Remove “This setting is enforced by your administrator” from Chrome (Guide)

If you are seeing the “This setting is enforced by your administrator” policy under a search engine in Google Chrome, then your computer is infected with a browser hijacker.

This setting is enforced by your administrator virus

The “This setting is enforced by your administrator” was created by Google to help administrators, however cyber criminals are using this type of policy to change your default search . The reason why they are doing this is that because the “This setting is enforced by your administrator” search engines are managed and cannot be easily removed or disabled via Chrome’s Search Settings page.

These type of browser hijackers got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed this malicious program without your knowledge.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Smartsputnik.ru browser hijacker. 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.

How to remove This setting is enforced by your administrator from Google Chrome

This page is a comprehensive guide which will remove This setting is enforced by your administrator browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
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.

STEP 1: Reset the Group Policy to the default settings

  1. Open the Command Prompt by pressing “Win + X”, and click on “Command Prompt (Admin)” to open it in Administrator mode.
    Command Prompt Admin

    You can easily open the command prompt by typing “cmd” into the search box (Win + S), then right-click and choose Run as Administrator

    Command Prompt Windows 10

  2. In the Command prompt type (or copy/paste) the following commands:
    1. Type:
      rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
      Press Enter.
    2. Type:
      rd /S /Q "%WinDir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
      Press Enter.
    3. Type:
      gpupdate /force
      Press Enter.

    Reset Group policy Windows

    You should see the following notifications after the commands been run:
    User Policy update has completed successfully.
    Computer Policy update has completed successfully
    Group policy reset Windows 10
  3. The “This setting is enforced by your administrator” policy will now be removed from Google Chrome, and you should be able to change your default search engine.

STEP 2: Scan your computer with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which should remove the This setting is enforced by your administrator redirect from your machine. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Icon
    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.
    Windows asking permission to install Malwarebytes
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and will update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Start a scan with Malwarebytes scan
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the This setting is enforced by your administrator malware. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scanning for malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Remove Selected” button.
    To remove malware click on the Remove Selected button
  7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    Restart computer to complete the malware removal process
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 3: Scan your computer with HitmanPro

HitmanPro can find and remove malware, adware, bots, and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. HitmanPro is designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall, and other security tools.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “HitmanPro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “HitmanPro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows).
    HitmanPro Icon
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    HitmanPro setup process
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for This setting is enforced by your administrator virus
  4. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Activate HitmanPro to remove malware

(OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Scan your computer with Zemana AntiMalware

Zemana AntiMalware is a powerful utility which will remove all types of malware from your browser.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
  1. You can download Zemana AntiMalware from the below link:
    ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Zemana AntiMalware”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.exe” to start the installation of Zemana AntiMalware.
    Double-click on the Zemana AntiMalware to instal it
    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.
    Zemana AntiMalware UAC
  3. Click on the “Next” button, to install Zemana AntiMalware on your computer.
    Zemana AntiMalware installation
    When you reach the “Select Additional Tasks” screen, you can opt-out the “Enable Real Time Protection” option, then click on the “Next” button.
    Opt-out of the real-time protection feature
  4. When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button.
    Scan computer with Zemana AntiMalware
  5. Zemana AntiMalware will now scan computer for malicious files. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
    Zemana AntiMalware performing a scan
  6. When Zemana AntiMalware has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Next” button, to remove the malicious files from your computer.
    Zemana AntiMalware removing malware
    Zemana AntiMalware will now remove all the detected malicious files and at the end a system reboot may be required to remove all traces of malware.

(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset Google Chrome to the default settings

If you are still experiencing issues with browser redirects, we will need to reset Google Chrome to its default settings.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

Google Chrome has an option that will reset itself to its default settings. Resetting your browser settings will reset the unwanted changes caused by installing other programmes. However, your saved bookmarks and passwords will not be cleared or changed.

  1. Click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three dots. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
    Google Chrome Settings button
  2. 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 Show advanced settings link (as seen in the below example).
    Google Chrome Advanced Settings
  3. Chrome’s advanced Settings should now be displayed. Scroll down until the Reset browser settings section is visible, as shown in the example below. Next, click on the Reset browser settings button.
    Google Chrome Reset button
  4. 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 button.
    Reset Google Chrome settings

Your computer should now be free of the This setting is enforced by your administrator browser hijacker.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove This setting is enforced by your administrator redirect from your machine, you can ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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I am the creator and owner of the MalwareTips Community. I've started this site in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems. My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released. I live in Bucharest, where I run my own local computer repair shop. You can follow me on Google+ and I will keep you up-to-date with the latest computer infections and malware threats.