How to fix unwanted sites automatically opened in Google Chrome

Who I am
Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
SOURCES CONSULTED:

support.microsoft.com

Author and references

Primarily an adware or malicious extension is responsible for Chrome automatically opening unwanted web pages. Thankfully, there are some solutions you can try to fix the problem. We will show you how to do it. Let's begin.

RUN AN ANTIVIRUS SCAN ON YOUR COMPUTER

For safety, it is useful to run a scan using Microsoft Defender on your Windows 10 or Windows 11 PC. Also, you can use it to check if your PC or Mac is infected or not.


USE MALWARE SCANNER FOR CHROME

Sometimes, malware and virus infections are responsible for the Chrome tab opening problem. For this, Chrome has its own built-in malware scanner to remove such annoyances. Here's how you can do it.


  • Launch Chrome and go to Settings. Scroll all the way down to expand Advanced Settings and go to the Clean Computer option.
  • Click the Find button to start a quick scan of your PC.

Wait for the process to complete and Chrome will let you know if it finds any malicious apps or programs.

CHECK THE EXTENSIONS

Chrome is popular due to its extension support which is known to work flawlessly. However, some of them may not be updated often. Furthermore, poorly constructed extensions can often cause problems and lead to nefarious code that hijacks it to automatically open sites.

Therefore, you can try removing any suspicious extensions in Chrome to see if it helps with the problem.

To remove extensions in Chrome, type chrome: // extensions / and press Enter. Look for extensions that you have recently installed or that you no longer use and click the Remove button to delete them.

Once cleared, restart Chrome to see if the problem is resolved now.



DELETE COOKIE

Most websites these days force you to enable cookies on your browser for a full user experience. Unfortunately, although cookies are often considered harmless, they can sometimes contain hostile scripts, which can cause strange browser behavior. In these cases, you can try clearing the cookies in Chrome to solve the problem. That's how.

To clear cookies on Chrome, press Ctrl + Shift + Del to open the menu Clear browsing data. Now mark the checkboxes that read "Cookies and other site data" e "Cached images and files". Finally, click the button Clear data.

Restart Chrome and see if it is now working normally.

BLOCK THE POPUPS

If Google Chrome keeps opening unwanted sites for no reason, you can try blocking pop-ups in Chrome. That's how.

  • Open Google Chrome on your PC and use the three-dot menu icon in the top right to select Settings from the list.
  • Navigate to the Privacy and Security tab on the left and click on the Site Settings option.
  • Under Content, go to Popups and Redirects.
  • Finally, under Default Behavior, select the option "Do not allow sites to send pop-ups or use redirects".

DISABLE BACKGROUND APPS

Background processes and extensions in Chrome help deliver important information even when Chrome isn't running. But, at the same time, they can also be the reason behind Chrome's random tab opening. Therefore, disabling them may solve the problem. Here's how to do it.

  • Open Google Chrome and go to Settings.
  • Scroll down to expand the advanced settings. Under System, turn off the switch next to the option “Keep running apps in the background when Google Chrome is closed”.

That's all. Now restart Chrome and see if the problem is resolved.



RESTORE OR REINSTALL CHROME

If other solutions don't help, you can try resetting Chrome to default settings to overcome the problem. This will delete all extensions, cache and history on Chrome.

  • To reset Chrome, type chrome: // settings / reset in the address bar at the top and then press Enter. In "Restore and clean up", click your "Restore the settings to their original defaults".
  • In the confirmation pop-up window, click Reset Settings to confirm.

Resetting Chrome will clear your browser cache and blocked cookies, search engines and tabs.


If you want to go all in, instead of resetting, you can choose to uninstall and reinstall Chrome. This will give you a fresh start and also update Chrome in the process.

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