So late last night, as I was browsing all of the interesting headlines on various news sites, Google Chrome suddenly crashed on my computer. No warning, no previous indication that something was amiss.
We all know the drill- close the browser, re-load, problem solved, right? Not this time. There are a variety of causes for this issue, but mine was one of the more obscure ones, or so it seems based on internet searches. In fact, a lot of people seem to live with this issue, often for weeks until they find help.
Good thing I go to a University and don’t have the time for that. If Google Chrome is running very slowly all of a sudden and crashing a lot, if Chrome shortcuts aren’t working very well, or if Yahoo Search keeps getting set as your default on any of your browsers (even after you’ve changed it back to something else), look below and follow the instructions!
- Chrome is suddenly running incredibly slowly (and crashing frequently).
- Chrome shortcuts on your computer are refusing to work, or are taking several minutes to respond
- Yahoo continually sets itself as the default search engine on any browser
- Other browsers, operating normally, crash once Chrome is opened
- Malware scans (including the free, online Malwarebytes, which you should have if you own a PC) come up clean, including scans on safe mode
- Internet is connected and running at normal speed
- Nothing else seems to work, including computer restarts and re-installing Chrome
Does this sound like you? Congratulations, you probably have a VERY sneaky Trojan! To make sure that this Trojan is the actual cause, perform these checks:
- Did Chrome try to install three or four extensions without you giving permission? It should have alerted you, and asked your permission to enable these extensions via the button on the top right corner turning orange (formerly the wrench button). I was asked about “Amazon Shopper” and “Spigot” extensions. If this sounds like you, continue reading.
- Open your Task Manager and go to “Processes”. Scroll until you see one named “searchtips.exe” and/or “searchsettings.exe”. Sometimes both will be present.
If those two processes are listed, you definitely have a Trojan! Malware scanners won’t be able to find it, so it’s time to get rid of it manually. Thankfully, this isn’t hard:
- Open your task manager, go to processes, and order alphabetically. Scroll until you find the “searchtips.exe” and/or “searchsettings.exe” processes. End those processes, and anything else that begins with “search”.
- Go to your computer, and to your main hard drive (usually named “C”). Run a search for a folder or set of files named “Spigot”. This is the Trojan, very cleverly hidden in your system files.
TO PERMANENTLY DELETE THIS FILE: Press “SHIFT”+”DELETE”. This will not send the file to your recycling bin, but rather delete it forever. You won’t need this in the future, so go ahead.
- Open Chrome, and ensure everything is running smoothly. Check your extensions to make sure nothing unwanted lingers.
- Congrats! You’re all set. Be sure to share this with everyone who uses Chrome, and send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org so I know that writing these articles does the world a little good.