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How to use the Google Software Removal tool in Windows

Not sure if you have a malicious toolbar or extension messing with your settings? Check out this tool from Google to investigate what's going on with Chrome.

When malicious programs are using your Chrome browser to collect data, serve you ads or cause overall sluggishness, there's a quick way to find out what's causing the issues. Google recently published the Software Removal tool for Windows that will scan for software that is causing issues with the browser. Google explains the tool,

Think of this as a "factory reset" of Chrome. It restores Chrome's original settings and removes programs that affect its behavior.

Before you get your Chrome back to tiptop running shape, Ghacks suggests creating a system restore point since the tool is still in beta. Here's how:

Start by right-clicking on your Computer icon or option in the Start menu and choose Properties. You can also access this area by going to Control Panel and then clicking on the System icon.

System Restore settings on Windows. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

In the new window, choose System Protection. When the pop-up appears, click the bottom button labeled Create. This will save your system settings as they are now.

Now you're ready to try the Software Removal tool from Google:

Step 1: Head to the Software Removal tool website and click the Download button. Accept the terms to complete the download.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 2: When the download finishes, click the Run button in the pop-up window.

Removal tool reports its findings. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 3: Google will report whether it found any malicious programs or not. If none were found, skip to Step 5.

Step 4: Click Remove suspicious programs and wait for the tool to tell you it has completed the process.

Chrome prompts you to do a reset. Screenshot by Nicole Cozma/CNET

Step 5: A new tab in Chrome will open, prompting you to reset Chrome and clean out all cookies. You do not have to complete this step, but if you're still experiencing issues, it is recommended that you do.

The Software Removal tool is not an antivirus application for your entire system, it only scans for programs interfering with your Chrome experience. If you are having other problems with your computer, you may want to try scanning with an application like Bitdefender Antivirus Plus 2015, or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.