If you’ve ever opened Google Chrome only to find that your New Tab Page looks different, searches redirect to some obscure service or you’re seeing strange popups, a new Google tool can help.

Currently in beta, the Software Removal Tool for Windows scans your PC for applications that are known to cause problems with or otherwise affect Chrome. If it finds anything strange it’ll offer to remove it and reset Chrome.

srt tool

Google’s Sarah M., announcing the tool on the Google Product forums, says the tool can be thought of “…as a “factory reset” of Chrome. It removes programs that affect Chrome’s behaviour and offer to restore its original settings.”

What the tool is not is a malware scanner or virus guard. While it can detect software known to fiddle with Chrome it doesn’t scan for viruses, malware, root kits or any other nasties that affect the rest of your computer. And in an effort to prevent rogue software makers from simply updating the names of their programs, the tool will only list the number of suspect programs detected, not the names of them.


The Software Removal Tool is a free download for Windows users but is in beta. As well as containing potential bugs, Google say more unwanted software will be added to its list as development on the tool continues.

Download the Software Removal Tool Beta

For more information on how to use the utility read the following support page article.

Google Software Removal Tool Support Page

Google Apps