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How to remove Chromium browser virus from Windows

3 min read
Get a fix for the Chromium malware issue that results in replacing the default browser with a rogue one and forcing hits to unwanted sites without user consent.

There has been a great deal of user feedback over the past few years labeling Chromium as a virus. In fact, this is a misconception. The term designates an open-source platform that was used to tailor Google Chrome, the world’s most used web browser according to official statistics. Meanwhile, the framework is readily available for anyone to leverage and create a browser of their own with custom set-ups. It’s this openness that makes the Chromium project a juicy target for cybercrooks. Numerous examples have surfaced where malicious actors adjusted the code in a peculiar way and complied it into an entity that has characteristics of adware or PUA (potentially unwanted application). The weaponized editions of the otherwise legit solution are making the rounds on a large scale. They configure the host system to set the booby-trapped copy of Chromium as the default browser, thereby also pushing an unwelcome homepage or search engine that the victim never agreed to use.

Benign in and of itself, the Chromium platform can be abused by adware distributors
Benign in and of itself, the Chromium platform can be abused by adware distributors

The apparent symptom of having a trojanized version of the browser in question on board a computer is a new Chrome-style bluish icon that suddenly appears on the desktop and the taskbar. The unannounced app is also launched automatically at boot time, which is an outcome of the malicious interference with the startup items list. The ill-minded developers benefit from such an attack algorithm more than they do by depositing garden-variety adware onto a Windows PC. That’s because the phony browser build already goes equipped with the range of extensions and preferences that help the villains monetize the intercepted traffic without having to meddle with the other browsers installed on the machine. In many cases, the homepage, search engine, and new tab will default to a customized landing page powered by Yahoo!, or junk resources like Palikan Search. Some mods of the perpetrating program are quite competently designed, as is the case with the WebDiscover Browser instance.

Software bundle with booby-trapped Chromium version inside
Software bundle with booby-trapped Chromium version inside

Those who fell victim to the Chromium-based malware and are wondering how it ended up on their computers should recall whether they have installed some freeware lately. The thing is, application bundles are the most common entry point for this malady. Users are lured by freebies when looking for new software, but this may turn out to be a red herring. When installing an image processing tool, media format converter, Adobe Flash Player update or other arbitrary program downloaded from unofficial sources, the setup procedure may involve an install client. Such a suite is originally intended to streamline the workflow, but it may also hide several additional items under the guise of one app. Clicking through the steps on this wizard will therefore lead to behind-the-scenes contamination. Keep this trick in mind when getting yourself a new free utility that looks too good to be true.

If the baddie is already inside, removal of the Chromium virus isn’t as trivial as some people think. It leaves files behind in places where most people won’t bother looking. So, consider following the steps below to drive the infection away for good.

Automated removal of Chromium-based malware

Owing to an up-to-date database of malware signatures and intelligent behavioral detection, the recommended software can quickly locate the infection, eradicate it and remediate all harmful changes. So go ahead and do the following:

1. Download and install the antimalware tool. Open the solution and have it check your PC for PUPs and other types of malicious software by clicking the Start Computer Scan button

Download Chromium browser virus remover

2. Rest assured the scan report will list all items that may harm your operating system. Select the detected entries and click Fix Threats to get the troubleshooting completed.

Use Control Panel to get rid of the Chromium PUA

• Open up the Control Panel from your Start menu in Windows XP/Vista/7/8/8.1/10 and select Uninstall a program
Access program uninstall screen on Windows
• To facilitate the process of locating the threat, sort the programs list by date to get the latest ones displayed at the very top. Find Chromium or other unfamiliar, suspicious entry under the Name column, click Uninstall and follow further directions to get the removal done.
Uninstall unwanted program

Restore web browser settings to their original defaults

In the circumstances of a complex browser hijack like this, executing a reset makes the most sense despite a few obvious downsides. Customizations such as saved passwords, bookmarked pages etc. will be gone, but so will all the changes made by the potentially unwanted program. The instructions below address the workflow for the web browsers most targeted by the Chromium virus.

Reset Mozilla Firefox

• Open Firefox, type about:support in the URL area and press Enter. Alternatively, you can click on the Open menu icon in the top right-hand part of the browser window, then select the Help option and proceed to Troubleshooting Information
Access Troubleshooting Information page in Firefox
• On the Troubleshooting Information screen, spot the Refresh Firefox button and click on it
Refresh Firefox button
• Follow subsequent directions to reset Firefox to its original settings
Complete refreshing Firefox
• Restart the browser.

Reset Google Chrome

• Open Chrome, expand the Customize and control Google Chrome menu and choose Settings
Go to Settings in Chrome
• Scroll down the settings screen and click Advanced down at the bottom
Advanced settings in Chrome
• Move on to the Reset and clean up sub-section and select the option that says Restore settings to their original defaults
Restore Chrome settings to their original default
• Finally, confirm the restoration by clicking Reset settings on the warning message
Reset Chrome settings
• Restart Chrome.

Reset Internet Explorer

• Select Internet options under IE’s Tools (Alt+X)
Open up Internet options in Internet Explorer
• Proceed by clicking on Advanced tab, then select Reset
Locate and click the Reset button in IE
• To confirm the intended changes, click Reset on the Reset Internet Explorer Settings screen after ascertaining that the Delete personal settings checkbox is enabled
IE reset confirmation
• Reboot the machine to fully implement the fix.

Reset Safari

• Go to the Safari menu and select Preferences
Go to Safari Preferences
• When on the Preferences screen, select the Privacy tab and hit the Remove All Website Data button if you are up to erasing all website data stored on your Mac. Otherwise, you can use a site-specific removal option described below
Remove All Website Data button
• A dialog will appear, asking you to validate your choice. Click the Remove Now button if you are sure. Be advised this will log you out of online services and undo personalized web browser settings such as saved passwords, etc.
Confirm website data removal
• Safari also allows deleting data for specific sites rather than all sites in general. To use this option, click the Details button under Privacy tab
Details button under Privacy tab
• Select the websites for which you would like to erase data and click the Remove button
Removing data for selected sites in Safari
• Click the Done button to confirm and exit. You can also select the Remove All option to remove all data stored by the listed websites.

Revise your security status

Post-factum assessment of the accuracy component in malware removal scenarios is a great habit that prevents the comeback of harmful code or replication of its unattended fractions. Make sure you are good to go by running an additional safety checkup.

Download Chromium malware removal tool

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