I've recently noticed that my browser (Google Chrome) occasionally opens two new tabs on its own seemingly randomly. The two tabs display the same page- supposedly offering some BT broadband 2015 special deal... It seems that I have somehow picked a virus/ some adware. I have run scans with McAfee Total Protection and Ad- Aware, but these don't seem to have picked it up. Does anyone have any recommendations for how to get rid of it?

  • If the ad is legit, are you sure your isp is not injecting ads? If not, check if you have unwanted browser addons installed. – Dan Feb 13 '15 at 19:01
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    I very much doubt the ad is legit... Don't really want to click on anything on the pages though- I usually just close those tabs. If an ad was legit, surely it would be part of an existing webpage, rather than opening a whole new tab just displaying the ad? Particularly given that I didn't click on anything before it opened... It behaves like a popup, just in a new tab rather than a new window... – someone2088 Feb 13 '15 at 19:29
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Try resetting Chrome.

  • Open chrome://settings/
  • Click "Show advanced settings..."
  • Click the "Restore settings" button.
  • Like it says, it will restore settings and disable extensions.

Antivirus software:

  • Adwcleaner is good. But make sure you get the real one. Lots of fake ones now. Real one is @ bleepingcomputer.com.
  • McAfee Total Protection and Ad-Aware are junk.
  • Ad-Aware was great years ago, but now it sucks.
  • And McAfee products have always been terrible.
  • Best antivirus is free. avast.com and avira.com are the best.
  • Another great anti-malware tool is Spybot @ safer-networking.org.
  • Also check out spyware blaster @ brightfort.com to block bad websites.

And check out the other apps on bleeping computer.com. Lots of great anti-malware tools like ComboFix, TDSSKiller, RogueKiller, and RKill.

I suggest you run them all to be damn sure you are clean.

If you really want to be sure, then learn about Process Explorer @ technet.microsoft.com.

Also, check out AutoRuns to see what is running on Windows bootup and disable all the junk. Also at the above-mentioned TechNet Microsoft website.

  • Thanks for your answer, and for the advice regarding what antivirus software to use- I didn't realise that there was such a difference in terms of effectiveness between the different options available. – someone2088 Mar 12 '15 at 14:52

Open the Chrome options menu (on the right) and go to Settings. Under the heading On Startup (near the top) I'm willing to bet that you Open a specific page or set of pages radio button is selected. There should be a Set Pages button next to this that will allow you to remove those pages from your startup list.

A piece of adware could feasibly change these settings in your default browser that would persist even after the adware itself was removed.

  • Hey, thanks for your answer. Unfortunately though... that's not the case- in 'Settings', 'On Startup' is set to 'Continue where you left off'... and if I click the 'Set pages' hyperlink next to the 'Open a specific page or set of pages' radio button, the only page listed is www.google.com.... – someone2088 Feb 13 '15 at 23:46

I would highly recommend you run some virus scans in addition to Catatonic's advice. I recommend SuperAntiSpyware: http://www.superantispyware.com/ And Malwarebytes: https://www.malwarebytes.org/ Both of which are free, just be sure you don't check the "30 Day Pro-Trial" boxes and they shouldn't ever bother you to purchase them.

You will need to go into your browser settings and change your homepage and disable any tabs that open after scans.

  • Hey, thanks for the suggestions... Malwarebytes didn't find any viruses.... but Superantispyware found one almost straight away... – someone2088 Feb 14 '15 at 0:20

In my experience this problem is caused by browser addons.

1) work on another browser for a while. If you don't see the same windows/tabs opening, your problem is limited to chrome (which explains why your antivirus didn't pick anything up).

2) check your chrome addons. There will probably be one that you don't remember installing or has a name with something to do with shopping or advertising. You will want to disable this addon.

P.S. While you are looking at your lift of installed addons check for one called privacy safeguard. As good as this sounds, that one addon has been quite a pain in my experience.

If you need anymore help, let me know!

Check the extensions on you're browser and delete anything suspicious, run antivirus scans and/or run a PC cleaner (like CCleaner), finally try to find a little cleaner called adwcleaner, it helped me once and please don't use McAfee, there are a lot of good antivirus out there.

Not sure if this will help you.

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