How to Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool

Chrome's built-in cleanup tool protects you from malware

The Chrome Cleanup tool is a built-in feature for Google Chrome that removes harmful malware and restores hijacked settings to the original state. It also helps Chrome run faster without encountering any traffic errors.

Instructions in this article apply to the Google Chrome web browser for all operating systems. Update Chrome to the latest version to use the Chrome Cleanup tool.

How to Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool on Windows

Check for and remove any unwanted programs if you experience undesirable symptoms such as:

  • Intrusive pop-up ads and unexpected web pages appear.
  • The search engine or homepage redirects to services or sites you don't recognize.
  • General slowness in the browser.

The Chrome Cleanup tool periodically checks for suspicious programs. It lets you know when something untoward is discovered and offers the option to remove it. You can manually check for these problem programs by taking the following steps:

  1. Open Chrome, select the three dots in the upper-right corner, then select Settings.

    You can also access the Chrome settings by entering chrome://settings in the address bar.

    Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select Advanced.

    Chrome Advanced Settings
  3. Scroll down to the Reset and clean up section, then select Clean up computer.

    Clean up computer selection in Chrome
  4. Select Find.

    Find harmful software in Chrome
  5. You should see a message that reads, "Checking for harmful software." This process can take several minutes to complete. If any suspicious programs are found, you have the option to remove those programs. Chrome also disables any harmful extensions.

    The Google Chrome Cleanup Tool checks for malware in the Chrome browser settings.

How to Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool on Mac

Chrome for macOS doesn't offer the Cleanup tool feature. However, you can remove unwanted programs from your Mac manually by navigating to the Applications folder in Finder and moving unwanted programs to the trash.

Use caution and don't remove applications that you may need. Also consider disabling extensions, either one at a time or all at once. Third-party add-ons are often the cause of problems with a browser.

How to Reset Your Chrome Browser Settings

If removing unwanted programs didn't solve the problem, reset the browser settings to the default state:

  1. Open Chrome, select the three dots in the upper-right corner, then select Settings.

    Chrome with the Settings command highlighted
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select Advanced.

    Chrome Advanced settings on Mac
  3. Scroll to the Reset settings section and select Reset settings to their original defaults.

    Restore Chrome settings to original defaults on Mac
  4. Select Reset settings to restore the Chrome settings to the default values.

    Bookmarks, search history, and saved passwords aren't affected.

    Reset Chrome settings on Mac