I’m not sure how it showed up, but I now seem to have a toolbar that actually changes what search engine I’m using and puts ads up on the pages I visit too. How do I delete this in Chrome on my Windows system?
My Dad’s going through a very similar problem where he goes to “google.com” and ends up at another search site that is plastered with ads all over the page. When he goes to Gmail, it pushes out a sequence of pop-up ads in separate windows, some of which even have fake “close” buttons that actually launch yet another ad window if you click on it. Sneaky and darn frustrating!
Chrome makes it pretty easy to clean things up, but yeah, it’s a huge pain.
Let’s jump in and I’ll just hope you can wade your way through the junk they’ve installed and fix things. Worst case, you can always delete Chrome then use another browser like Internet Explorer to download a fresh copy of Google Chrome. From here: Download Google Chrome.
Still, we don’t want to cry Uncle if we can fix the problem, do we? 🙂
Let’s start by finding the “Settings” preference. Look on the top right for a button that has three horizontal lines:
Click on it and a ton of different options appear:
Lots you can monkey with here, but let’s stay focused. Go to “Settings”, as shown.
Now you’ll have yet more things you can tweak and adjust, but look for “On startup”:
I prefer “Continue where I left off” because your “home” page can be hijacked, but let’s say you want to keep a standard home page (maybe Yahoo’s home page, say, or MSN.com) and that’s hijacked already.
Choose “Open a specific page or set of pages” then click “Set pages”:
The “Use current pages” feature is nice: close all tabs but the main window then navigate to the page you want to use as your home page. Make sure in the address bar it hasn’t been hijacked or changed (as my Dad’s computer has with the Google search) then navigate back here and click “Use current pages”.
Or make your life easier and actually type in the URL. For example http://my.yahoo.com/ gets you one of the slick Yahoo.com personalized home pages. Eyeball it carefully to ensure you’ve included the “:” and the two “//”, and click “OK”.
Next, scroll down a bit on the same Settings page and find “Search”:
Ahhh, this is one spot that’s bound to be messed up, based on what you described.
So let’s fix it!
Click on “Google” and you’ll see there are preset search engines you can choose from, the primary of which is Google, which is no surprise given it’s Google Chrome. 🙂
You can pick Bing if you’d like to try something else, of course, but any of these five core search engine choices should do just fine and should be safe choices. Not sure what’s going on? Choose “Manage search engines…” and you’ll see all the choices in far more detail, including specific URLs in play:
Yes, there’s even a way you can have the search engine for this site — AskDaveTaylor — be your default search system, but don’t worry, I’m not hijacking your searches! 🙂
Pick the one that’s most reasonable, again, probably Google or Bing, and click “Save” to proceed.
One more step. Let’s get rid of that $%#@^%$#%*& toolbar.
To do that look on the left side and click on “Extensions”:
Now you’ll see a list of all the extensions — including toolbars — you have installed:
Scroll down to find the specific one you want to remove — or simply any extensions you don’t recognize or don’t add lots of really important and valuable features — and click on the trashcan icon on the right side of that entry:
So you can now change your home page, change your search engine and remove bad toolbars and other extensions.
Now go clean up your Google Chrome and get back to work!