How to clean up and reset Google Chrome

How to clean up and reset Google Chrome

Last updated: November 20, 2019 

If Chrome is not acting like its usual self, it includes a clean-up and reset process that may set things right. The process scans your computer for harmful software that could cause problems and then removes it. If your Chrome issues include crashes, unwanted toolbars and start pages, unusual advertisements — anything you’re not accustomed to — clean up and reset Google Chrome to return to normal operation.

The fast and easy process has two parts. The first part searches for and then removes unwanted programs if it locates any. The second part involves resetting features in Chrome that could be problematic. Those features include the resetting of your startup page, new tab page, search engine, and any tabs you may have pinned. A reset will disable extensions and clear temporary files too. You will have an opportunity to cancel out of the reset before it starts. However, if you proceed with it, you may want to make a note or take a screenshot of those features that will reset so you can restore them later. Note that your bookmarks, history, and saved passwords will not be reset.

Check for malware

Before resetting Chrome, check your computer for malware and other unwanted, harmful software. Chrome has a built-in checking tool. To access it, click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon (the one with 3 dots) and choose Settings.

clean up and reset Google Chrome

Scroll down the list of settings and expand Advanced. Continue scroll down to the Reset and clean up section. Click Clean up computer. (or visit chrome://settings/cleanup)

clean up and reset Google Chrome

Under Clean up computer > Find and remove harmful software, click the Find button.

click the Find button

Chrome begins checking for harmful software. Be patient as the process will take some time.

Checking for harmful software

Once completed, Chrome displays either a notification that No harmful software found or a list of software to remove. Click the Remove button to remove harmful software, if any.



No harmful software found

Reset Chrome

Click the back arrow to return to the Reset and clean up section. Click Restore settings to their original defaults.

Restore settings to their original defaults

To reset Chrome, click the Reset settings button. Be sure to read the notation in the dialog about which features reset. If you do not want to proceed, click Cancel instead.

Reset settings

Close all Chrome windows and tabs, then relaunch Chrome. When you reset Chrome, it disabled all extensions. To re-enable the extensions you would like to use, click the Customize and control Google Chrome button (the one with 3 dots), and click More tools > Extensions.

click Settings More tools Extensions

Toggle the Enable buttons to the On position for extensions you want to re-enable. Hopefully, Chrome returns to normal operation with any previous issues remedied.

Watch the companion video to learn how to clean up and reset Google Chrome on a step by step basis.

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