How to Uninstall Chromium

Delete the browser from your PC

The Chromium web browser is an open source browser on which the Google Chrome browser is built (Don’t confuse Chromium with Chrome. They’re different). However, because it’s open source, malware writers have taken advantage of Chromium to build similar, malware-filled browsers with similar names.

That’s why it’s important to know how to uninstall Chromium; both the legitimate version and any infected copy you might stumble across. 

What Can Fake Chromium Browsers Do?

Users download these Chromium-lookalikes, or they come bundled with other software applications. The fake Chromium browser can release malware onto your system that can track your movements, collect information, steal your personal data, and create havoc with pop-up ads, browser redirects, and other problems. And if you try to uninstall the bad software, you can run into issues.

How Do I Know if the Version of Chromium I Have Is Infected With Malware?

There’s really only one way to know the version of Chromium you’ve downloaded isn’t infected with malware: download it from the official Chromium site maintained by the Chromium team.

If you acquired a Chromium (or Chromium-based) browser from any other site or download, then the probability it’s infected with malware is high. Here are some additional indicators the version of Chromium installed on your computer could be malware infected:

  • If you have the Chromium browser and you didn’t install it. This happens because malware infected versions can sometimes be bundled with legitimate software downloads.
  • Your default browser was changed to Chromium, but you didn’t change it and you didn’t grant permission for it to change.
  • Chromium isn’t listed in your installed computer programs and can’t be uninstalled conventionally.
  • Your default search engine changes automatically and you don’t recognize the new default search engine.
  • When you’re browsing online, you get constant redirects, pop-ups and new tabs opening for no reason.
  • Your PC runs increasingly slower and it takes much longer than usual to start your computer after it’s been powered off or restarted.
  • You can’t block pop-up ads and notifications which prompt you to download additional software (which is likely also malware).

How to Uninstall Chromium if it’s Legitimate

If you have the official version of Chromium and you want to uninstall it, you may find that it doesn't seem to exist when you go into your Apps or Add Remove Programs folder. That’s because Chromium doesn’t uninstall like regular programs. 

First Unhide Chromium

Before you can remove Chromium from your system, you first need to unhide the application.

  1. In Windows 10, open the File Explorer and select the View tab. 

    The View tab in the File Explorer.
  2. Select Options.

    The Options menu in the Windows File Explorer.

    Alternatively, in Windows 10, 8, and 7, you can type file explorer options in the Windows search bar or search box and select it from the search results.

  3. In the File Explorer Options dialog box that opens, select the View tab.

    The View tab of the Folder Options dialog box in Windows.
  4. In the list under Advanced Settings, select the radio button next to Show hidden, files, folders, and drivers.

    The Show Hidden Files option in Windows.
  5. Select Apply, then OK to close the File Explorer Options dialog box.

Delete Chromium From Your System

Once you’ve unhidden the Chromium folder, removing the legitimate version of Chromium from your system should be easy to do.

  1. Open File Explorer and choose your C: Drive.

    The C: Drive in WIndows.
  2. Select Users > Your Name.

    The named User file in Windows.
  3. On the next screen, double-click AppData to open the AppData folder to open it.

    The AppData Folder in Windows.
  4. Double-click Local to open that folder.

    The Local folder on Windows.
  5. Select the Chromium folder and press the Delete key on your keyboard. If this is a legitimate copy of the Chromium browser, that should completely delete the browser and all the files associated with it.

    The Chromium folder on Windows.

    Mac users will need to open Finder, click Applications, then locate the app and drag it into the Trash. Once there, be sure to right-click the Trash icon and click Empty Trash to completely remove it from your system.

How to Get Rid of Chromium Browser if It’s not Legitimate

If you suspect the version of Chromium on your system isn’t the legitimate version of Chromium, you need to remove it as soon as possible to keep your personal information from being compromised.

On any system, you can try to remove the application by going to Settings or Control Panel (or Finder if you’re a Mac user) and uninstalling it from the Programs or Apps page. If the app doesn’t appear there, and the instructions above don’t work, then here are a few things you can try:

  • Restore your system: If you have a System Restore point (for Windows computers) set before you know you had the rogue Chromium browser, you can return to that earlier version and it may remove the malware version of Chromium. It's possible you’ll lose any files you’ve stored on your system since the Restore point was created, so backup anything that’s important to you before you begin the System Restore process. 
  • Run an antivirus or antimalware scan: A proper antivirus scan should find and remove the rogue Chromium virus from your system. If it doesn’t, you can try removing the malware from your system without an antivirus application, but it’s possible you won’t remove it all and the problems you’re having could recur. 
  • Remove and reinstall your operating system: This is the nuclear option and it should be your last resort. If you have tried uninstalling Chromium, removing or deleting it from your applications, and running an antivirus or antimalware application, a clean reinstall of your operating system may be your best option for getting rid of this malware. Reinstalling your operating system means you’ll lose everything you have stored on your hard drive, and all the applications you have installed, though, so be sure to backup anything that’s important to you.
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