Google Chrome Redirect Problem – How to fix it?

Google Chrome redirect issues can appear due to various reasons. One common reason is the presence of malicious software, such as adware or browser hijackers, on the user’s computer. These unwanted programs alter browser settings, leading to redirects to different websites without the user’s consent. Additionally, compromised browser extensions, often installed without user knowledge, can alter Google Chrome’s behavior and cause redirections. Users might also experience redirects due to phishing sites, where deceptive pages mimic legitimate ones to steal private information. Finally, outdated browsers may have flaws that malicious players exploit to redirect users to malicious sites.

As we posted years ago, to address Google Chrome redirect problems, users should first check for and remove any suspicious browser extensions or applications on their computers. Clearing browser cache and cookies, as well as performing a thorough antivirus scan, can help eliminate malicious software. Regularly updating Google Chrome and being cautious about the sources of downloaded software can also help avoid vulnerabilities that lead to unwanted redirects.

Screenshot f Chrome Redirect

Browser hijackers causes Google Chrome redirects

A browser hijacker is a type of malicious software that, once placed on a user’s computer, takes control of the web browser’s settings without the user’s consent. The main goal of a browser hijacker is often to redirect the user’s web traffic to specific websites, usually for advertising or other malicious purposes. Here’s a general outline of how a browser hijacker can redirect Google Chrome to another website:

  • Installation: Browser hijackers often get installed on a user’s computer without their knowledge or consent. This can happen when users download and install free software from untrustworthy sources, click on malicious ads, or visit compromised websites.
  • Browser Setting Changes: Once installed, the browser hijacker starts making unauthorized changes to the settings of the affected web browser. This can include altering the homepage, the default search engine, and other settings.
  • Search Engine Redirection: Browser hijackers often redirect search engine queries to alternative search engines or custom search pages. When you perform a search in the browser, the hijacker might intercept the query and redirect it to a different search engine that may display manipulated search results.
  • Homepage and New Tab Redirects: The hijacker may change the default homepage and new tab page settings to force the browser to open a specific website or a set of websites. Users may find themselves redirected to these pages whenever they open a new browser window or tab.
  • Injection of Advertisements: Browser hijackers may inject unwanted advertisements into web pages you visit. These ads can be intrusive and may lead to further redirections when clicked.
  • Toolbar and Extension Installations: Some browser hijackers install additional toolbars or browser extensions to further control and manipulate the user’s browsing experience. These can be difficult to remove and may continue to cause redirects.

In order to keep redirects out of your Chrome browser:

  • When downloading and installing software from the internet, use caution—especially when dealing with unidentified or dubious sources.
  • Update your anti-virus and anti-malware programs often to identify and get rid of such dangers.
  • Regularly check and manage your browser extensions, deleting or disabling any that you don’t know or trust.
  • Make use of your operating system’s and browser’s built-in security capabilities.

If you think your browser has been taken over, perform a complete antivirus scan on your computer, reset your browser’s settings, and delete any unwanted applications or extensions. A complete guide to getting rid of the Google Chrome redirect problem is provided below.

Procedures to Remove Google Chrome Redirect from Mac

This section contains a comprehensive guide for Mac users. It will help you remove malicious browser hijackers from the Google Chrome browser. Procedures on this page are written in a manner that can be easily understood and executed by Mac users.

Quick Fix – Scan the System with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted Mac utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP’s. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser hijackers. You may need to purchase the full version if you want to maximize its premium features.

1. Download the tool from the following page:

2. Double-click the downloaded file and proceed with the installation.

3. In the opened window, drag and drop the Combo Cleaner icon onto your Applications folder icon.

Install Combo Cleaner

4. Open your Launchpad and click on the Combo Cleaner icon.

5. Wait until antivirus downloads its latest virus definition updates and click on “Start Combo Scan” to start removing Google Chrome redirect malware.

Combo Cleaner Scanner

6. Free features of Combo Cleaner include Disk Cleaner, Big Files finder, Duplicate files finder, and Uninstaller. To use antivirus and privacy scanners, users have to upgrade to a premium version.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat.

Step 1 : Delete Suspicious Google Chrome Extension on Mac

Most adware and unwanted programs use a program called a browser extension to take over the settings of internet applications. Therefore, we highly recommend checking and removing the extension that is closely related to the Google Chrome redirect issue.

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

Chrome URL on Mac

3. Find an unwanted program or adware entry and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you are unable to remove unwanted programs because the browser is “Managed by your Organization”, follow these steps:

1. Activate the Developer mode in the Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Screenshot of Chrome Manage ID

3. Open Finder on your Mac and go to the following directory:

~/Library/Application Support/Google/Chrome/Default/Extensions

4. Once you have opened the directory, find the folder that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate, comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to stop a Google Chrome redirect.

Step 2 : Delete browser hijacker from Mac Applications

1. Go to the Finder.

2. On the menu, click Go and then select Applications from the list to open the Applications Folder.

3. Find adware, a browser hijacker, or any unwanted program.

Delete Unwanted App

4. Drag the unwanted program to Trash Bin to delete the application from Mac.

5. Right-click on the Trash icon and click on Empty Trash.

Step 3 : Delete Malicious Files that cause the Google Chrome redirect

1. Select and copy the string below to your Clipboard by pressing Command + C on your keyboard.

~/Library/LaunchAgents

2. Go to your Finder. From the menu bar, please select Go > Go to Folder…

3. Press Command + V on your keyboard to paste the copied string. Press Return to go to the said folder.

Command + V

4. You will now see a folder named LaunchAgents. Take note of the following files inside the folder:

  • unknown.download.plist
  • unknown.ltvbit.plist
  • unknown.update.plist
  • com.unknown

The term unknown is just a representation of the actual malware name. It is normally an unfamiliar file name, such as the following:

If you cannot find the specified file, please look for any unfamiliar or suspicious entries. It may be the one causing the Google Chrome redirect to be present on your Mac. Arranging all items to see the latest ones may also help you identify recently installed unfamiliar files. Please press Option + Command + 4 on your keyboard to arrange the application list in chronological order.

Option+Command+4

Important: Take note of all the suspicious files, as you may also delete the same item in another folder as we go on.

5. Drag all suspicious files that you may find to Trash.

6. Please restart the computer.

7. Open another folder using the same method as above. Copy and Paste the following string to easily locate the folder.

~/Library/Application Support

8. Look for any suspicious items that are similar to the ones in Step 4. Drag them to the Trash.

9. Repeat the process on the following non-hidden folders (without ~):

/Library/LaunchAgents
/Library/LaunchDaemons
/Library/Application Support
/Library/Preferences

Optional : For locked files that cannot be removed, do the following:

1. Go to the Launchpad, Utilities folder, and open Activity Monitor.

2. Select the process you want to quit.

Force Quit Apps

3. Click on the Force Quit button.

4. You may now delete or remove locked files that belong to adware or a homepage hijacker.

Step 4 : Double-check with MBAM Tool for Mac

1. Download Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac from the link below.

2. Run Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac. It will check for updates and download the most recent version if one is available. This is necessary for finding recent malware threats, including browser hijackers.

3. If it prompts you to close all running web browsers, please do so. Thus, we advise you to PRINT this guide for your reference before going offline.

4. Once it opens the user interface, please click on the Scan button to start scanning your Mac computer.

MBAM for Mac

5. After the scan, Malwarebytes Anti-malware for Mac will display a list of identified threats; a malicious program is surely part of it. Be sure to select all items in the list. Then, click the Remove button to clean the computer.

Step 5 : Remove browser hijacker from Homepage and Search

Google Chrome

– Open Chrome browser.
– Type the following on the address bar and press Enter on keyboard : chrome://settings/
– Look for the ‘On Startup’ area.
– Select ‘Open a specific page or set of pages’.
– Click on More Actions and select Edit.
– Enter the desired web address as your home page, replacing an unwanted web address. Click Save.
– To set the default search engine, go to the Search Engine area.
– Click on the ‘Manage search engines…‘ button.
– Go to a questionable Search Engine. Click on More Actions and Click ‘Remove from list’.
– Go back to the Search Engine area and choose a valid entry from Search engine used in the address bar.

Google Chrome Redirect – Removal Procedure for PC

Below is a systematic instruction that is very useful in getting rid of the potentially unwanted program (PUP) from a compromised computer. In order to totally eliminate the threat, it is vital to follow the process in exact manner.

Quick Fix – Scan the PC with Combo Cleaner

Combo Cleaner is a trusted PC utility application with complete antivirus and optimization features. It is useful in dealing with adware, malware, and PUP’s. Moreover, it can get rid of malicious browser extensions, adware, or browser hijackers that are responsible for displaying unknown homepages and pop-ups.

To quickly remove browser redirect malware without going through the complicated process, please click on the button to download the removal tool. You may need to purchase the full version if you want to maximize its premium features.

Proceed with the rest of the removal steps if you are comfortable manually removing malicious objects associated with the threat. The following guides are also vital for deleting malicious items from the browser configuration.

Step 1 : Get Rid of Unwanted Google Chrome Extension

The above procedures should have totally eliminated the browser hijacker. However, if you still find that there are remnants of browser hijackers on the internet application, please proceed with the manual removal of associated objects as outlined below.

1. Open the Google Chrome browser.

2. Type chrome://extensions/ in the address bar and press Enter on the keyboard.

Chrome URL

3. Find the unwanted program and remove it from Google Chrome.

If you cannot remove an unwanted browser extension because “Your Browser is Managed by your Organization”, do the following:

1. Activate the Developer mode in the Extensions window by using the slider.

2. Then, copy or take note of the browser Extension ID.

Chrome Manage ID on PC

3. Open Windows Explorer and locate the following folder:

C:\Users\(Your Username)\AppData\Local\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions

4. After opening the Folder, find the item that matches the Extension ID and delete it.

5. Please restart your Google Chrome browser.

Aside from this straightforward workaround, we have a separate, comprehensive guide to fix the Managed by Organization issue. You can also execute that guide if the steps on this page are not enough to solve the Google redirect problem.

Step 2 : Scan with AdwCleaner and Reset Chrome Policies

In addition to the procedure, we suggest scanning the computer with AdwCleaner tool. Possibly, there are some traces of adware or unwanted program on the browser that was not deleted during the preceding steps. This tool will scan the computer and check for presence of malicious applications.

1. Follow the link below to download the tool called AdwCleaner.

2. When the download has completed, please close all running programs on the computer, especially the Google Chrome browser.

3. Browse the location of the downloaded file and double-click on adwcleaner_Ver.exe to start running the tool. Then, click on the scan button.

4. On the AdwCleaner Dashboard, click on Settings.

Image of AdwCleaner Dashboard

5. While in the Settings window, please turn On the Reset Chrome Policies option.

Image of AdwCleaner Settings for Chrome

6. Go back to the Dashboard and click the Scan button.

7. AdwCleaner searches the computer for malicious programs, extensions, plug-ins, adware, and any items that may be associated with Google Chrome redirect problem.

8. Clean or Remove all suspicious and harmful items identified after the thorough scan.

9. After the cleanup procedure, rebooting the computer is required to finalize the removal of detected threats.

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