Definition of Chromium Virus: is it dangerous?
Chromium virus is a deceptive Internet browsing software that pretends to be a legitimate web browser. Such programs are developed using open-source Chromium project and then supplemented with annoying adware-like features. Typically, such fake web browsers add no useful functionality to user, but worsen the browsing experience by displaying third-party ads or causing redirects. In general, such browsers are categorized as adware and are assigned to potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) list.
Open-source browser project used to develop adware
To be clear, Chromium itself is not a virus: it is an open-source web browser (its developer is Google) which contains the majority of Chrome browser’s functions. Open-source means that anyone can take and customize its program code, therefore producing both safe and malicious browser versions and distributing them worldwide. Unfortunately, this is the reason why so many Windows and Mac users search for Chromium virus removal guides today.
Do not get confused – Chromium browser is legitimate and safe to use, but its spin-offs might not be. Sadly, there are many versions on the market today that can be installed unknowingly. In most cases, it happens when installing freeware from the Internet.
The reason why so many people start calling Chromium a virus, is that the creators of adware and browser hijackers quickly exploit open-source software to easily create fake browser versions that cause redirects or pop-up ads.
To be precise, they take open source codes and add specific functionality to them, making these browsers display third-party ads from various ad networks, or cause unexpected redirects to partner websites to generate revenue.
Unfortunately, such behavior is not acceptable and in the worst scenario can lead to malicious or phishing websites. In the best scenario, such activity can annoy the user, slow down the computer and interfere with daily browsing activities.
To determine whether you’re dealing with Chromium virus, consider checking this list of symptoms of possible infection:
Symptoms of Chromium malware infection
- Browser’s start page changed without your knowledge;
- Clicking on new tab opens a specific and unknown website instead of blank page;
- You notice pop-up and pop-under ads (these ads either appear on or under the window you’re currently using);
- You notice suspicious redirects when browsing online;
- New tabs open automatically and load promotional content;
- Noticeable computer slowdown;
- You cannot access certain programs, f.e., antivirus.
One additional check you can make is go to chrome://settings/help and check what kind of browser you’re using. If you discover that you’re using some suspicious browser which took over your default browser without your permission, you must remove Chromium virus immediately.
Common methods used to distribute rogue browsers
Fake Chromium browsers can spread in software bundles, but you might also install them unknowingly. For example, you can get one after downloading not exactly legal files, or along with freeware such as file converters or download managers.
As a rule, some of the freeware installers tend to suggest extra items along with Default installation configuration. In such case, deselecting extra suggestions is essential step before hitting that “Install” button.
In general, we recommend staying aware of these techniques and never rush when installing new programs. However, you can also install them unknowingly and find that Chromium won’t uninstall that easily. If so, it could be that you installed a malevolent version of it which uses slightly advanced techniques to stay on your system, doesn’t have or hide its uninstaller, and etc. Typically, people start looking for help on forums like Reddit for help to get rid of it.
The easiest way to delete such browsers that take the privileges of the default browser is to remove them automatically, however, with some time and patience you can do it manually as well.
Remove Chromium Virus Now
Chromium removal can be challenging if you are dealing with a malicious version of it. However, the majority of these modified browsers can be uninstalled like regular programs. Please use the guide given below to ensure quick and easy deletion of the program.
Make sure you search for all programs and extensions associated with the unwanted program to completely remove Chromium virus from Mac or Windows today. If you are dealing with the legitimate version of this Internet-browsing software by Google, you will get rid of it in a couple of clicks.
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Chromium virus Removal Tutorial
To remove the unwanted program from your computer, use these instructions below to uninstall associated programs or apps from your Windows or Mac computer. Then scroll down for instructions how to clean each affected web browser individually.
Remove Chromium virus from Windows
Windows 10/8.1/8 users
Click on the Windows logo to open Windows menu. In search, type control panel and select the matching result. Then go to Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users
First, open Windows menu by clicking on the icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Then go to Control Panel and find section called Programs. Click on the Uninstall a program option under it.
Windows XP users
In Windows XP, click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
Uninstall unwanted programs
Once in Programs and Features, look through the list of installed programs. You can click on Installed on tab to sort the programs by their installation date.
Right-click on suspicious programs you can't remember installing and choose Uninstall. Follow instructions provided by the Uninstall Wizard, click Next and finally Finish to uninstall the unwanted program from your PC.
Remove Chromium virus from Mac
- Click on Finder.
- Go to Applications folder.
- Look for suspicious applications you can't remember installing. Right-click them and select Move to Trash.
- After moving all suspicious apps to Trash, right-click the Trash bin in Mac's Dock and select Empty Trash.
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Remove Chromium virus from Google Chrome
Remove suspicious Chrome extensions
- Open Chrome and type chrome://extensions into address bar and press Enter.
- Here, look for suspicious extensions, and Remove them.
- Don't forget to confirm by pressing Remove in the confirmation pop-up.
Change Start Page settings
- In Chrome address bar, type chrome://settings and press Enter.
- Scroll down to the On startup section. Check for suspicious extensions controlling these settings, and Disable them.
- Additionally, you can set browser to Open a specific page or set of pages via these settings. Simply choose this option, click Add a new page, enter your preferred URL (f.e. www.google.com) and press Add.
Change default search settings
- In Chrome URL bar, type chrome://settings/searchEngines and press Enter. Make sure you type searchEngines, not searchengines. Additionally, you can go to chrome://settings and find Manage search engines option.
- First, look at the list of search engines and find the one you want to set as default. Click the three dots next to it and select Make Default.
- Finally, look through the list and eliminate suspicious entries. Right-click the three dots and select Remove from the list.
Remove push notifications from Chrome
If you want to get rid of the annoying ads and so-called push-notifications viruses, you must identify their components and clean your browser. You can easily remove ads from Chrome by following these steps:
- In Google Chrome, press on Menu (upward arrow) in the top-right corner of the window.
- Select Settings.
- Go to Privacy and Security > Site Settings.
- Open Notifications.
- Here, go to the Allow list and identify suspicious URLs. You can either Block or Remove by pressing on the three vertical dots on the right side of the URL. However, we suggest the Block option, so the site won't ask you to enable the notifications if you ever visit it again.
Reset Google Chrome browser
- The final option is to reset Google Chrome. Type chrome://settings in the URL bar, press Enter and then scroll down until you see Advanced option. Click it and scroll to the bottom of the settings.
- Click Restore settings to their original defaults.
- Click Restore settings to confirm.
Remove Chromium virus from Mozilla Firefox
Remove unwanted add-ons from Firefox
- Open Firefox and type about:addons in the URL bar. Press Enter.
- Now, click on Extensions (in the left section).
- Click Remove next to every suspicious browser add-on that you can't remember installing.
Change Firefox Homepage
- In Firefox address bar, type about:preferences and hit Enter.
- Look at the left and click the Home tab.
- Here, delete the suspicious URL and type or paste in the URL of a website you'd like to set as your homepage.
Alter preferences in Firefox
- Type about:config in Firefox address bar and hit Enter.
- Click I accept the risk! to continue.
- Here, type in the URL which has taken over your browser without your knowledge. Right-click each value that includes it and choose Reset.
Remove annoying push notifications from Firefox
Suspicious sites that ask to enable push notifications gain access to Mozilla's settings and can deliver intrusive advertisements when browsing the Internet. Therefore, you should remove access to your browser by following these simple steps:
- In Mozilla Firefox, click on Menu (the three horizontal bars) on the top-right corner of the window, then choose Options.
- Click on Privacy and Security, then scroll down to Permissions section.
- Here, find Notifications and click Settings button next to it.
- Identify all unknown URLs and choose to Block them. Click Save Changes afterward.
Reset Mozilla Firefox
- In Firefox, type about:support in the address bar and press Enter.
- Click on Refresh Firefox...
- Click Refresh Firefox again to confirm.
Remove Chromium virus from Microsoft Edge
Remove suspicious extensions:
- Open MS Edge browser and click on the three dots button in the top right corner, then click on Extensions.
- Look through the list of installed extensions and find the ones you can't remember installing or simply suspicious-looking ones. Right-click on them and choose Uninstall. Then confirm by pressing Uninstall again.
Change MS Edge Start Page and default search engine:
- Click on the three dots again and go to Settings. First, make sure that you choose to Open Microsoft Edge with A specific page or pages option. Then click the X next to suspicious URLs and type in the one you want to set as your homepage. Click the Save icon to confirm.
- Click on the three dots > Settings. Scroll down and click on Show Advanced Settings. Then scroll down until you find Change search engine button. Click it. Here, select the search engine you prefer using and click Set as default.
Additionally, we recommend selecting and Removing suspicious search engines.
Turn off push notifications in Edge
If you keep receiving pop-up ads or other promotional content while browsing on Microsoft Edge, your browser might be corrupted by a potentially unwanted program (PUP). You have to clean it — follow these easy instructions:
- In Microsoft Edge, open Menu (three horizontal dots) in the top-right corner of the screen and click Settings;
- Click on Advanced settings.
- Scroll down to the Website permissions section. Here, click Manage permissions.
- Find Notifications and Remove all suspicious websites.
Clear browsing data
- Click on the three dots in the top right corner again and click on Settings. Find Clear browsing data section and click Choose what to clear button.
- In the next window, select all options and click Clear.
Remove Chromium virus from Safari
Uninstall suspicious Safari extensions
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top left corner. Select Preferences in the menu that appears on the screen.
- Now, go to Extensions tab. Look at the left to see all installed extensions, click on suspicious ones and hit that Uninstall button as shown in the picture. Confirm your choice by clicking Uninstall again. Repeat until you get rid of all unwanted extensions.
Change Safari Homepage and default search engine
- In Preferences, open the General tab. Here, check what URL is set as your homepage. Delete it and type in whatever URL you want to set as your Safari Start Page.
- Next, go to the Search tab. Here, choose what Search engine you want to set as default.
- Next, click on Manage websites... then Remove all... and then Done.
Remove push notifications on Safari
Some suspicious websites can try to corrupt your Safari by asking to enable push notifications. If you have accidentally agreed, your browser will be flooded with various intrusive advertisements and pop-ups. You can get rid of them by following this quick guide:
- Open Safari and click on Safari button in the top-left corner of the screen to select Preferences;
- Go to Websites tab and navigate to Notifications on the left side toolbar.
- Click on Safari > Clear History...
- Then choose to clear All history and hit Clear History button to confirm.
- Go to Safari > Preferences and then open Privacy tab.
- Click Manage Website Data... then Remove All. To finish, click Done.
- Finally, clear Safari cache. In Safari Menu, click Develop > Clear Cache.
Remove Chromium virus from Internet Explorer
TIP: If you are still using IE, we strongly advise using Microsoft Edge or a different browser because Microsoft is no longer providing technical or security support for IE browser.
Remove suspicious extensions from IE
- Now, go back to Toolbars and Extensions.
- Below Show:, select All add-ons.
- Right-click suspicious extensions and choose Disable, or, if available - Remove.
- If any pop-up appears, confirm your choice.
Tip: If you can't find any suspicious extensions, most likely you have uninstalled them via Programs and Features already. This mostly applies to IE browser.
Change default search provider and remove suspicious ones
- Open Internet Explorer and click on the gear icon in the top right of the window.
- Then select Manage Add-ons.
- Here, click on Search Providers tab.
- Here, we recommend setting Bing, Google or another trusted and well-known search provider as default. To do it, right-click the provider and choose Set as default.
- Now you can right-click suspicious search providers and choose Remove.
Change IE Home Page
- In Internet Explorer, click the gear icon in the top left corner.
- Choose Internet Options.
- Change Home Page URL to whatever page you want to use as your homepage.
- Click Apply.
- Click OK.
Block pop-up notifications on Internet Explorer
Suspicious websites can gain access to your Internet Explorer browser through push notifications. If you enable them even by accident, you will start receiving numerous annoying ads and other advertising content while browsing. The easiest way to remove push-notification viruses is by performing the following steps:
- In Internet Explorer, click on the Menu (the gear button) on the top-right corner of the window, then select Internet Options.
- Go to the Privacy tab;
- Look for Pop-up Blocker section and select Settings;
- Scroll through all URLs and you can Remove them one by one or all at the same time. Click Close.
Reset Internet Explorer
- Click the gear icon in IE menu > Internet Options. Now click on Advanced tab.
- Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset...
- Click on the checkbox next to Delete personal settings.
- Click Reset.
- To finish, click Close.
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Norbert Webb is the head of Geek’s Advice team. He is the chief editor of the website who controls the quality of content published. The man also loves reading cybersecurity news, testing new software and sharing his insights on them. Norbert says that following his passion for information technology was one of the best decisions he has ever made. “I don’t feel like working while I’m doing something I love.” However, the geek has other interests, such as snowboarding and traveling.