How To Guide

How To Remove Malicious Extensions From Browser

Facing browsing issues like unwanted ads, pop-ups, slow internet performance, etc. You might wanna check your browser extensions. This post will help you identify and remove malicious browser extensions from Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari browser.

Extensions kind of mini-programs for personalizing web browsers. Browsers allow users to manage different tasks according to users’ needs such as blocking ads, managing passwords, translating, enhancing grammar, etc. There are some very good extensions that can make life very easy for users such as Grammarly, VPN, Translators, Ad Block Extensions, etc. However, However, having too many of these tools can make your browser slow and unresponsive.

Why It’s Important To Manage Browser Extensions:

Each extension requires system resources like CPU, memory, and network bandwidth to run on your browser. The more plugins, ad-ons, and extensions running together will consume large system resources making your browser slow and unresponsive. Meanwhile, sometimes various unknown extensions get installed in the browser.

Hackers often create deceptive browser extensions that present themselves as useful browser tool like ad-blockers, Internet speed boosters, etc. Once, installed, these extensions can completely hijack your web browser. These tools are used by cyber criminals to bypass system security measures. Hackers can use these rouge extensions to monitor your browsing activities and may even download other harmful threats like Trojan, Ransomware, etc. into the compromised system.

remove malicious extensions

How Unwanted Extensions Got On My Browser:

Sometimes users find unknown extensions in their web browser, having no clue how they got there. Well, most of the time it happens due to clicking unknown pop-ups or links. While browsing the internet we often come across pop-ups asking us to click on “Allow” button to continue downloading, Download a media player to stream this video, or click on “Allow” to prove you’re not a robot, etc. These pop-ups often appear while trying to stream or download online videos, games, software, etc. from untrusted sites. However, by clicking the Allow button you are giving that site permission to download extensions and make changes in your browser settings.

How To Identify Malicious Browser Extensions:

Rogue extensions are meticulously programmed in such a way that they look like genuinely helpful browser apps. It is often difficult to identify which extension might be potentially harmful by just looking at it. However, there are certain ways you can use to determine whether it’s safe or not.

Here is how to identify malicious browser extensions in your Browser:

Unknown Extension: Doesn’t matter if it’s malicious or genuine, if it’s not useful for you, you should remove it. Malicious or not, it’s still consuming browser resources, ultimately affecting your browsing experience. There is no point in keeping unknown or unwanted extensions in your browser.

Check Permission: Just like mobile apps, browser extensions also require permission to access certain browser resources, for example, an ad-blocker extension shouldn’t have permission to access your browser history.

To check permission, go to browser settings, click on extensions, then click on details. The details page will show you all the information including Permissions.

Scan on VirusTotal: VirusTotal is a website that can analyze files and URLs for malware. You can download the zip file of your browser extension in developer mode, and scan it on VirusTotal for free.VirusTotal will scan the extension and generate a report showing its trust score, malicious codes, alternative names, etc.

How To Remove Malicious Extensions From Browser

If you have noticed sudden browser lagging, crashing, unwanted ads, pop-ups, changes in your browser homepage, search engine, etc. then you might wanna check your browser extension. These issues might be caused due to malicious programs in your browser. If you find any unknown or unwanted program in your browser, then start your PC in safe mode and follow the steps to remove the malicious extension from your browser:

Remove Malicious Browser Extensions From Google Chrome

  • Launch the Google Chrome browser on your system.
  • From the upper right corner click on the Menu (⋮) icon.
  • From the drop-down Menu click on the Extensions option.
  • Choose Manage Extension and look for any unknown or suspicious browser extensions.
  • Click the Remove button to delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome.

Remove Malicious extension from Google Chrome

Delete From Mozilla Firefox

  • Launch the Firefox browser on your system.
  • At the upper right corner, you should see the () icon, click on in to open the Menu bar.
  • Mozilla Firefox Menu will appear as a drop-down list.
  • Select Add-ons options and then hit the Extensions tab.
  • It will open the list of all installed extensions in your browser.
  • Find and select any suspicious or unuseful extensions.
  • On the right side of each extension, there will be two options, Disable and Remove.
  • Click on the Remove Option to delete malicious extensions from the Mozilla Firefox browser.

Remove Malicious extension from Mozilla Firefox

Uninstall From Microsoft Edge

  • Double-click on the Microsoft Edge browser icon to open it.
  • From the upper right corner click the More Tools (…) icon to open the browser menu.
  • From the drop-down menu click on the Extension tab.
  • A pop-up will appear, showing two options:
    1. Manage Extensions
    2. Open MicrosoftEdge Adons
  • Click on the Extension option, and from the list of installed extensions, select unwanted extensions.
  • Under each extension, you can see two options Details and Remove, click on the Remove option.

Remove Malicious extension from Microsoft Edge

Uninstall From Safari Browser

  • Open Safari and from the top right corner, click on the Preferences option.
  • A browser menu window called General Preferences will appear on your screen.
  • By clicking on the Extensions tab, you can see the list of all installed extensions.
  • Select the suspicious extension and disable it by clicking on the check box from the left sidebar.
  • Under the extension you will see the Uninstall button, click on it to remove that extension from the Safari browser.

Remove Malicious extension from Safari Browser

It is important to note that browser extensions make several changes in your browser settings including the homepage, search engine, DNS settings, preferences, permissions, etc. Therefore, just removing the extension won’t be enough, you will also need to restore your browser settings to to undo all the suspicious changes. You might also wanna enable malware and phishing protection in your browser to block malicious sites and pop-ups on your browser.


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