 5: Reset Chrome browser settings to remove malicious extensions and adware
Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programs. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.
To reset Google Chrome and remove malicious extensions and adware, follow these steps:
Click the menu icon, then click on “Settings”.
Click on Chrome’s menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Settings“.
Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link.
Click “Reset settings to their original defaults”.
Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Click on “Reset settings to their original defaults“.
Click “Reset Settings”.
A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
Your computer should now be free of malicious programs. If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps: