Apps

Google Chrome Extension Adware: How To Remove Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups

Written By Tanmay Patange | Mumbai | Published:

Hack:

  • There are several ways to deal with unwanted ads and pop-ups from Google Chrome
  • You should keep a tab on the permissions that extensions require

One of the reasons why people seem to have giving up on watching television is the heavy dose of commercials, unlike OTT services such as Netflix, Hotstar and Amazon Prime where ads are skippable for those who pay for these services. The major production companies in India and worldwide have all come to realise the declining interest in traditional TV consumption among the urban population who have access to all things digital. That's why brands are spending heavily on establishing their digital presence and creating awareness. But according to a Kaspersky report, unwanted ads on the internet aren't going anywhere and Google Chrome extensions could be the reason.

What is adware, you may ask? Adware is a software program which is designed to automatically show pop-up ads and banners when a user is online. Does it happen with you quite often? If your answer is yes, perhaps you have installed adware disguised as Chrome extension whose sole purpose is to serve you flashy ads and earn some money on every click that you generate. More often than not, these ads are irrelevant to the user, which is why you may want to pull the plug on such adware. Kaspersky gives the example of 'Automatic 4K/HD for YouTube,' which was a fairly popular Google Chrome extension.

The whole idea behind Automatic 4K/HD for YouTube extension was to set 4K video playback quality level as default on YouTube. This way, YouTube cannot auto-select lower quality video playback setting on the user’s behalf. The extension had scored five-star ratings and 4.2 million downloads by simply setting 4K as the default video playback level on YouTube. At some point, Kaspersky notes, the extension started abusing its fan base by annoying users with unwanted popup ads. Ironically, it also started asking users to download another popular extension that lets users block the ads and popups.

Well, the extension does no longer exist on the Chrome Web Store. However, we don't know for sure if the ban is permanent or only temporary. A permanent ban seems unlikely since the extension isn't malicious in its entirety and adware doesn’t necessarily corrupt your files or steal any of your data. But if you are not very happy about these unwanted ads coming in from nowhere, you can uninstall the extension. All you need to do is right-click on the extension icon next to the browser's address bar. In case you don't see the extension icon, there are several ways to deal with unwanted ads and pop-ups from Google Chrome.

READ | How to sync Samsung Internet Android web browser with Google Chrome for Desktop

Remove Google Chrome extension

Step 1: Open Google Chrome browser on your computer.

Step 2: Go to More tools > Extensions by clicking on the more icon at the top right corner of your browser.

Step 3: Click the option 'Remove' on the extension that you want to uninstall.

Step 4: Now, click the option called 'Remove' to confirm that you want to uninstall the extension.

Check for permissions

You should keep a tab on the permissions that extensions require. If an extension already installed on your Google Chrome requests new permission, there may be something suspicious going on with the extension. In that case, you have to do a bit of research to make sure the extension is not hijacked.

Reset the browser settings

In case nothing works, you may want to reset your browser settings to default:

Step 1: Open Google Chrome > More > Settings > Advanced > Reset Settings

Step 2: Click Restore settings to their original defaults and then Reset Settings.

Once you reset your browser settings, you might need to turn some extensions back on. Go to Chrome > More > More Tools > Extensions and turn on extensions you trust.

DO NOT MISS