Essentially, at frequent intervals, whether I am browsing or just have Google Chrome open while doing something else, a series of webpages (usually three at a time) will open up. Some of these have sound, which is very annoying (i.e. "MICROSOFT HAS DETECTED A VIRUS ON THIS COMPUTER, PLEASE ...") and most of them have pop ups that make them more difficult to close than just hitting X, some of them have phone numbers to call and it's all very obvious phishing scams and the like. I'm smart enough not to click any of it, but it's beyond annoying.

Now, I know the recommended approach: find the bad extension and remove it, or find the malicious program and uninstall it from Windows. This is where the question really begins. There are no malicious extensions listed on Chrome (no extensions beyond the ones I use, and the ones I use aren't the problem, this happens when they're all disabled) (!). There are also no malicious programs listed on my Windows 10 Control Panel, I either recognize everything as something I downloaded or as an integral system program (!!). Interestingly enough, Google Chrome itself is not listed in the list of programs, so I cannot uninstall Google Chrome (!!!). Chrome Canary is; I installed it to try to alleviate this issue but Canary is so buggy that it is unusable.

I have the latest version of Chrome (I presume, since it auto updates?) and Windows 10 Pro 64.


You may want to try some of the following:

  • Run the Chrome Cleanup Tool and/or other Adware/PUP/UWS/Malware removers like AdwCleaner.
  • Change your Proxy (to "no proxy" for example) and DNS settings (to Google's Public DNS, for example).
  • Reset Chrome in the advanced settings.
  • Create a new browser profile. To do that, first find out the path to the profile via chrome://version/ and then delete that folder (or move it to a different place). Note: This will delete your bookmarks and any other customizations you may have made
  • Uninstall Chrome completely. If you can't find it in Windows, you may want to use tools like the Revo Uninstaller. Or locate the location of the .exe (again, chrome://version/) and simply delete the entire /chrome/ folder. To get completely clean, you may need to remove the profile (see above) and all chrome-relevant entries in the registry as well, but don't go delete stuff in the registry if you aren't 100% certain that only Chrome needed them.

  • The nuclear option. Use a tool like DBAN to wipe your hard drive. Just to be clear: This will delete all the files you have on your computer, including the OS.

I either recognize everything as something I downloaded or as an integral system program (!!)

Note that malware likes to disguise itself as commonly used programs such as svchost.exe or, in this case, perhaps chrome.exe.

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