Clean up Google Chrome, Reset Search Engine and More

If you use Google Chrome as your web browser of choice, you may wonder what you can do when it starts acting up. Here are a few tips on how to repair, reset or clean up some of the most common issues with the Chrome web browser including increasing the performance of slow loading tabs, resetting a hijacked search engine, blocking excess pop up notifications and more.

Clean Your Cache

Google Chrome stores your temporary internet data in a cache to make regularly visited sites load faster. Over time, the cache can become overloaded. This can slow down the opening of browser tabs and affect your overall browsing performance.

Cleaning the cache is a quick and easy process that only takes a few seconds to accomplish.

First, click the three dots menu button in the top-right corner of Google Chrome, then click Settings. On the left-hand side of the page, click Privacy and security, then choose Clear Browsing Data.

You can now select whether you’d like to clear your browser history, cookies or cached images and files. Check the box for “Cached images and files” and click Clear Data at the bottom right.

Note: Now that you have cleared the cache, sites will load slowly the first time you visit while they build new cached files. But overall browsing performance should be improved.

You can also clear your browser history and cookies by following the same steps. Keep in mind that clearing your cookies means you will have to log back in to any website that was ‘remembering” you, so have your usernames and passwords handy before you take this step!

Stop Notifications and Pop Ups

Some sites won’t work properly with pop ups disabled, but the pop up feature has been abused by advertisers. The most common way to end up with pop ups is to accidentally alow a site to send you updates.

I visit a large number of tech sites, and I often get pop ups asking me to allow them to notify me of new stories or features on their sites.

Clicking Allow means you’re going to get pop ups whenever they have something new they want you to see. To remove these annoying notifications, click the three dots menu button in the top-right corner of Google Chrome, then click Settings. On the left-hand side of the page, click Privacy and security, then choose Site Settings.

Scroll down to the Notifications option.

Here we can see which sites we have Allowed or Blocked for notifications, Scroll down to Allow and find the site or sites you’d like to block notifications from. In my case you can see I have allowed several Google sites like Google Docs, Google Drive, and Google calendar as well as Netflix to send me notifications. Underneath that are two sites I would like to remove- greenmangaming.coim and ibtimes.com.

Removing those pesky notifications is as as easy as clicking the three dots and choosing “Block”.

Reset Search Engine to Google Search

If your searches are suddenly redirecting you to a strange place, you can easily go in and change your default search engine back to Google.

Click the three dots menu button in the top-right corner of Google Chrome, then click Settings. On the left hand side click Search Engine.

Here, the search engine has been changed to eBay. I want to change it back to Google.

Click Manage search engines, find Google in your list, click on the three dots menu to the right and choose Make default. Your search engine should be reset to Google.

Disable Chrome Extensions

Extensions can add new features to Google Chrome but can sometimes dramatically slow down your browsing, especially if you’re running a bunch of them at once. You can disable extensions without uninstalling them to see if performance improves.

Click the three dots menu button in the top-right corner of Google Chrome, then click Settings. Near the bottom, click on Extensions.

You can toggle extensions on or off here. Disabling or removing extensions you don’t need or use anymore will free up memory and improve browser performance.

Reset and Cleanup

When all else fails, you can reset the browser to default settings. This will reset your startup home page and search engine,disable all extensions and clear temporary data like cookies. Your bookmarks, history and saved passwords will not be cleared.

To perform the reset, click the three dots menu button in the top-right corner of Google Chrome, then click Settings. Near the bottom on the left, click on Reset and clean up. then click Reset Settings.

From the same menu, you can also choose Clean up Computer.

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