Remove “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension

If a Chrome extension displays a “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” message, then your Google Chrome browser may be infected with an adware program.
The “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” was created by Google to help the developers, however cyber criminals are using the enterprise policy to install malicious extension onto Google Chrome. The reason why they are doing this is that because the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” extensions are managed and cannot be removed or disabled via Chrome’s Extensions page.

[Image: This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled extension in Google Chrome]

The “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” Chrome extension is typically added when you install another free software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation an adware program. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed the malicious “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” extension without your knowledge.”

The “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” extensions are usually adware programs that displays pop-up ads, advertisement banners and sponsored links within Google Chrome.

If a Chrome user will try to remove the malicious extension, he will see on the Chrome’s extension page the following message next to the unwanted extension, and underneath there will be a message that will say: “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled“.
Cyber criminals are using the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed or disabled” because the malicious extension that are installed with this policy cannot be remove by Chrome users by simply clicking the Trash Can icon.

How to remove “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome extension (Virus Removal Guide)

This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension 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.

To remove any “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension, follow one of these options

OPTION 1: Remove “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension via the Command Prompt

STEP 1 : Use the Command Prompt to reset Google Chrome Group policy

  1. Open the Command Prompt by pressing “Windows Key + 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 extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension will now be removed from Chrome, and you should be able to remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension.

STEP 2: Reset Google Chrome to the default settings

The “Chrome Cleanup Tool” is an application developed by Google to help users remove software that may cause problems with Google Chrome, such as crashes, unusual startup pages or toolbars, unexpected ads you can’t get rid of, or otherwise changing your browsing experience.
It’s important to be remember that this program is not an antivirus application for your entire system, it only scans for programs interfering with your Google Chrome experience.

  1. You can download Chrome Cleanup Tool from the below link.
    CHROME CLEANUP TOOL LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Chrome Cleanup Tool”)
  2. When Chrome Cleanup Tool has finished downloading, start this program by double-clicking on the chrome_cleanup_tool icon as seen below.
    Double click on the Chrome Cleanup Tool icon
  3. Chrome Cleanup Tool will now scan Google Chrome for adware and browser hijackers. The scan should take less than 1 minute, and will report whether it found any malicious programs or not. If any malicious programs were detected, click on the “Remove suspicious programs” button and wait for the tool to tell you it has completed the process.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool Scanning
    If Chrome Cleanup Tool has not detected anything suspicious, then you can click on the “Continue” button and move to the next step.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool detecting adware
  4. Next, a new tab in Google Chrome will open, prompting you to reset Chrome to default settings. We recommend that you perform this reset as usually this will remove any browser hijackers that might affect your browser.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool Reset Google Chrome

STEP 3: Use Zemana AntiMalware Portable to remove the This extension is managed and cannot be removed browser hijacker

Zemana AntiMalware Portable is a free utility that will scan your computer for the This extension is managed and cannot be removed browser hijacker and other malicious programs.

  1. You can download Zemana AntiMalware Portable from the below link:
    ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE PORTABLE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Zemana AntiMalware Portable”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Portable” to perform a system scan with Zemana AntiMalware Free.
    Zemana AntiMalware portable
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this program. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to allow Zemana AntiMalware to run.
    Zemana AntiMalware User Account Control
  3. When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
    Zemana AntiMalware Free Scan
  4. Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your computer for malicious programs. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
    Zemana AntiMalware scanning for virus
  5. When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware that has been detected. To remove all the malicious files, click on the “Next” button.
    Zemana AntiMalware Removing This extension is managed and cannot be removed Virus
    Zemana AntiMalware will now start to remove all the malicious programs from your computer. When the process is complete, you can close Zemana AntiMalware and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 3: Use Malwarebytes to Scan for Malware and Unwanted Programs

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which should remove the This extension is managed and cannot be removed 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 from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK (This link open a new page from where you can download “Malwarebytes”)
  2. When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the “mb3-setup-consumer” file to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
    Malwarebytes installer
    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 installation.
    Malwarebytes User Account Control Prompt
  3. When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Setup Malwarebytes installer
    To install Malwarebytes on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Completing the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Perform a system scan with Malwarebytes
  5. Malwarebytes will now start scanning your computer for 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.
    Malwarebytes scanning for malware
  6. 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 Selected” button.
    Malwarebytes Quarantine Selected
  7. Malwarebytes will now quarantine 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.
    Malwarebytes removing malware from computer
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 5: Double-check for malicious programs 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. When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on the “hitmanpro” file to install this program on your computer.
    HitmanPro icon
    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.
    HitmanPro User Account Control Pop-up
  3. When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
    HitmanPro setup process
  4. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for This extension is managed and cannot be removed virus
  5. 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
  6. 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
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.

That’s it. You Google Chrome malware should be free from any malware.However, if you are still experiencing issue, please follow the below steps.


OPTION 2: Manually remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension

STEP 1 : Uninstall 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.

  1. Go to the uninstall menu.

    Windows 10 or Windows 8

    1. To uninstall a program on Windows 10 or Windows 8, right-click on the Windows Start button and choose “Control Panel” from the pop-up menu.
      Control Panel in Windows 10
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      Uninstall A Program on Windows 10

    Windows 7 or Windows Vista

    1. If you are using Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the “Start” button, then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.
      [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      [Image: Uninstall a program]

  2. When the “Programs and Features” screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall any suspicious programs.
    Known malicious programs: Dns Unlocker, Cinema Plus, Price Minus, SalesPlus, New Player, MediaVideosPlayers, Browsers_Apps_Pro, PriceLEess, Pic Enhance, Sm23mS, Salus, Network System Driver, SS8, Save Daily Deals, Word Proser, Desktop Temperature Monitor, CloudScout Parental Control, Savefier, Savepass, HostSecurePlugin, CheckMeUp and HD-V2.2.

    The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. To view the most recently installed programs, you can click on the “Installed On” column to sort your program by the installation date. Scroll through the list, and uninstall any unwanted or unknown programs.

    If you cannot find any unwanted programs on your machine, you can proceed with the next step.

    If you are having issues while trying to uninstall a program, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.

    Remove adware from Windows

STEP 2: Find the name of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious extension and write down its ID

  1. Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
  2. In the Extensions tab, to find the ID of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious extension, enable the “Developer mode” by putting a check-mark in its box as seen below.
    Next, you we will need to write down the ID and the name of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious extension, then we can close Google Chrome.
    [Image: This extension is managed and cannot be removed Chrome extension ID]
    In our case the malicious extension name is: YoutubeAdBlocker 1.2 and it’s ID is: hfgknhajhghfgnmdbfickicmhnkcce, however in your case the name and ID of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” might be different.

STEP 3: Delete the malicious registry key that keeps re-installing the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension in Google Chrome

  1. If you are using Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP, click on the Start button, then in the search box, type: regedit.exe and click on Regedit as seen below.
    If you are using Windows 8, drag your mouse to the right edge of your screen, then type in the the search box: regedit.exe and click on Regedit.
    [Image: Open the Windows Registry Editor]
    Alternatively, you can press the Windows Key + R to open the Run box, then type regedit.exe to open the Windows Registry Editor.
    NOTE: Depending on your version of Windows, and how it’s configured, you may see a User Account Control dialog box where you’ll need to confirm that you want to open Registry Editor.
  2. The Registry Editor window should now open, and we will need to click on Edit and select Find next from the drop down menu.
    [Image: Click on Edit then select Find next]
  3. In the Find next box type the ID of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious extension that you have written down in the previous stage, then click on Find next.
    [Image: Type the ID of the malicious extension]
    After the search will be performed, the Registry Editor should show you a registry key in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Google\Chrome\ExtensionInstallForcelist as seen below.
    Right-click on the registry key (usually represented by a number), and from the menu select Delete.
    [Image: Remove the This extension is managed and cannot be removed registry key]
  4. A confirmation window should now pop-up and you will need to click on Yes to confirm that you want to delete this malicious registry key.
    [Image: Confirm that you want to delete the malicious registry key]
    Now, we can close the Windows Registry Editor.

STEP 4: Remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious folder from your computer

  1. The “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” folder is usually hidden, so to see the malicious folder we will need to enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option.
    To view the hidden files and folders, click on the Start button, and click on Computer. Next ,click Organize and choose Folder and Search Options.
    If you are using Windows 8 from the Control Panel, type “folder” in the search box and select Folder Options.
    Folder and Search Option
    Click the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders and drives, then click on Apply and then OK.
    Show hidden files, folders and drives
  2. Open Google Chrome, type in the omnibox (Address Bar) to chrome://policy/, then in the Policies window click on Show Value.
    [Image: Click on Show value to see the malicious folder]
    As you can see below there’s a path on your computer pointing to an extension update file.
    [Image: This extension is managed and cannot be removed malicious folder]
    In our case the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious folder is located in C:/ProgramData/YoutubeAdblocker, however the path may be different in your case.

    In some cases the malicious program path is not showm, if you cannot find the path you can skip to the next point from this step.

    Browse to the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious folder that we’ve previously found with the chrome://policy/ command. In our case is C:/ProgramData/YoutubeAdblocker, however your path may be different.
    After you have found the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious folder, right click on it, and then select Delete to remove the folder.
    [Image: Delete This extension is managed and cannot be removed malicious folder]

  3. Unwanted extension’s files are stored in Chrome’s default extensions folder as well. You need to delete the directory corresponding to the noted ID.
    • If you are using Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8, browse to : %LOCALAPPDATA%\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions (e.g C:\Users\Your-Username\AppData\Local\GOOGLE\CHROME\USER DATA\DEFAULT\Extensions).
    • Or if you are using Windows XP, browser to: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extension.

    Then, search the folder which has the ID which of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious extension, then right-click on it and select Delete.
    [Image:Remove This extension is managed and cannot be removed malicious extension folder]
    In our case the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” malicious Chrome extension was hfgknhajhghfgnmdbfickicmhnkcce, however in your case is most likely different.

  4. Finally, we will need to browse to %windir%\system32\GroupPolicy\ (e.g. C:\Windows\system32\GroupPolicy), and from there delete the Machine and User folders.
    [Image: Delete Machine and User folders]

OPTION 3: Use “System Restore” to remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension

System Restore uses restore points to return your system files and settings to an earlier point in time without affecting personal files. Restore points are created automatically every week, and just before significant system events, such as the installation of a program or device driver. Before you start System Restore, save any open files and close all programs.

Use “System Restore” to remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” Chrome Extension

  1. To restore Windows 7, Windows Vista or Windows XP to an previous restore point, you can follow the this video:
  2. When the System Restore has completed its task, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro, and scan your computer for any left over infections.

Use System Restore to remove the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension from Windows 8 or Windows 10

  1. To restore Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 to an previous restore point, you can follow the this video:
  2. When the System Restore has completed its task, download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro, and scan your computer for any left over infections.

Your Google Chrome browser should now be free of the “This extension is managed and cannot be removed” extension. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove This extension is managed and cannot be removed Extension from Google Chrome, please do one of the following:

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STELIAN PILICI
I've started MalwareTips 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.

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