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How to Stop Scam Pop-Ups in Google Chrome

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This guide will help you get rid of scam pop-ups you may be getting in Google Chrome. These steps can also optimize your computer's performance, improve its privacy and prevent it from getting infected with malware.
Google Chrome.

What are "scam" pop-ups?

Browser-based tech support scam "warnings" are becoming increasingly more common. They are designed to look official, pretending to be from Microsoft, Google, your internet provider, or another legitimate company.

These messages will claim that your computer is infected, that your data is at risk, or that your computer has been "blocked" because it has been hacked. At the end of their scary warning, they will provide a telephone number and urge you to contact them for support.

There is most likely nothing wrong with your computer.

Fake virus popup.

These are false messages designed specifically to frighten you into contacting the provided fraudulent "support" line, where an individual will attempt to sell you unnecessary support services or software, and will ask to remotely control your computer. By no means should you ever call one of these numbers or let them remotely control your computer.

In the vast majority of cases, there is absolutely nothing wrong with your computer. Unfortunately, the way these browser-based tech support scams are displayed, they can be very difficult and sometimes impossible to close via traditional means.

The following steps will walk you through terminating your browser to clear such messages, and help resolve other problems with pop-ups you may encounter.

When you're unable to close your internet browser the normal way or when it's not safe to close it the normal way, you can forcefully close it.

WindowsOn a Windows PC
The following steps can be used to terminate any browser, but the examples below will demonstrate using Internet Explorer.
  1. Open the Windows Task Manager.
    Using the Taskbar
    • Using your right mouse button, right-click on your Taskbar. Then select Task Manager from the menu.
      Mouse with Right Mouse Button highlighted.
      Taskbar right-click menu with Task Manager highlighted.
    Using a Keyboard Shortcut
    • On your keyboard use Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
      Keyboard with Ctrl Shift and Esc highlighted
    Using the Lock Screen
    • You can do Ctrl+Alt+Del on your keyboard, then click on Task Manager.
      PC Desktop Keyboard with Ctrl-Alt-Del highlighted.
      GINA Screen with Task Manager highlighted.
  2. Select your browser, then select End Task.
    Basic View
    Task Manager basic view with browser and End Task highlighted.
    Advanced View
    Task Manager advanced view with browser and End Task highlighted.
When you next open your browser, if you are asked to restore a session / pages, select No, or close the message.
AppleOn a Mac Computer

The following steps can be used to terminate any browser, but the examples below will demonstrate using Safari.

  1. Select the (1) Apple menu, then (2) Force Quit.
    Apple menu with Force Quit highlighted.
  2. Select the (1) browser you want to close from the list, and select (2) Force Quit.
    Force Quit dialog with Safari and Force Quit button highlighted.
  3. You'll be prompted if you're sure, select Force Quit.
    Force Quit conformation with Force Quit highlighted.

When you next open your browser, if you are asked to restore a session / pages, select No, or close the message. 

  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the menu at the top.
    Menu button highlighted and pointed out in Google Chrome.
  3. Click More tools, then select Clear browsing data.
    Chrome menu with More Tools and Clear Browsing Data highlighted.
  4. Select Advanced at the top. For Time range, select All time. Place a checkmark next to each item you'd like to clear, then select Clear data.
    Chrome settings showing how to delete history
    Browsing history
    Recommended
    This clears the memory of the pages you've browsed to.
    Download history
    Recommended
    This clears the memory of files you've downloaded.
    Cookies and other site data
    Recommended
    Pages store small data to remember you between visits to their pages. These are called cookies. This option clears cookies.
    Cached images and files
    Recommended
    Pages are downloaded and saved to your computer, so they are faster to display. This option clears cached copies, which can resolve many problems you may have.
    Passwords and other sign-in data
    Not Recommended
    The browser saves usernames and passwords for sites you sign into. There's no need to clear this, normally.
    Autofill form data
    Not Recommended
    Your browser stores other form data, such as your address, common search terms, and other things you type often on sites. There's no need to clear this, normally.
    Site Settings
    Recommended
    Checking this will clear specialty site settings you may have save.
    Hosted app data
    Recommended
    Some sites, especially Google apps, store extra app data that will automatically re-download when needed. Clearing this will cause a very small wait and solves problems with those apps.
  1. Open your browser, and visit the website you had problems with at the start.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.

    If you are seeing pop-ups on one webpage, but not on others it means that the website you're using has advertising built-into it on purpose.

    • You can choose to continue to use the web site, understanding that this is their advertising method.
    • You can contact the website administrator to ask them to change their advertising method.
    • You can stop using the page.

Extensions provide extra features to Chrome. Sometimes, these Extensions are not coded well, break after a Chrome update, or because they change the way Chrome works in a malicious way to show you advertisements.

Disabling or removing unneeded or unwanted Extensions can help resolve these problems.

It is recommended to delete all unwanted Extensions, then disable all other Extensions, then test the browser, then enable your wanted extensions one by one, testing each time to find the extension that's causing problems.
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome
  2. Select the Menu in the top right corner.
    Menu button highlighted and pointed out in Google Chrome.
  3. Then, point to More tools, and select Extensions.
    Chrome menu with More tools and Extensions highlighted.
    Toggle OffDisable an Extension
    1. Select the toggle in the bottom right of the extension.
      Extension with Toggle highlighted.
    Repeat this for each extension you want to disable.
    DeleteDelete an Extension
    1. Select Remove for the extension.
      Extension with Remove highlighted.
    2. Select Remove to confirm.
      Remove confirmation with Remove highlighted.
    Repeat this for each extension you want to delete.
If you are a PST, follow the Escalation Process to PTE.
Unfortunately, your pop-up issue cannot be resolved via basic troubleshooting steps. Your machine will require hands-on service to determine the root cause of your pop-up issues.
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