Removing Chrome malware

Chrome Malware
There are two mistakes folks can make on their Chromebook or in the Chrome web browser on a desktop computer which can allow malware or adware to interrupt them with unwanted notifications or modify how their browser works.

A Quick-and-Dirty Fix

If you haven't time or energy to try to track down a particular offending notification setting or troublesome browser extension, you can try simply resetting your Chrome browser settings.

CAUTION: This will reset to their default values your search engine, your homepage and tabs, the new tab page, any pinned tabs, your content settings such as letting a site show you pop-ups or use your microphone, your cookies and site data, and any extensions and themes. If all that worries you, see the later sections of this post about Blocking unwanted notifications and Removing unwanted extensions.
  1. On your Chromebook or desktop computer, open the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. At the top right, click the more icon ⋮ (which sometimes turns into an exclamation point !).
  3. Click on Settings.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced.
  5. Scroll again to the bottom and click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  6. You'll be warned about all you are resetting, and can click Reset settings.
Hopefully that will clear up your problem. If not, you can try the specific fix approaches shown below.


Blocking unwanted notifications

Sample Notification
If you start getting unwanted pop-up notifications in your browser like the one shown, you probably clicked on 
Allow when you visited a website that caused a pop-up box saying it wanted to Show notifications.


Just say Block (unless its a Google app)

Notification allow or block prompt

You should usually click Block when asked that question, except when setting up Gmail or Google Calendar, since having Google Calendar notifications is always useful, and Gmail notifications are sometimes considered useful.

How to disable a notification
  1. On your Chromebook or desktop computer, open the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. At the top right, click the more icon ⋮ (which sometimes turns into an exclamation point !).
  3. Click on Settings.
  4. Scroll to the bottom and click Advanced.
  5. Under the Privacy and security section, click Site Settings.
  6. Click Notifications.
  7. Make sure the option Ask before sending is switched ON.
  8. Scroll down to the Allow section. If you see anything suspicious there, click the arrow ▶ to open its settings, scroll down to Notifications and change that setting to Block.
Blocking a notification

You can then close that tab or use the left arrow at the top left of that menu to return to the list of Blocked and Allowed notifications to make more changes.

If you cannot figure out which service is creating the annoying notifications, you can try the quick-and-dirty fix of resetting all of your browser settings.

How to re-enable a notification
If you accidentally Block Google Calendar notifications, repeat steps 1-6 and look for calendar.google.com. If it is blocked, click the arrow ▶ to open its settings, scroll down to Notifications and change that setting to Allow.

The same process can be used for other blocked notifications you want to allow.

Unwanted extensions

There are many wonderful extensions, including some which are always installed by default on district Chromebooks. However, some annoying or malicious extensions can redirect your searches, steal your data, create annoying ads, and more.

Bad extensions
If you are prompted to add an extension, be very cautious. Extensions are powerful tools which can heavily influence your web experience and could steal data, etc.

If your browser is acting strangely, an extension could be the culprit. If you can figure out which extension is causing the trouble, you can disable or remove it:
  1. On your Chromebook or desktop computer, open the Google Chrome web browser.
  2. At the top right, click the more icon ⋮ (which sometimes turns into an exclamation point !).
  3. Click on More tools.
  4. Click on Extensions.
  5. You will see a number of cards displaying the various extensions installed in your browser. A lower set of cards displays the various Chrome Apps that are installed. 
  6. You can try diagnosing if a particular extension is causing trouble by clicking to move the slider on its card to the left OFF position. That will remove its icon from the extension icons that display at the upper left of the browser window, and you can try restarting the browser to see if the trouble is fixed.
  7. You can click the Details button on card to learn more about a particular extension.
  8. If you can identify a particular extension as the problem, instead of merely sliding it to OFF you can instead click the Remove button on its card and then try restarting the browser.
Some extensions are "force-installed" by the district and cannot be removed. As of May 2019 those included G Suite TrainingGoogle Cast for EducationGoogle Docs Offline, Lightspeed User Agent, P3 Tips, and Share to Classroom.

If you cannot figure out which extension is causing trouble, you can try the quick-and-dirty fix of resetting all of your browser settings.