Chrome gains factory reset button

Google's browser gains the ability to return to a default state with a single click.

The future is slightly brighter for IT support folk that regularly have to deal with the myriad extensions and customisations that users make their browser experiences, with Google announcing that its Chrome browser can be reset to a "factory-fresh" state with a single click of a button.

According to its help page, when clicked, the new "Reset browser settings" button will return the default search engine, and any saved search engines to their original defaults; homepage button and any pinned tabs will be removed; startup and new tab tabs cleared; cookies, site data, and content settings will be cleared; and extensions and themes disabled.

Citing the difficultly in finding and disabling some pieces of malware, once installed in a browser, Google's vice president of engineering, Linus Upson said online criminals have increasingly using malware to hijack browser settings.

"These malicious programs disguise themselves so you won't know they're there and they may change your homepage or inject ads into the sites you browse," Upson wrote in a blog post.

"Worse, they block your ability to change your settings back and make themselves hard to uninstall, keeping you trapped in an undesired state."

In addition to the new reset feature, Google will be rolling out a malware download blocking feature shortly, it is current available in Chrome's bleeding-edge Canary release channel.

Upson said that the search giant is currently adding 10,000 new URLs per day to its Google Safe Browsing service, that is used by Chrome, Firefox, and Safari browsers to warn users of potentially unsafe websites.