So, you're trying to download a free screensaver or game or something else you really want. But later you find out that game came bundled with a malicious program that's trying to hijack your browser settings. You're not the only one having this problem—in fact, it's an issue that’s continuing to grow at an alarming rate. You should always be in charge of your own Chrome settings. To help keep your browser settings under your control we added a “reset browser settings” button to Chrome’s settings page in October.

Despite this, settings hijacking remains our number one user complaint. To make sure the reset option reaches everyone who might need it, Chrome will be prompting Windows users whose settings appear to have been changed if they’d like to restore their browser settings back to factory default. If you’ve been affected by settings hijacking and would like to restore your settings, just click “Reset” on the prompt below when it appears.

Note that this will disable any extensions, apps and themes you have installed. If you’d like to reactivate any of your extensions after the reset, you can find and re-enable them by looking in the Chrome menu under “More tools > Extensions.” Apps are automatically re-enabled the next time you use them.

Some hijackers are especially pernicious and have left behind processes that are meant to undermine user control of settings, so you may find that you’re hijacked again after a short period of time. If that happens you can find additional help uninstalling such programs in the Chrome help forum—and remember even if you don’t see the prompt, you can always restore Chrome to a fresh state by clicking the reset button in your Chrome settings.

Linus Upson, Vice President of Engineering