Chrome.exe virus removal instructions
What is Chrome.exe virus?
Chrome.exe virus is a generic name that refers to the Poweliks trojan. Cyber criminals disguise this malware as a "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" (or, rarely, "dllhost.exe" or "cmmon32.exe") process in Task Manager (why it is called Chrome.exe virus). Developers use Poweliks to generate fraudulent advertising revenue - this malware is designed to generate intrusive online advertisements (coupons, banners, pop-ups, etc.) In addition, Poweliks uses virtually all computer resources. The system thus becomes unusable (applications continually crash due to lack of resources, screen freezes, and so on).
"Chrome.exe (32 bit)" is a regular process run by Google Chrome. This browser opens a number of these processes in the Task Manager (the more tabs you open, the more "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" processes are executed). These processes, however, occupy a small percentage of overall system resources. Poweliks, on the other hand, looks like one of Google Chrome's processes (it has the same name and icon), but opens dozens of such processes and uses almost all CPU resources, thereby making the system unusable. Furthermore, Google Chrome runs "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" processes only when the browser is open, whilst Poweliks runs them on system start-up. Although Poweliks does not create any file on the system, it can be easily distinguished, since "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" processes will run even when the browser is closed. System resources (especially, CPU) reach up to 100% on idle state. To verify a genuine Chrome process, right-click on one and select "Open File Location". The genuine "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" is always placed in the "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application" folder. Processes located elsewhere are considered malicious. If your system suddenly starts to work slowly and you observe many "Chrome.exe (32 bit)" processes in Task Manager (even when the browser is not open), your computer is probably infected with Trojan.Poweliks malware. In this case, perform a full system scan with a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite immediately.
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (chrome.exe)||Avast (Win32:SaliCode), BitDefender (Win32.Sality.3), ESET-NOD32 (Win32/Sality.NBA), Kaspersky (Virus.Win32.Sality.gen), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Symptoms||Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.|
|Damage||Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Malwarebytes.
As mentioned above, Poweliks is used to generate fraudulent advertising revenue. This malware delivers intrusive ads using various tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. As a result, displayed ads often conceal underlying content. A more important issue is intrusive ad behavior. These ads typically lead to malicious websites and run scripts that download/install malware. Thus, even a single click can result in high-risk computer infections. Ad-display is common behavior to adware-type applications, however, as well as delivering ads, potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) collect personal information. PUP developers later sell collected data to third parties, who can misuse confidential details to generate revenue. Thus, users might encounter serious privacy issues. Furthermore, cryptocurrency-mining malware reduces system performance (more information on these viruses here).
How did Chrome.exe virus install on my computer?
Poweliks is distributed in various ways. For example, criminals employ malicious websites or hijack legitimate ones and inject them with exploit kits designed to take advantage of system vulnerabilities to install the malware. Poweliks is also distributed using spam emails. Criminals proliferate emails that contain various text about package deliveries (e.g., FedEx, DHL, etc.) It states that a parcel cannot be delivered for various reasons. These emails also contain malicious attachments. Many curious users are tricked into opening these files, resulting in computer infections. In addition, criminals employ fake downloads. They present malicious executables as legitimate software (e.g., Adobe Flash Player), thereby tricking users into downloading and installing malware. Ultimately, the main reasons for computer infections are poor knowledge and careless behavior.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
To prevent this situation, be very cautious when browsing the Internet. Ensure that visited websites are legitimate and do not contain suspicious content. Furthermore, never open files received from suspicious email addresses. These should be deleted without reading. Keep installed applications up-to-date and download and update tools/your applications from official sources only, using a direct download link. Unofficial downloaders/installers often include bogus programs, and thus should not be used. Having a legitimate anti-virus/anti-spyware suite installed on your computer is also paramount. The key to computer safety is caution.
Appearance of Trojan.Poweliks malware:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is Chrome.exe virus?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Chrome.exe virus application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Chrome.exe virus adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Chrome.exe virus ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by Chrome.exe virus' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Chrome.exe virus extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Chrome.exe virus adware removal:
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Mac OSX users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "Chrome.exe virus", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes Chrome.exe virus ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Chrome.exe virus adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, Chrome.exe virus did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the poweliks malware, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the poweliks malware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with poweliks malware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the poweliks malware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove poweliks malware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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