Chrome to warn of possible settings hijack

Chrome to warn of possible settings hijack

Summary: Malicious Windows program sometimes mess with Chrome settings without telling the user. Chrome will now detect this and offer to revert to defaults.

TOPICS: Security, Google, Windows

According to Google, the number one user complaint they get for the Chrome browser is when software hijacks the Chrome settings. This is in spite of measures they've taken to combat the problem, such as adding a "reset browser settings" button to Chrome's settings page.

The next step in protecting Chrome users will be for it to detect when settings have changed in a suspicious manner. This will be a change only on Windows, presumably because that is where the problem is.

When Chrome has detected a settings change, it will raise this message:


"Chrome has detected that your browser settings may have changed without your knowledge. Would you like to reset them to their original defaults?" You can choose "Reset" or "No Thanks" and you can choose to report what happened to Google.

According to Google, these surreptitious settings changes usually occur when users install a game or screen saver or some other such free program.

If you choose Reset, all your extension, apps and themes will be disabled. You can re-enable extensions on the Tools->Extensions screen. Chrome re-enables apps the next time you use them. Themes are set in the Settings screen.

Topics: Security, Google, Windows

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  • google

    Google makes the same type of changes as Microsoft, and just as "malicious". I agree it is a problem, but malicious it not they right term. Both are doing what they think will improve the how the app you are installing preforms. They don't care about the rest of your apps.
    • Citation needed

    • google

      Updating my flash player, I had to uncheck the "install Chrome and make it your default browser" button. Will Google protect me from Google?
    • re:

      The article didn't mention that Windows or other Microsoft programs were making the changes that Google is talking about. They mentioned games and screensavers. Not mentioned is toolbars. So don't be blaming MS when some third party spyware attempts to reset you Google spyware's (Chrome) settings.
      Sir Name
    • You misunderstand

      The changes are being made by 3rd party programs, the usual suspects: games, screensavers, etc. Then users run Chrome and see changes they didn't explicitly make.
      Larry Seltzer