How Do I Recover a Hijacked Google Browser?

By Paul Higgins

Learn how to recover your hijacked Chrome browser by removing the virus from your computer and resetting the browser's settings.

Certain types of viruses specifically target Web browsers by changing the default home page or search engine, automatically opening pop-up windows containing ads or redirecting users to websites affiliated with the creators of the malware. If such a virus has infected your Google Chrome browser, remove the virus using anti-virus software, and reset Chrome's settings.

Tip

Software developers sometimes bundle browser hijackers along with a legitimate application's installation files in an effort to increase revenue. When installing a new program, always pay close attention to the options the setup program displays and decline the installation of untrusted bundled programs, such as toolbars, browser extensions or search tools.

Remove the Virus From Your Computer

To remove the malware from your machine, install a free anti-virus program such as Avast Free Antivirus, BitDefender Antivirus Free Edition or Panda Free Antivirus 2015 and run a full system scan.

Tip

  • Update the anti-virus application's definition files before running a system scan to ensure detection of the most recent threats.
  • Certain viruses prevent users from visiting the websites of anti-virus software developers. If you are unable to download installation files from Avast, BitDefender or Panda's websites, consider downloading them on a different PC and transferring them to the infected computer by using a USB drive.
  • Browser hijackers can embed themselves deeply into your operating system, and a standard anti-virus scan may fail to properly remove them. If you still experience issues after running a full system scan, consider performing a Google search using "remove X" as a key phrase, where "X" is the name of the hijacker you wish to remove or the domain name of the website your browser loads when the hijacker redirects it. Visit the pages listed in the search results to find out whether alternate removal methods exist for the hijacker that infected your machine. Those methods may include editing your registry, downloading a removal tool or running a scan using a specific anti-malware program.

Reset Chrome's Settings

Resetting Chrome's settings brings your browser back to a near out-of-the-box state, therefore undoing any changes a virus may have made to your home page, default search engine or startup tabs.

Warning

Resetting Chrome's settings deletes cookies and disables any installed themes or extensions.

Step 1

Open Chrome's Settings page by clicking Settings in the Chrome menu.

Chrome menu open, with Settings option highlighted.

Step 2

Click the Show Advanced Options link to reveal the browser's advanced settings.

Show Advanced Settings link on Chrome's Settings page.

Step 3

Click Reset Settings.

Reset Settings button at the bottom of Chrome's Settings page.

Step 4

Select Reset to finish the process.

Tip

Untick the Help make Google Chrome better by reporting the current settings check box if you wish to prevent Chrome from uploading your settings anonymously to Google.

Reset Settings pop-up frame, with Reset button highlighted.