Do you notice your Google Chrome browser suddenly filling up with ads and pop-ups? Well, Google is not the one delivering shady ads to your favorite browser. Some malicious trackers or unknown extensions may have taken over Google Chrome. Don’t give up your favorite browser for Microsoft Edge or Opera. Instead, try the tricks below and remove the browser hijacker from Google Chrome.
Sometimes removing a browser hijacker can be tricky. Before showing you how to remove the browser hijacker from Google Chrome, you should understand what exactly the term means and possible reasons for this behavior.
What is a browser hijacker
A browser hijacker claims to improve your web browsing experience. However, it spams you with banner ads and sometimes steals your personal information. RocketTab, Ask Toolbar, GoSave and Coupon Server are some of the examples of such “browsing experience enhancing” adware in Google Chrome.
There are several types of browser hijackers. Many claim to offer a helping hand in shopping or changing your IP address for free. Most of them hijack the search engine in the address bar. So, no matter what you search the web for, the hijacker code will send you ads and irrelevant results.
Here are some of the common Chrome browser hijackers:
Even if you have set Google as your default search engine in Chrome, these hijackers will change it to Yahoo or Bing to send fake personalized search results with advertisements.
A browser hijacker can compromise your computer in three ways: adware, tracking, and stealing personal information. They can steal your browsing history, personal information, bookmarks, and payment information. Now that you know what a Chrome hijacker is and how it can affect your data, follow the steps below to remove it.
1. Remove unwanted software from your desktop
You might accidentally expose your computer to spyware or adware when you download third party software or media files from unknown and sketchy sources on the web. You must identify them on your PC to delete them. First, you need to close these background apps.
Step 1: Right-click on the Windows key in the taskbar.
2nd step: Open the Task Manager menu.
Step 3: Find unnecessary applications running on your PC. Select them and click the End Task button.
Step 4: Open the Windows 11 Settings menu (use Windows + I keys).
Step 5: Select Apps & Features from the left sidebar. Open the Applications menu.
Step 6: Select the Uninstall button for unknown apps and confirm your decision.
2. Scan your PC using Windows Security
Even though we have dedicated streaming services for movies, music, and TV shows, many prefer to download them from unverified sources on the web. These free downloads come with strings and install malicious files in your computer. Although any reputable third-party antivirus application can remove the dummy files, you can use Windows Security to do the job.
Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for Windows Security.
2nd step: Select Virus & threat protection from the left sidebar.
Step 3: Run a quick scan on your computer.
3. Reset Google Chrome Settings
One way to eliminate any malicious adware or hijacker is to reset Google Chrome. When you reset Chrome settings, the browser removes the hijackers and reverts to the default Google search engine.
Step 1: Open Google Chrome on the desktop.
2nd step: Select the three-dot menu in the upper right corner.
Step 3: Open Settings.
Step 4: Select Reset Settings from the left sidebar.
Step 5: Click “Restore factory defaults” and confirm your decision.
4. Remove Unknown Extensions
Some browser hijackers often take over your web experience through extensions. So it’s a good idea to uninstall irrelevant extensions or those you no longer use from Google Chrome.
Step 1: Launch Google Chrome and click the More menu icon in the upper right corner. Expand More tools and select Extensions.
2nd step: Select the remove button under an extension and remove it from your browser.
Restart Google Chrome, reset browser settings (refer to the steps above) and try again. Browser hijackers shouldn’t bother you now.
Tips to prevent browser hijackers
Hijackers taking over Google Chrome is certainly not an ideal experience. After deleting them from your browser, follow the tips below to prevent it from happening again in the future.
- Do not download third party software from unofficial website. Stick only to official sources.
- Do not click or download software from affiliate links.
- Keep Google Chrome up to date.
- Scan your computer regularly.
Enjoy a secure web browsing experience
Some browser hijackers also direct you to fake payment sites with mind-blowing offers. When you add payment details, they steal the information in the background and drain your account in no time. If you frequently experience issues with browser hijackers on Chrome, you should consider switching to a secure browser like Brave on desktop.