Ads. Ads everywhere. As a blogger myself, I totally understand the need for ads to help keep people alive, and to keep the blog going. So normally, professional bloggers will follow all the good ad practices – Try to keep ads as non-intrusive as possible, no irritating popups, and no annoying funky loud sounds.
Then comes the black sheep of the industry, people who don’t give a hoot about your life nor privacy. All they are interested in is to shove ads in your face as hard as possible, some even go to the lengths of cheating people into installing adware – Software that will randomly and periodically show popup ads.
So if you have somehow installed one of the adware by accident, or simply want to stop/reduce the number of ads from showing up in Google Chrome – That is what we will walk through in this guide. Read on to find out!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
REMOVE ADWARE & MALWARE
Are you getting a lot of random periodic advertisement popups? Sudden funky ads “forcefully” showing up as you are browsing the Internet? Then you most probably have adware somewhere on your computer. Good news is – Some of these can be easily removed by using an adware cleaner.
ADWARE & MALWARE CLEANERS
Fear not, Adware and Malware cleaners to the rescue! There are many to choose from on the Internet, and here are a few of the reputable ones.
- Malwarebytes – For Windows only
- Avast Anti-Malware – For Windows and Mac
- Bitdefender – Windows and Mac
- Adaware – Windows
- Emisoft Anti-Malware – Windows
- Super Anti-Spyware – Windows
Just download, install, and let them cleaners do the magic.
WHAT IF THE REMOVAL TOOL FAILS?
This is not a sponsored post, but please do try out the Emsisoft emergency kit. That should be able to wipe out most of the “bad stuff” and restore your system. In the worst-case scenario where the malware refuses to give up – The only way is to probably format and reset your entire computer back to factory default.
Now that the bad guys are removed, something else remains to be done. The startup page of Google Chrome may be replaced by the Malware, and settings changed without your knowledge or permission. It is time to clean up Chrome itself.
EASIEST FIX – RESET
The easiest solution that Google offers is to reset Chrome back to the factory default. While this is the safest and fastest method, but take note, you might lose all your existing bookmarks and saved passwords.
First, click on the ⁝ button on the top right-hand corner, then go to “Settings”.
On the settings screen, search for “reset”, then simply click on “Restore settings”. You can also click on “Clean up computer” later for extra measures.
Don’t like the idea of resetting to the defaults? Then there are a few things that you can do manually.
- Run “clean up computer” as above, but do not restore to default.
- Settings > Search “startup” > Change back to “Open the New Tab page”.
- If the default startup page has been changed to “open specific page” by the malware, please feel free to remove all the funky pages.
- Settings > Search for “search engine” > Change the default search engine back to Google (or Bing/Yahoo if you like).
- You can go into “manage search engines” and manually remove all the weird stuff added by the malware if you want.
- Next, search for “clear browsing data” > under the advanced tab > select everything > Clear Data.
- In particular, make sure that the “Site Settings” are cleared. This will ensure that the bad sites will no longer have the permission to send push notifications to Chrome.
- Finally, click on the ⁝ at the top-right corner again > More Tools > Extensions. Remove all the funky ones that you don’t recognize and those that are installed without your knowledge.
These should pretty much restore Chrome back to the “clean” state.
Yes, Google Chrome does have a built-in feature to block the nasty popup ads. Although it is not perfect, but it still somewhat works. Does not take a lot to turn it in any case.
DISABLE POPUP ADS
Click on the ⁝ button at the top-right corner > Settings > Search for “ads” > Site Settings > Ads.
Make sure that it is set to “Blocked on sites that show intrusive or misleading ads”.
Then hit the back arrow > Pop-ups and redirects (directly above the ads menu item) > Make sure that it is set to “Blocked”.
At this stage, most of the “bad ads” will have been filtered out. But if you still want to take one step further. You can install AdBlock Chrome extensions to further filter out advertisements.
THE VARIOUS ADBLOCK
- AdBlock – This is what I use and recommend.
- Adaware Ad Block – Remeber the anti-malware above? Yep, they have an Ad Block as well.
- Adblock Plus – Another reliable Ad Blocker.
NOT ALL ADS ARE BAD… WHITELIST!
As a blogger myself, I depend a lot on the advertisements to keep this website going. That is the same with the many content creators out there in the world – Bloggers, Vloggers, Podcasters, YouTubers, etc…
If you find a website to be very useful, then consider adding it to your AdBlock whitelist. Simply click on the AdBlock icon, then select “Don’t run on pages on this site”. That will help support the good bloggers, YouTubers, content creators – Help to feed them and keep them going.
ADVERTISEMENT BLACK HOLE
So… For some reason, you hate advertisements to the core, and can’t wait to wipe them off the surface of your digital world. There is a way to do it, but it is very technical, and involves using a device to act as an “advertisement black hole”.
INTRODUCING THE PI-HOLE
What the heck is a Pi-Hole? It is basically a mini-computer called Raspberry Pi, converted to become an advertisement black hole. Thus aptly called the Pi-Hole. Get it? How it works in a nutshell:
- The Pi-Hole is deployed just before the modem.
- It kind of acts like a firewall and monitors all the incoming/outgoing traffic.
- Then, staying true to the “black hole” name, it blocks out all known ad servers.
Yep. That is how we can block advertisements to the extreme. Just remember to update the ad server list from time-to-time and this bad boy will continue to do the magic.
P.S. For you guys who are interested, you can actually buy a Pi-Hole from eBay. But be warned. It is not cheap, and you need some technical knowledge to properly set it up.
That’s all for this guide, and here is a small section on some extras and links that may be useful to you.
LINKS & REFERENCES
- Remove unwanted ads, popup, malware – Google Chrome Help
- How to Stop Pop-Ups in Chrome – Laptopmag
- How to Block Ads on Google Chrome – WikiHow
Thank you for reading, and we have come to the end of this guide. I hope this has helped you to better understand, and if you have anything to share with this guide, please feel free to comment below. Good luck and may the cyber force be with you.
W.S. Toh is a senior web developer and SEO practitioner with over 10 years of experience in building websites. When he is not secretly being an evil tech ninja, he enjoys doing photography and working on DIY projects.