For quite a while now, Google has had a Chrome Cleanup Tool on Windows that scans and removes software that might affect or hijack the browsing experience. Today, the feature is being upgraded with a simpler UI and more powerful detection, while Chrome has improved handling with nefarious extensions.
Chrome is now better at detecting when an extension has hijacked and changed user settings without explicit permission. A simple dialogue will pop-up noting what has changed, like the default search engine being switched out, and the ability to disable the offending extension by tapping “Restore.”
This feature has been available for the past month, with Google noting that it has helped millions of people restore their settings.
Meanwhile, the Chrome Cleanup Tool has been upgraded with better unwanted software detection and removal. IT security firm ESET has combined its detection engine with the browser’s sandbox technology. Notably, the tool is no longer a standalone download, but built into Chrome for Windows.
Additionally, it is easier to use thanks to a redesigned interface that better surfaces what software will be removed. It’s important to note that this app is designed to only get rid of software that affects the browsing experience. Google is not positioning it as a “general-purpose antivirus.”
The updated engine is rolling out to users starting today.