Virus and Malware enter our computer through the internet and to access the internet, we need to use a browser. Thus, we can conclude that all the malicious software enters our computer through the browser. Google, however, thought about this beforehand and inculcated a Clean-up Tool in its browser – Chrome.
What is Google Chrome Malware Removal Tool?
The Google Chrome’s clean up computer feature is a multi-purpose tool that scans and removes malware and even restores all the altered settings back to their default state. It assists Chrome users to surf the internet faster without encountering any traffic errors and remove adware from Chrome. The scanner runs automatically as a background process and prompts the user asking permission to delete only if it has identified something that could be close to potential malware.
Google Chrome’s Clean up computer tool was developed as a result of a collaboration between ESET’s detection technology and Google’s Sandbox technology. It is by no means a new Antivirus in the market and is primarily designed to eliminate threats posed to the Chrome browser. Not many know that this tool was earlier offered by Google as a separate standalone component that could be downloaded and run to remove junk software and fix issues with Chrome. It was embedded in the browser in the October update.
How To Use Clean up Tool To Remove Adware From Chrome?
Although Google Chrome’s virus scanner runs automatically, if you face annoying pop-up ads or experience slow browsing, then there are ways that you can manually initiate the scan. Also, if you find new webpages open randomly in new tabs or your home page. Moreover, if your search engine is automatically redirected to some specific sites, no matter what you type in, then it is time to follow these steps:
Step 1. Open a new tab in the Chrome Browser.
Step 2. Click on the three dots on the top right corner, and a list of options will appear.
Step 3. Click on Settings to access the settings tab.
Step 4. From the options on the left side, click on Advanced. This will further reveal more options.
Step 5. Choose the last option Reset and Clean Up. A new list of options will appear.
Step 6. Click on Clean Up Computer and then locate the FIND button and click on it. The scan will start and keep you updated about the process.
Note: Before you click on the FIND button, you can uncheck the box next to Report details to Google to avoid sharing any information about your computer’s scan results to Google.
Alternatively, you can open a new tab and type chrome://settings/cleanup in the address bar, which will cut short the first five steps and take you to the page where you have to click the FIND button.
How Does Google Chrome’s Virus Scanner Work?
Google Chrome’s Clean up Computer feature is a hidden scanning tool from ESET that can detect malicious and unwanted software and remove it only with the user’s explicit permission. This feature only works on Windows operating system and is still to be inculcated in Mac and Linux versions.
Google Chrome’s inbuilt scanner identifies software that can cause the browser to crash, make unsolicited changes in Chrome’s settings and automatically installs toolbars and extensions without the user’s permission. It also detects unexpected changes in start-up pages, pop-up ads, and browser redirectors. Google uses its Unwanted Software Policy as the basis to identify unwanted software, which defines any software that tricks users. All the software which does not provide information about all its features or installs itself disguising as another software is considered harmful and, therefore, must be uninstalled.
When the Chrome scanner identifies software that is not Google compliant, it presents an alert on the user’s system, asking permission to remove the malicious file. A report consisting of the metadata of the installed programs, services, processes, scheduled tasks, registry values is sent to Google. This report can be prevented from being shared with Google with a simple uncheck option that appears before the scan is initiated.
Google Chrome’s Scanner cannot be considered as a full-time, general-purpose cloud Antivirus as it only removes that software that is thought of being a threat to Chrome’s functioning on the computer. The Clean-Up tool runs for a maximum of 15 minutes and doesn’t scan the entire system but looks out for those points that could be used to hijack the browser and redirect it elsewhere.
When To Initiate Google Chrome’s Clean Up Computer Feature?
Chrome is undoubtedly one of the fastest, most convenient and secure browsers in the world and with its regular updates, there would be no need to running this Clean Up Tool. However, do not hesitate to initiate a scan if you observe the following on your computer:
Chrome Extensions that cannot be removed.
Not all extensions available on the Chrome Web Store are authentic. Some of them contain malicious code and until they are identified and removed by Google, they can pose a risk to the Chrome users. Any extension which does not provide the results as expected and cannot be deactivated or uninstalled is most likely of malicious intent.
Unknown Homepage and Search Engine
Has it happened that one fine day you turned on your computer and expected to see Google, Bing, MSN or Yahoo as your home page, but found a new strange website instead? You try to change your homepage, but you can’t as it seems to be locked. Next, all your searches which should pull off the results from Google or Bing, are now displaying strange results. If yes, then your Browser has been highjacked, and the best step to carry out is to run Google Chrome’s Virus Scanner.
Annoying Pop-ups and Never-Ending Ads.
If you notice any strange pop-ups that frequently appear on your screen, urging you to click on them to download something or claim a prize, then to remove adware from Chrome you must run Google Chrome Malware removal tool. Any unwanted software downloaded without you knowing would start display Ads on every website you visit. For example, if you start getting a lot of ads on websites that you frequently visit and did not use to get them earlier, then it is quite possible there is a malicious entity in your system.
Slow browsing and latency.
If you start experiencing a sudden latency while surfing with frequent browser freezes and crashes, then you must follow the steps to initiate the clean-up tool. If a particular website takes time to load while others load up normally, then it could be due to that particular site’s server issues. If all the websites load slower than usual, then it is time to run a scan on your system.
Privacy Issues: Google Chrome Malware Removal Tool
Despite many benefits, Google Chrome Malware Removal Tool has faced some criticism as many users have claimed that this tool scans personal files on the system like images and documents. When this matter was pointed out to Google, the clarification provided was that the scanning tool had similar privileges as the Chrome browser and would not infiltrate into the device to collect information about all the files on any Windows PC. However, it is still not clear what kind of data is the Chrome Browser or the Scanner tool collecting and sending to Google Servers. Another issue reported by many users is that there is no option to turn this scanner off and Chrome runs it whenever it wants in the background.
Your Thoughts on Google Chrome Malware Removal Tool
Google is known for making life easier through its various products and services, and this tool is a part of the effort it has been taking for simplifying life and providing tech solutions. But as stated by Google itself, that this tool is just an addition and not to be considered as an anti-malware for your system. However, it can be used to remove adware from Chrome and identify threats on your system. Another reason why you need a complete antimalware software package is that Google Chrome’s virus scanner does not provide real-time protection and is an on-demand scanner and is not always on.