How to Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool

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

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The Chrome Cleanup tool is a built-in feature for Google Chrome that removes harmful malware and restores hijacked settings back to their 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

If you are experiencing undesirable symptoms such as intrusive pop-up ads and unexpected web pages appearing, your search engine and homepage being redirected to services and sites that you've never heard of before, or just general slowness in your browser, then you should first check for and remove any unwanted programs.

The Chrome Cleanup tool will periodically check for suspicious programs on its own, letting you know whenever something untoward is discovered and offer the option to remove it. You can manually check for these problem programs as well by taking the following steps:

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

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

    Open Chrome and select the three dots in the top-right corner, then select Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Advanced.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Advanced.
  3. Scroll down further to the Reset and clean up section and select Clean up computer.

    Scroll down further to the Reset and clean up section and select Clean up computer.
  4. Select Find.

    Select Find.
  5. You should see a Checking for harmful software message. This process can take several minutes to complete, so be patient. If any suspicious programs are found, you will then be given the option to remove them. Chrome will also disable 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 does not offer the Cleanup tool feature, but you can still remove unwanted programs from your Mac manually. Use caution here, as you do not want to accidentally remove any reputable applications that you might need later on. You may also want to disable extensions, either one at a time or all in one fell swoop, to see if one or more of these third-party add-ons could be the cause of your issues.

How to Reset Your Chrome Browser Settings

If removing unwanted programs didn't solve your problems, you may want to reset your browser's settings back to their default state:

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

    Open Chrome and select the three dots in the top-right corner, then select Settings.
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Advanced.

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Advanced.
  3. Scroll down further to the Reset and clean up section and select Reset settings to their original defaults.

    On Linux and macOS, this option appears under the Reset settings section.

    Scroll down further to the Reset and clean up section and select Reset settings to their original defaults.
  4. Select Reset settings to restore your Chrome settings to their default values.

Your bookmarks, search history, and saved passwords will not be affected.

Select the Reset settings to restore your Chrome settings to their default values.