Chrome fights back against settings hijackers

Google makes it even easier to reset your browser settings. Apparently, it's the No. 1 Chrome complaint.

This pop-up will prompt Chrome users on Windows to reset their browser settings. Google

Google is taking aggressive steps to combat what it says is the No. 1 complaint in its Chrome browser: having your settings hijacked.

The company first took measures to address the problem in August when it introduced a "reset browser settings" button on the Settings page in Chrome, but that wasn't enough to fix things.

Now, Chrome will ask Windows users automatically via a pop-up if you want to reset your settings when it detects that they might've been changed without your permission. It will disable all extensions, themes, and Chrome Apps you have installed. It won't uninstall them, so you can still go back and manually reactivate them one at a time if you want.

The more aggressive reaction to unauthorized setting changes comes in response to what Linus Upson, vice president of engineering for Chrome, described in a blog post as "especially pernicious" hijackers who leave behind hidden processes that are designed to hijack your browser again after a short time.

"To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they'd like to restore their browser settings back to factory default," he wrote.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CNET will update the story when we hear back.

About the author

Senior writer Seth Rosenblatt covers Google and security for CNET News, with occasional forays into tech and pop culture. Formerly a CNET Reviews senior editor for software, he has written about nearly every category of software and app available.

 

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